THERE is no doubt in most Port Elizabethan’s minds that this is a great city to live in. It may be getting more and more fast-paced but, more or less, it keeps up with modern trends including open-plan living, be it at work or at home.
But back in 1925 things were vastly different. Back then, life was much slower and the living was, in certain parts of the city anyway, gracious and elegant.
In those days the fledgling village of Walmer was still spreading its wings – and was so removed from the central part of PE that it was awarded separate municipal status.
As the years went by, the area’s spacious residential plots and attractive dwellings attracted both families with young children and the elderly, the elderly in particular perhaps relishing a chance to return to an era of genteel elegance.
The 1920s were the days when children had playrooms or nurseries, the days of grand rooms with wood-beamed ceilings, large fireplaces and sturdy wooden doors which could make each room into an island surrounded by a sea of interlinking corridors. Alternately, during the hot summer months, these doors could be left open to create an illusion of the openness which has become a modern trend.
One such home rose on a large 4700m² in Prospect Road and, while modern touches have been added by the various owners over the years, this is a house which stays true to its roots, from the sweeping, elegant driveway to its many attractive rooms.
Built in 1925 it remains true to its roots in that the original wooden doors, from the impressive stable door type front door, to doors of the interior rooms are still in place, as are the wooden floors. There’s cottage-pane windows which allow in plenty of light, while still maintaining the traditional feel throughout the slate-roofed house. And, while this house may not follow the open-plan trend, there is a beautiful flow from one room to the next.
To the right of the impressive entrance hall there is the master suite, a large and spacious affair with an adequate en-suite – adequate in that the current owners were planning to upgrade it before they took the decision to move.
There’s also two children’s bedrooms each with another touch of that bygone era: corner washstands for washing the face and brushing the teeth before snuggling down in bed.
The children’s bedrooms are serviced by a recently revamped family bathroom, with modern bath and shower and separate guest loo.
None of the bedrooms feature built-in cupboards, with the traditional feel being maintained with the use of free-standing wardrobes which complement the house so well that they are regarded as part of the fittings, as are the period chandeliers which are features of many of the rooms.
At the end of this wing of the house there’s a spacious family/TV room with French windows which open out onto that modern concession – a covered patio with a built-in braai.
The family room also overlooks the large pool and garden with space enough to keep a couple of ponies should the owners so desire.
Linking the right wing with the left wing there’s a massive lounge complete with working fireplace and a formal dining room where, in days not so distant, the gentlemen wore ties to dinner.
Leading off from the farm-style kitchen with separate scullery a passageway leads to another bedroom which overlooks the front garden and a bathroom with shower, sink and loo.
There’s also a charming children’s playroom, a children’s TV nook and a spacious office.
Back in the kitchen, a wooden staircase leads to a loft room which has a modern twist: the room was created with a teenager in mind.
There’s a comfortable study nook, a TV area and a separate bedroom with built-in cupboards.
Completing the loft room accommodation is a stunning modern bathroom with free-standing bath and shower. There’s also a skylight to ensure that the room is bright and airy.
Completing the overall accommodation there’s a maid’s room plus bath, three garages and a large boat garage.
The house, Pinecroft, in Prospect Road, is on the market with Solomons Crafford and the asking price is R4 200 000.