Landmark Victorian Mansion for Sale - Very Reasonable Feb 29, 2020 15:59:16 GMT -5 mintjulep likes this
Post by Graveyardbride on Feb 29, 2020 15:59:16 GMT -5
Landmark Victorian Mansion for Sale - Very Reasonable
The Dobler Mansion, a 126-year-old landmark on 2.5 acres in Girard (Fairview), Pennsylvania, is in foreclosure and was set for a sheriff’s sale Friday, February 21. However, the sale was canceled and has now been rescheduled for a date and time to be announced. PNC Bank foreclosed on the property at 8340 West Ridge Road after the owners defaulted on their mortgage payments – the total amount owed is $131,947.57.
The 18-room, 5,607-square-foot structure with its steep hipped roof and polygonal tower combines two Victorian styles, Queen Anne and Chateauesque. The façade is generally symmetrical with identical gables, east and west verandas and a porte cochere. The old home also features stained glass windows, glazed fireplace tiles, vintage lighting fixtures and woodwork of mahogany, oak, cherry and white ash.
Albert Frederick Dobler (born Frederick Albert Fink), the rich New York brewer who built the dwelling as a summer home in 1894, was born in Germany in 1844. At the age of 4, he immigrated to America with his parents and five years later, was adopted by his rich uncle, John Dobler, a wealthy brewer. By the age of 21, young Albert was managing his uncle’s brewery.
Dobler purchased the property – which once encompassed 300 acres – from the Daggett family. He demanded the very best for himself, his wife, Emma Mott of Fairview, and their adult children, John and Emma. Accordingly, no expense was spared in the construction of his elaborate residence, which was designed by Ernest Hoffman of Albany, N.Y.
The house, which many considered much too large for a family of four, consisted of a huge hall (above) finished in oak from which a massive stairway led to the upper floors. Off the hall was a reception room and parlor so elegant a news reporter of the day remarked that it made an ordinary man “feel anything but comfortable.” The dining room was finished in oak and the woodwork in the pantry and kitchen was of white ash. Dobler’s office was also located on the main floor. A first-floor lavatory, finished in cherry, was outfitted with a porcelain tub and silver trimmings, and to the rear of the kitchen were a servants’ washroom and ice house.
Upstairs, Mr. and Mrs. Dobler’s bedroom was finished in mahogany and the furniture was of rosewood. The woodwork in John’s chamber was also mahogany. The woodwork in Emma’s room was of oak, as was that in a fourth bedroom and two smaller servants’ rooms.
At one time, resplendent frescoes adorned the rooms, both upstairs and down. The frescoing in Dobler’s office featured two cherubs holding the emblems of the four seasons. That in the master bedroom was of wheat and barley in gold, surrounded by morning glories and vines with a border of pansies tied with little bows.
Even the attic floor was complete and in addition to the usual trunk room, there was a sewing room, where skilled seamstresses created and fitted the dresses and gowns worn by Mrs. Dobler and Emma. A billiard table occupied another large space on the third floor. Underneath the sprawling structure there lay a full cellar partitioned into spaces that included, among other things, laundry facilities and a fruit room. The home was also equipped with gaslights, hot and cold running water, an elevator and electric bells.
The house (above) was exceptional for the late Victorian era and the floor plan was such that no part of the dwelling was deprived of sunlight.
The Dobler family retained the property until 1917 when it was sold to the Erie County Poor Board. A poor house was constructed on the site and the manager and his family occupied the mansion. The old home later housed tuberculosis patients, after which it was turned into a residence for nurses. It then became a part of the Erie County Home, which was renamed the Erie County Geriatric Center in 1973 and Pleasant Ridge Manor in 1990. Afterwards, the dwelling fell into disrepair and the Northwest Jaycees began utilizing it as the Halloween Haunted House – so far as is known, the Dobler Mansion isn’t haunted.
Paula and Brian Lughlin purchased the property in the early 1990s and were in the processing restoring the mansion when Brian Lauglin died.
Charles M. and Jennifer Dworek paid $135,000 for the structure in 2000. “This looks like a very good project,” Jennifer Dworek said in an interview in July 2002. Although much of the interior had been restored, there was still a lot of work to be done. “It needs a lot of exterior renovation at this point,” she added.
For the past two years, the Dworeks have been attempting to sell the Dobler house.
Sources: Ed Palattella, GoErie.com, February 21, 2020; realtor.com; Fairview Area Historical Society, August 7, 2018; Preservation Erie; and Cosmopolite, July 18, 1984.