Catasauqua Press

Friday, July 3, 2020

Catasauqua historic mansion, garden tour set for June 23

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

Historic Catasauqua Preservation Association’s historic mansion and garden tour will be held 1-5 p.m. June 23.

House tour tickets can be purchased in advance at Hartzell’s Pharmacy, 300 American St., or Blocker’s Coffeehouse, 309 Front St., or online at Tickets can also be reserved by calling 610-266-0255. Day-of tickets can be purchased at the Biery House, 8 Race St. Tickets are a few dollars less if purchased in advance.

The ticket provides a description of each home on the tour and a map. For more information, call 610-266-0255 or 610-264-9716.

The self-guided tour explores some of the beautiful mansions in Catasauqua’s historic district. The homes feature original architecture of various styles, including Queen Anne, Victorian, Georgian and Federal. The interiors feature original woodwork, Victorian paneling, impressive staircases, stained- and leaded-glass windows, ornate fireplaces, antique lighting and parquet flooring.

Catasauqua’s homes reflect the borough’s illustrious past as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The anthracite iron industry made Catasauqua one of the most prosperous towns in the United States in the early 20th century.

Mansions on the tour include:

Biery House, 8 Race St. — The Biery House serves as the home of HCPA. Tickets can be purchased here. Visit the museum of Catasauqua memorabilia and art gallery of homes, buildings and people. The house is Federal in style, built in 1826 and was originally the Biery House Tavern.

125 Front St. — This Victorian home, built in 1869, features a formal staircase and foyer lined with Lincrusta wall covering, beautiful stained-glass windows and a marble fireplace in the parlor. The entire house is accented with varying types of rich woods, from cherry pocket doors to oak molding and walnut paneling in the hallway.

128 Front St. — Circa 1850, the decorative front porch leads to a large parlor with parquet flooring and a stone fireplace. The kitchen features vintage kitchen cabinets.

145 Front St. — Circa 1859, this building is the original Heckenberger Drug Store. It still retains original counters and shelves that have been restored, along with the original floor. Attached is the home, which features the original staircase, woodwork, pocket doors and stained-glass windows.

616 Second St. — This Queen Anne Tudor-style home was built in 1875 by Oliver Williams, president of Bryden Horseshoe Works. The home features a large central hall with cherry wood wainscoting that rises to a third-floor stained-glass window skylight. There is Victorian paneling in the living room, parquet flooring and stained- and leaded-glass windows. The dining room also has Victorian paneling and stained-glass windows and leads to a solarium featuring a cathedral ceiling. The solarium leads to the patio and gardens.

543 Third St. — Circa 1865, the original house was built by David Thomas, father of the American anthracite industry, for his son Samuel. However, ownership was retained by David. The house remained in the Thomas family until 1921. A disastrous fire in 1940 changed the Victorian architecture into a more Georgian style. The house features a spacious parlor. The drawing room, library and paneled dining room open off the entrance hall. The home has been under renovation for the past three years.

521 Third St. — This Carpenter Gothic-style house was built in 1875. An elegant example of the late-19th-century architecture, the classic interior features 12-foot ceilings, deep moldings, curved walls, a bow window, exquisite woodwork and a stunning mahogany staircase.

548 Fourth St. — This 1885 Queen Anne home features various exterior contrasting materials. The first floor is stone, while the upper stories are a mix of scalloped wood shingles, decorative brackets, timbers and paneled wood. A wraparound front porch leads to an entry foyer with cut-glass doors, stained glass in the foyer, a fireplace with Mercer tiles in the parlor and an open hearth fireplace in the kitchen. There is a small back porch off the kitchen and an upstairs back porch overlooking a small pool or large fish pond.

Dery mansion, 520 Fifth St. — The Dery mansion was constructed in 1900 in a Georgian Revival style but was substantively enlarged between 1910 and 1917 to become a large, grand Classical Revival mansion with Beaux Art influences. In 1919, Desiderius George Dery was the largest individual silk manufacturer in the world, and his financial success from his silk mills was quickly reflected in his home. There are extensive limestone decorative details, double doors that open to a center hall with walls covered in marble, a marble fireplace and a magnificent 10-foot-by-10-foot Tiffany-style window at the top of the stairwell. A formal living room with a fireplace leads to a solarium. The formal dining room features wood paneling and leaded windows. The home is 25,000 square feet, has 55 rooms and includes an indoor swimming pool, a lounge with Moravian tile and leaded windows and a ballroom.

563 Howertown Road — This reserved Queen Anne-style house was built in 1894. Over the decades that followed, numerous changes altered both the interior and exterior of the home. Many original features of the home are the hardwood flooring and crown molding, original stained-glass windows in the foyer and staircase leading to the second floor. The adjacent living room features a corner fireplace with its elegant decorative lining and original tile. French doors lead to the dining room with an original bay window.

326 Bridge St. — This home was built in 1934 by H. Morley Holten of Bryden Horseshoe Works. One of the latest homes built in what is now the mansion historic district, and built coming out of the Depression, the home has little of the decorative wood trim of the earlier homes but shares their solid construction and gracious style. The home features a center hall staircase, mahogany floors, large living area with fireplace and an enclosed breezeway. Wander through the front and rear gardens, where a pond was recently uncovered.

231 Bridge St. — This beautiful Queen Anne brick mansion with a wraparound porch was built in 1900 by Oscar H. Stine, a lawyer and partner in Stine and Kramlich, wholesale liquor dealers. The interior of the home has been meticulously restored, including the original light fixtures. You enter the home through beautiful leaded-glass double doors to the center hall, which features a fireplace and staircase highlighted by a large stained-glass window going up to the second floor. Enjoy the original woodwork, parquet flooring and additional stained- and leaded-glass windows throughout. Featured throughout the home is a wonderful collection of Russian crystal.