Historic Washington Park • Meridian~Kessler
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August 12th, 2015
Harry Hartley House

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4051 Washington Boulevard, French Chateau, 1925

The home that William Russ designed for Harry Hartley and his family is unique in the Washington Park Historic District. According to Mary Katherine Wilde, Hartley’s niece, Hartley and his wife sent the architect to study Josephine Bonaparte’s Chateau de Malmaison in order to design a similar home for the family. The red brick house is designed with a central block with narrow hyphens that connect balancing wings set perpendicular to it, thus forming a U-shape at the front and back of the house. Brick terraces at the front and back fill this area. The central portion of the house is one-and-a-half stories and four bays across. On the first story, on both the east and west façades, each bay is filled with shuttered French doors. These lead to the large living room that fills the first floor of the main block. Above, both front and back, are four hip roof dormers with large casement windows set in an extremely steep hip roof. Due to the steepness of the pitch, the large second floor master bedroom is nearly as large as the living room below. Higher in the roof are two small dormers with windows that are centered in each half of the roof. The perpendicular wings each have a shuttered casement window centered in the first floor façade and a dormer with casement above. The entry to the home is in the northern wing off the drive and is a simple doorway centered in the façade. The first floor of this wing originally contained a library to the front, entrance hall and garage to the back. Upstairs was a bath and the bedroom for Hartley’s daughter and a small nanny’s room. The south wing housed the dining room and kitchen on the first floor and the maid’s room, bath and the master bath and closet on the second.

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