Popular author Joseph Hergesheimer's account of the rehabilitation of an eighteenth-century tenant farm house, From an Old House (1926), begins ominously, “It was a year ago, I had begun to write, that only the four stone walls of the Dower House were standing, but time is treacherous and it has been two years since then.” He continues, “We had started a process which it was not in our character to stop. That, however, didn't bother the architect [Okie]: he listened to the tale of what I liked and demanded with a growing and unconcealed pleasure. My passion for detail was his.” From hand-hewn timbers to handwrought nails, the house grew to a historic character it never before had guided by Okie's “singleness of allegiance to the past in Pennsylvania” that characterizes so much of the nostalgia of the Philadelphia suburbs before World War II.
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“Dower House,” Hoopes-Hergesheimer House
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