Masonry Marvel 

Circa-1920 Tudor Revival in Annesdale Snowden.

The builder here may have owned a stone yard or at least had a mason in the family. It's common to see rusticated stone used around the foundation, even up to the bottom of the ground-floor windows. It's also not unusual to see porch columns built of rough-cut stone. Those details were used on a variety of Arts and Crafts-style houses in the 1920s and '30s.

Here the same stone shows up as a hefty surround at all windows and doors — even on the second floor! A parapet dormer is fully clad in limestone, with a keystone centered above a pair of windows. This keystone detail — plus pointed arches cut into and mounted under the box beams around the porch roof — and the combination of rough stonework with brick on the exterior are all hallmarks of the Tudor Revival style.

Apparently still not satisfied, the masons installed a porch rail made of square-cut limestone balusters with a cast-concrete cap that aligns with a belt course that runs under the ground-floor windows. There's another belt course under the second-floor windows. The craftsmen were certainly showing off their skills here, and the wealth of detail is amazing.

The same effort and skills carry over to the interior. The trim in the living and dining rooms is local red gum, the best Memphis had to offer. It's also impressive that it has never suffered the indignity of a paint job. It's just too beautiful to paint! There are no Tudor touches inside; it's more classic Midtown with some Craftsman detailing in the living-room fireplace, the staircase's sawn-board balustrade, and the paneled wainscot capped by a plate rail in the dining room. The interior-trim carpenter must have felt inspired by all that exterior masonry work, and it shows.

Better-than-average finishes were used in several areas. The narrow oak flooring that is common throughout Midtown almost never shows up in the kitchen, where more economical yellow pine was commonplace; here it is oak. It's also remarkable that little renovation has been done here. You certainly aren't paying for anyone else's mistakes. The kitchen is the exception. Its 1970s tile countertops and glossy oak cabinetry are dated. A total renovation would help both the appearance and the function of this kitchen.

Delicate stained-glass windows ornament the staircase landing and the ground-floor powder room. Upstairs are three bedrooms, the largest running full-width across the front of the house. A rear, glassed-in room, probably a sleeping porch, is a perfect home office or guest room.

The full bath upstairs deserves a mention for its extra-long soaking tub and separate shower lined with luxuriously tall slabs of white Italian marble and furnished with a surface-mounted shower valve and over-sized rainfall shower head.

This wonderfully intact foursquare is a marvel, even today.

1245 Sledge

Approximately 2,160 sq. ft.

3 bedrooms, 1-1/2 baths $164,000

Realtor: Revid, 725-7766

Agent: Lindsay Proctor, 438-6002


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