Since the late 1600s there have been Cape Cod houses in America, spreading from Massachusetts, where they originated, across the country, achieving perhaps their greatest popularity after 1945, when new suburbs filled with the practical one-and-a-half story houses. Even today, when new 3000 square foot Capes seem far removed from their simple roots, they retain the public’s affection.
Near the Irondequoit border north of Ridge Road, on the corner of Clinton and Versailles Street, stands a charming example of the form. Built in 1930, this Cape has a few Craftsman touches on its exterior trim. The front door opens to a small tiled foyer with a large coat closet. The spacious living room has leaded glass and gumwood trim, a four-window bay, a fireplace with bookshelves, and on the opposite wall, a small alcove which could hold a computer or reading chair and lamp. The sunroom, presently an office, opens from the living room, and its original, leaded-glass door, never hung, is in the attic. The dining room, with its triple window, opens to the living room and the kitchen behind. The dining room could be opened to the kitchen by removing a small wall. The efficient little kitchen is charming, with its original cabinets. A small hall off the dining room leads to a spacious back bedroom, with a walk-in closet, the bathroom, with restored original features (note the huge porcelain shower head), a linen closet and the stairway.
As is characteristic of older Capes, the stairs are inconspicuous, tucked away to save space, rather than dominating the living area. Upstairs there is a spacious landing with a double window leading to a large bedroom, and an equally large attic space, which could be turned into additional living space. The bedroom has built-in bookcases to flank the bed and, opposite, an alcove with mirror, lamps and a built-in double vanity. The big walk-in closet has the same lovely hardwood that is hidden by carpet in the rest of the house. This hardwood, and the gumwood trim throughout the house, as well as all the leaded glass, are features that set this house apart from simpler Capes, and the air conditioning and air filtering system keep the whole house (even the sun porch) comfortable in the sultriest 90 degree weather.
The basement has elaborate shelving, cupboards, and workbenches, even a pull-down ironing board in the bright laundry area. It is dry, snug, and very spacious. The whole house seems larger than its 1318 square feet. The practical design, with no wasted space, makes for a smooth flow throughout. There are Japanese maples in front, a big lilac in the side yard, and a shade tree in back. The newly redone concrete driveway has ample parking for several vehicles, and there is a one-car detached garage.
Situated in a quiet residential neighborhood near the expressway, shopping, and Seneca Park Zoo, this charming and practical house is available for $69,900 with taxes of $2964. Call Bill Fleming of RE/MAX at 585-241-0111 to visit 1932 Clinton Avenue North.
by Barbara Parks
Barbara Parks is a city resident who lives in a Cape Cod house.