If visitors entering the first floor condo at 127 East State Street, Doylestown, miss the significance of the massive verdigris moose head that looks west from the upper façade of the two-story brick edifice, they have another chance to puzzle it out in the flat’s study. There, the original fireplace still sports the pair of moose-shaped tiles created for it more than 100 years ago by Henry Mercer’s Moravian Pottery & Tile Works.
It was a desire to protect features like this moose façade and Mercer-tiled fireplace in the borough’s beloved 1913 former Moose Lodge that drew Ernst Brothers to this project: turning the 8,800-square-foot brick structure, part of the borough’s A. Oscar Martin-designed streetscape, into two luxury condominiums for discerning private owners.
In fact, finding ways to save original features or use them to inspire up-to-date elements informed the designers and builders every step of the way. Case in point: nearly all the new energy-efficient windows at the front of the building are a version of the original black iron casements, returning the façade to its 1913 look.
Once visitors step through the front door under the arched transom window (its etched serif “127” edged in fire-red stained glass), a finely crafted, sophisticated living space makes the most of its historic “bones” and exceptional materials, construction and interior design.
Dark-stained white oak boards floor most of the flat except where gray-veined marble in the bathrooms partner with a variety of wall tiles and matte slate enriches the spacious foyer. Of special interest is the light tiled floor of the laundry room: looking remarkably like old painted wood boards laid on an angle, the textured and weathered appearance lifts the pedestrian space into the extraordinary.
The heart of this home is the kitchen and family room. Not surprisingly, this is where the owners put a great deal of their creative energies as the renovations were completed to their specifications. Industrial-styled lighting fixtures hang above the charcoal granite island. Sleek wood cabinetry is finished in white or an antiqued treatment; commercial appliances point to the owners’ shared love of cooking.
The kitchen’s counter wall of windows looks out to the flat’s private garden space in the side yard. Double French doors off the family room lead to gracious seating on a bluestone patio surrounded by shade plantings: a peaceful sanctuary in the midst of busy borough life.