8838 Crefeld Greylock Gatehouse

 
 The gatehouse of Henry A. Laughlin’s Greylock estate in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania is an example of Architect Wm. J. Carpenter’s (firm Carpenter & Crocker)* versatility.  The home which Mr. Carpenter designed for Mr. Laughlin is a massive 3-story 22- room English Tudor   style mansion ideally suited as a retirement home for one of the titans of the American steel industry at the beginning of the 20th century.  The gatehouse which he designed at the same time for the property is a modest 3-bedroom two-story residence which served its initial purpose well and now continues into the 21st century as a comfortable contemporary family home.

8838 Crefeld Avenue

  This building was an essential part of the estate when it was designed in 1909.  As the gatehouse at 8838 Crefeld Avenue it guarded the entrance to the estate at Crefeld Avenue at the end of Laughlin Lane for many years.  It was not included in the sale of the estate when the Sisters of Mary Immaculate purchased the mansion in 1947 for use as the Home of Divine Providence for senior citizens.  When the gatehouse was sold separately from the main house and garage the new owners of the mansion closed this approach up the hill to the main house and erected a massive stone wall.  Entrance to the mansion property thereafter was a  winding road from 209 W. Chestnut Hill Avenue.

 The gatehouse was sold again in 1987 to the present owners.  The picture above is from the real estate listing at the time, as is the following description:

 …charming gatehouse with magnificent gate and iron fence adjoins both park woods (Fairmount Park) and lawn which is used and cared for by gatehouse owners.

FIRST FLOOR:  Entrance hall, coast closet; living room with gas fireplace, lots of windows, bookshelves, flagstone terrace and potting shed; dining area; kitchen.

SECOND FLOOR: Master bedroom with master bath (tile, stall shower): two bedrooms, hall bath (tile, tub shower).

BASEMENT: Full, unfinished with laundry.  HEAT: Oil hot water.

CONSTRUCTION: Brick (note that this is different from the locally quarried stone used in the mansion & main garage).

ROOF: Slate.     GARAGE: 2 ½ detached.

 It was listed at an asking price of $295,000, more than the total cost of the estate in 1909.

 Three separate building permits were issued for the estate: one for the gatehouse and its detached garage, one for the main mansion, and one for the 4-car and apartment main garage. I gleaned this additional information from a “Philadelphia Buildings” website which quoted from the original Building Permit for the gatehouse: (Sorry, but this site      http://www.arch.state.pa.us/search-form.asp. has been incorporated with another and is no longer available except by subscription.)

 Chestnut Hill     client: Henry A. Laughlin

“A 2-story cross gambrelled brick dwelling erected as a gate lodge to 209 W. Chestnut Hill Avenue, “Greylock”, with tripart sash in the left ground floor opening, a 4-part sash in the second floor opening, and a gabled hood over the entrance.”

Lo Cal call 142.64    Date 1909

Building Permit 1909, Permit No. 4526, City of Philadelphia.

Architect: W. H (J.) Carpenter   Builder: A. Raymond Raft 

*The firm of Carpenter & Crocker is credited with the design of this estate, but the part Mr. Crocker played in the design and construction is unknown, as is his contribution to any of the other structures in the Pittsburgh area accredited to the firm circa 1900-1910.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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