Built in 1837, when Martin Van Buren was inaugurated as the 8th president of the United States, this cottage style home was likely built and occupied by a craftsman’s family who lived above the ground floor shop and served the wealthy surrounding neighborhood. The original architect and builder are unknown. Documented ownership dates back to Sarah and James Sabey who lived here from 1853 to 1868, succeeded by Elizabeth J. Loop until 1908. Nellie Loudes Philbrick, who resided here until 1948, extended the string of female owners of this home, uncommon during this period.
In 1989, prominent TV news reporter and R-News founder, Pete Dobrovitz, moved into this residence. Pete added an urban raised bed garden and patio in the backyard and cultivated a unique lilac bush grafted atop a cherry tree trunk in the front yard, all of which can be seen on the property today. Following Pete’s death and several years of vacancy, the current owners purchased the home in 2013, largely preserved in its historic state.
The exterior exhibits a whimsical mix of architectural styles including a three-bed gable facing the street, a raking cornice with dentils and broken pediment, a Gothic pointed attic window, and Italianate porch pillar posts. The interior features art and craftsmanship of the local community. Note the elegantly curved banister and staircase stringer, the original wide floorboards, and the many brass light fixtures dating back to the turn of the century. The house has recently been repainted to a vibrant blue that reaches back to the popular color palate of the mid 1800s.