During a years-long career as a homebuilder and developer, Bob Mathews kept a file of all his favorite features in Homearama homes he’d seen. When he and his wife, Mary Anne, were preparing to build this Delhi Township home for their family of eight in 1989, Mathews pulled out the file and passed it on to his architect, Lon Purcell.
The details he was looking to replicate were nothing over-the-top; the Mathewses just wanted classic touches, like a gently curved main staircase, marble floors, a double-doored vestibule (called an “airlock”) at the front entry, a wood box-beam ceiling and double-sided fireplace in the family room, and a serene first-floor master suite with a private deck overlooking the wooded lot (a spot that must have served as a calming retreat when the couple’s six children were growing up). Purcell gave them all that and more; the end result is a charming, classic, and very livable family home that has served the couple well into their empty-nest years.
A little bit about Delhi itself: The township was settled in 1789 as an agricultural community. Home to vineyards in the mid-1800s and dairy and vegetable farms after that, Delhi was perhaps best known for its many flower-producing greenhouses in the late 1800s through early 1940s, earning it the nickname The Floral Paradise of Ohio. Post World War II, though, international growers began undercutting local flower prices, so developers swooped in, bought the farmland and began morphing it into space for housing tracts and businesses. By the time the Mathews family bought this property on roughly six and a half acres of land (now built out with nine neighboring home sites), Delhi had been a full-blown suburb for decades.
At press time, the home was under contract. The new owner will certainly appreciate practical perks like first and second floor laundry rooms and window seats that double as built-in cedar chests. They’ll also get a kick out of fun extras, too, like a custom bar in the basement and a parquet dance floor not far from that…proving that even Homearama-inspired homes can let loose every once in a while, too.