The Linden House, Marietta PA:
In 1983 I purchased the Linden House in Marietta, PA. Built ca. 1805 by lumber magnate Henry Cassel, the 6,000 SF mansion had fallen on hard times. After being unceremoniously chopped up into ten low rent apartments, the roof had been burned off and the house condemned. The mansion had 606 window panes (yes, I counted them), most of which were broken. It also had three center halls, fifteen fireplaces including a walk-in fireplace in the summer kitchen, and an ornate fanlight over the front door.
Linden House Antiques was just one of the plans I had for the Linden House. I envisioned an antique dealer cooperative. My ultimate plan was to restore the mansion and live there in historic Marietta PA, but my ex-wife could not be convinced to give up her modern home and live across the street from an industrial plant which blocked the original Susquehanna River view.
I loved that house. I could picture the fabulous parties that must have been given in the early days, with those beautiful center halls and stairway, and the linden trees for which it was named, that lined a walk all the way down to the river. I always felt that I was entering another century when I went into the back kitchen door of the house, with the walk-in fireplace. As soon as the door closed, all the modern traffic noise went away, and there was a certain serenity inside. I actually felt like I was communicating with the original builders as I uncovered their original materials.
Another corporation I started was Linden Realty, which I would have headquartered there. Unfortunately, I ran out of money after I had gotten the house back to its original configuration, removed 110 tons of debris out of it, saved it from condemnation, and made it weathertight again. I had to sell it at a loss in 1985 before I could start the actual restoration, after all the work I put into it. The mansion was subsequently allowed to deteriorate again.
Recently the present owner, who purchased the house in 2004, found me on Localism.com and contacted me! He was looking for early photographs of the house as he continues the restoration. I will have to look in my archives, because I too had searched for early photographs so I could do an accurate restoration. I also took many photos of the Linden House before and during my work on it. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress he has made. Don't ever believe that no one will see you on Localism.com!
Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA. To learn more, visit http://www.FindLancasterHomes.com/
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