Not all Victorians are alike

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

In our area, especially in the town of Wayne proper as opposed to just the Wayne zip code, there are plenty of Victorian homes. The whole area was developed when Philadelphians were encouraged to purchase property outside of the city to escape the heat during the summer. The new train line, now known as The Main Line precipitated and helped this exodus from the city. Many of the new wealthy merchant class purchased land and built along the train line from Wynnewood, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Wayne, Devon to Paoli.

Whilst many of the homes used the same architects, like today, home designs used by builders are often from the same small number of designers and architects.

Last week as I was touring homes I came across one home that had a different architect to the norm. George Washington Maher, born on Christmas Day in 1864, he died September 12 1926. He blended Arts and Crafts motifs into the more traditional designs. He is well known in the Midwest but not so much in our area. His influence is compared to that of Frank Lloyd Wright's. His work showed creativity, freedom and originality and where as many homes were designed with separate rooms, his homes are known for their open flowing spaces.

I noticed the front door as I entered and from within the house it was delightful. There was lots of wood throughout the house and it was all gorgeous.But George Washington Maher developed what was called a Motif-Rhythm to create design unity in a building and its interior. He used a design over and over again, often a local flower, a geometric shape or a combination of the two. He believed these repetitive elements bound the design together. His use of Gothic arches throughout this home were evident.

gothic arch doors in Victorian

They were repeated here in these glass doors allowing the light to progress to the central hall. Most Wayne Victorians are not like this.

When buying a home be it in Tredyffrin Easttown or nearby townships knowing how the home was built and noticing these unique elements is what adds value to a home. Sometimes it is easy to overlook when you focus on spaces and size, but a house is a sum of all its elements including Motif-Rhythms as well.

Let us help guide you when buying your next home, contact Nick at, call office 610-225-7400 or cell 610-203-4543 for Tredyffrin Easttown Real Estate, Radnor or any nearby township.


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Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Giving you the confidence to make
the right decisions.

92 Lancaster Avenue
Devon , PA 19333
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
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If you are buying or selling on or around
Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line, 
we can help you, contact us.


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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Nick and Trudy,

With your background in the antique world I can understand your passion in Victorian homes.  I enjoyed reading the details that enchanted you such as the doors and their shapes.  It is amazing what details make people buy a home.  You are right about it being the"sum of all its elements".  I enjoyed your post.  A

Mar 27, 2017 07:36 AM #1
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

It is similar here where residents back then chose lots outside the city on a trolly line building grand victorian homes the whole length. I do love the style Nick & Trudy Vandekar 

Mar 27, 2017 07:40 AM #2
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Nick and Trudy, like with everything else, when buying a Victorian home, working with a real estate agent who understands and appreciates the characteristics is important. Thank you for sharing some great facts and lovely pictures of this Victorian home.

Mar 27, 2017 08:41 AM #3
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Love unique style of Homes Nick & Trudy Vandekar  it really adds character to a house . So nice to point this out to us .  I just noticed you almost are at your 500,000  post

Mar 27, 2017 09:21 AM #4
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Ron and Alexandra Seigel I often catch myself looking around the house rather thanat the house, especially in high end luxury homes. Often surprised how few antiques there are and how much junk peopleput in their homes.

Scott Godzyk generally I do, but like anything you can get bad Victorians as much as you can get charming Victorians.

Beth Atalay this is true we need to understand the homes we are selling.

Hannah Williams it is thise unique touches which transform a house into a home often. Yes, getting there and climbing that point board in PA and Chester County


Mar 27, 2017 09:45 AM #5
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Nick and Trudy - that is really some helpful information.  I don't Normally think of that style as Victorian. 

Mar 27, 2017 11:21 AM #6
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Grant Schneider it is a combination of Victorian and Arts and Crafts movement.

Mar 27, 2017 11:37 AM #7
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That is a beautiful front door and those interior doors are so unusual. What a conversation piece. 

Mar 27, 2017 07:41 PM #8
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nick & Trudy Vandekar - I'm not familiar with George Washington Maher, but I'm very familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright. I'm very glad you showed photographs of the motif you described. WOW! I'm impressed! I could get used to that style in a heartbeat! It's old, contemporary, stylish and as you say, a completely different style of a Victorian architecture. I absolutely, positively love it! I wonder if the concept ever took off in other states? I have never seen anything like it! It's very attractive and unique! 



Mar 27, 2017 09:07 PM #9
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nick & Trudy Vandekar - I just searched the Internet and found something very interesting that I hope will get Noah Seidenberg's attention. Like Noah, I'm very familiar with the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago and Oak Park, IL described from what I copied and pasted, as well as Northwestern, University. 

"Maher was a leading voice in the development of new architectural styles at the end of the 19th century. In addition to the many designs he contributed to the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, Maher designed the Pleasant Home in Oak Park (1897), as well as numerous institutional and commercial buildings, including institutional and commercial buildings such as the Patten Gymnasium (1908-09) and Swift Hall of Engineering (1909) at Northwestern University."

Nick, this is such a fascinating topic. You peaked my interest highly!!! It must have been fun and exciting for you to discover the George Washington Maher style Victorian on tour! I wish I could have been there too!


Mar 27, 2017 09:16 PM #10
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Nick & Trudy, this home does have unque architecture, and love the arches in the doors.   

Mar 28, 2017 06:11 AM #11
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Home sellers will be in very good hands when they select you as their listing agent.

Mar 29, 2017 07:51 AM #12
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

You got that right...

inside maine home

Apr 26, 2017 08:45 AM #13
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

My wife is a huge fan of the Victorian style of home, Nick & Trudy Vandekar .. so I will be sharing your wonderful post and pics with her.  Being from the Chicagoland area I'm going to have to do some homework and researching on George Washington Maher...  must be the ex-appraiser in me, but it sounds fascinating.  Thank you for sharing your experience and insights regarding this ..


Apr 26, 2017 09:54 AM #14
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Love old architecture and houses.  My office is a modified Queen Anne and we've found a couple of Eastlake hardware pieces.  This has let us to find more hardware to replace the more modern utilitarian knobs and such.   

It's been an education.

Apr 26, 2017 10:10 AM #15
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line



Debbie Reynolds sorry I missed your comment back when I posted this for some reason, they certainly caught my eye as being different.

Patricia Feager I missed these comments completely, please forgive me. Yes, he was very involved in design in Chicago. There are a lot of towns with the same names in Illinois as here and I am not sure if someone referred him to these builders/owners who were having the house designed or how he came to be used in this area outside of Philadelphia.

Joan Cox they are beautiful, I always like arched doors. I apologize for missing your comment back in March.

Roy Kelley thank you, I also apologize for missing your comment back in March, not sure what happened.

Apr 26, 2017 12:52 PM #16
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Andrew Mooers that is some balcony and window to the right.

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi I would love to know how they selected him to design this home in Philadelphia.

Mick Michaud in one of my other posts I mention Tim Coldren, he is a local antique dealer who sends locks and hardware all over the country. I posted an interview with him,you can find it here on YouTube or this one specifically on locks.

Apr 26, 2017 12:57 PM #17
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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