Monday, April 1, 2013

Mirrored Dutch Colonial Homes Along Oak Avenue

Two interesting homes have graced Oak Avenue since 1920, but the origin of their design and site location still remains somewhat of a mystery in 2013.  The homes are mirrored plans.  In other words, if you pushed the houses together they could form a larger dwelling.  Furthermore, the original builder sited them at angle so that both structures faced a majestic oak tree. (still present in 2013)  Perhaps one clue to the unusual setting may be in the first occupant of 5733.  Walter T. Lents, a local architect, and his wife Clara lived in the home for nearly ten years.  Did Mr. Lents design the properties?  More research is still needed.  5729 sat vacant for two years after its construction.  Charles B. Davis, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Davis Coal Company on Ritter Avenue, was the first to call the twin structure home.  Tragedy struck the Lents family in 1930 when their only child, Mary, passed away.  The couple eventually resettled at 5247 Brookville Road.

By the 1940s and 1950s, Charles and Betty Vogt moved into 5733 and Edward and Madonna Hecker took up residence in 5729.  An examination of the historic photos of 5733 and contemporary images of the two houses reveal that both homes have been changed over the years.  5733 still hosts its original porch columns, but not the brackets along the lower roofline.  5729 does not appear to have the original porch columns, but does have the brackets.  A room has been added in the upper story of 5733 while 5729 still contains an original upper porch with lattice work.  5733 still has its clapboard siding visible, while 5729 is now sheathed in vinyl siding.  Both places no longer have the casement windows in the upper dormer.  Although the homes are in the Dutch Colonial Revival style, the dwellings also had front porches that remind one of a Japanese pergola.  The older photos, taken in the 1940s, certainly reveal what was popular in and on houses of the 1920s.

The Vogt Family dwelled at 5733 Oak Avenue throughout the 1940s and 1950s. This photo was taken in the winter of 1947.  

5733 Oak Avenue in the summer of 1947 or 1948.

New Bike!  Chuck Vogt received this beautiful new bike in 1947.  He would need it for his paper route delivery. (160 customers!) Behind the bike, you can see 5729 Oak Avenue.  The Heckers dwelled there in the late 1940s.  

5733 (left) and 5729 (right) Oak Avenue on March 30, 2013.

The top historic images show 5733 Oak Avenue in 1947 and 1948.  The third historic photo was taken of Chuck Vogt's first bike in 1947, but also shows a wonderful view of 5729 Oak Avenue.  The contemporary picture shows both homes on March 30, 2013. The historic images are courtesy of Chuck and Joyce Vogt.

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