Greenfields, Berks County, PA 1930’s
Many times when you think of a Tudor or manor styled home and picture wood timbers, stucco and brick cladding and steeply pitched roofs is envisioned. The home presented for sale, and referenced in this tale, was built in 1932 in the newly formed community of Greenfields, Bern Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was built in Tudor style but without the timbers and stucco.
The Berks County area is rich in limestone so it became the material of choice for this home. Even today, the limestone has a unique glimmer when the light bounces at just the right angle.
The location for an estate home of this quality was just right for the adjoining Berkshire Country Club and its championship 18 hole golf course which is still in operation to this day. At the time this home was being built the country club was just 30 years old. It was founded in 1899 and moved to its present location in 1902. Prior to 1902 it was located in Wyomissing, PA.
Some interesting facts about the day were that Reading, PA was a thriving town in the 1930’s. Even though the depression was taking its toll on America, Reading PA was growing. The census, which is taken every 10 years and started in 1790, showed that Reading, PA had 111,171 people living there. This is the most ever. Today, the population of Reading, PA is just over 88,000. Berks County, including Reading, PA, had a total population of 231,717 at that time. Things sure have changed.
It is a pleasure to see a homeowner who treasures the rich architectural tradition Berks County is known for. There are many special homes in the community and many stories to tell. The Greenfields area is just 5 minutes from the Reading Regional Airport and 10 minutes to the Berkshire Mall. Neither existed in 1932 but it was still avalued location to those with the wealth to reside there.
The present owner has upgraded the home to meet the standards of luxury living without blemishing the character of its past. They have put over $400,000 of additions and improvements into the property since 2008. Many of the improvements were upgrades to the homes mechanical systems. When I was taking photos of the home it was about 90 degrees outside and a steady 78 in the home. The owner noticed I was perspiring a bit. He asked if I would like it cooler in the home. I happily replied, yes. Within about 10 minutes I took back my wish. The temperature
dropped a cool 15 degrees and I thought the perspiration would start to freeze. Other improvements included the swimming pool, in-law quarters with a 4-car garage and even an elevator.
At one time in the homes history there was a servants quarters. There is still a system of buzzers throughout the home that are connected to what appear to be clocks on the wall. If someone presses the doorbell the hand goes to the #1 on the dial. If you are in the dining room and press the buzzer the hand goes to the #4 and so on. In this day of technology, smartphones and functional obsolescence, it is a pleasure to see a device that is still working properly since 1932.
Please review the great home photos and get more information by clicking HERE. They say volumes about this amazing early, mid-century manor estate!