Observatory Hill


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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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3200 Orleans Street

3200 Orleans Street

Home of Joseph Skoski and Lisel Virkler

Otto Greenawalt built this traditional California--style Craftsman bungalow sometime before 1920. From the street, this most prominent feature of the house is its sprawling front porch. All bungalows have large porches, but this one stands out: it is expansive and elegant, and it welcomes the visitor with open arms. The slate dining table and porch swing are perfect for dinner parties, everyday entertaining, and quiet retreats from the world at large.

Joseph and Lisel bought this attractive house in 2005 and contracted Diggins Construction to add a new Craftsman-style staircase in 2008. Perez Roofing added a new red metal roof in 2011; Perez also rebuilt the original porch roof and restored the Douglas fir woodwork to its original condition.

Inside, the owners have furnished their home with pieces from Stickley, Audi & Co. to complement the interior design. The original leaded glass doors in the living room were restored several years ago, and the adjoining dining room also features glass doors. The 1920s teak china cabinet is from Indonesia.

The kitchen underwent a restoration in 2006; it now features pine floors, a wall-hung porcelain sink, granite tile, and a marvelous Magic Chef oven from the 1940s. The master bath received similar treatment. Perma Ceram of Wexford restored the original cast-iron tub and subway tile. Be sure to take a look at the beautiful wall sconces! Both bedrooms on display feature surprisingly ample storage space and antique furnishings that befit this jewel of a Craftsman cottage. The owners are renovating two more bedrooms: one will bask in natural light from the front dormer, and one will welcome guests with a private bathroom.

Joseph and Lisel are looking forward to many more years in Observatory Hill and especially to the ongoing creative challenge and excitement of maintaining and improving their home.