The Browncroft Neighborhood, located on the eastern edge of the city, was the vision of nurseryman C. J. Brown. Created in 1914 when Brown subdivided 300 acres of the Brown Brothers Continental Nursery for residential building, the neighborhood was characterized by wide, well-landscaped parkways, plantings of trees and shrubs, and beautiful homes. While many of the homes constructed in the neighborhood in the early 20th Century were English Tudors, the Colonial Revival, like the home at 130 Dorchester Road, was also a popular Browncroft architectural style.
Built in 1915, this period home is situated on a well-landscaped lot in the midst of the Browncroft Neighborhood. The exterior of the home is classic Colonial—crisp white paint, shuttered windows, balanced symmetry. The gabled roof is enhanced with third floor dormers. And as befitting a Colonial Revival, a brick walk leads you to the home’s center entrance.
Once inside, you notice the details of the elegant foyer--parquet floor, crown moldings, and especially its grand stairway. To the left, the living room is also elegant with hardwood floors, built-in bookcases, and extra wide crown moldings. Its triple windows overlook both the front and back. But the wood-burning fireplace with its impressive surround is the room’s focal point. From the living room, a French door on either side of the fireplace leads to a sunroom surrounded on three sides by walls of multi-paned windows and more French doors.
While an archway off the foyer leads to the living room, a pocket door to the right opens to the formal dining room. The hardwood floor, crown moldings, and triple front windows mirror those in the living room. But the three leaded glass ribbon windows to the side make this a gracious space in which to dine. Beyond the dining room, the kitchen and a powder room with its unique swinging door complete the first floor.
While a smaller stairs connects the kitchen with the second floor, the crown jewel of the home is the grand stairway with its beautiful banisters. A large window on the stairway’s landing makes it a pleasant place to stop and view the back yard gardens. Four spacious bedrooms, each with its own closet, open from the upstairs hall. An enclosed porch off the first bedroom overlooks the back yard. A full bath, half bath, and linen closet complete the second floor. Another stairway leads to the third floor storage space.
More storage space and the laundry are located in the basement. The detached two-car garage complements the design of the house. True to C. J. Brown’s vision for the neighborhood, mature trees and flowering shrubs surround the home. Magnolia and dogwood grace the front yard while spring bulbs abound in the front and backyard flowerbeds.
While this classic Colonial Revival is surrounded by natural beauty, it is also close to city conveniences such as the shops and restaurants of North Winton Road. Several houses of worship are nearby, and the home is served by the Rochester City School District.
The 2,020 square foot home is listed at $189,500 with taxes of $6,023. For a tour, call Michael Lebowitz of Mitchell Pierson, Jr., Inc. at 721-4391.
Bonnie DeHollander is a Landmark Society volunteer.