Skip to content
Narberth Addresses

209 N. Wynnewood Avenue†

Lakeview Apartments

Google streetview closest to the address location

Timeline

1889Built by (source: Philadelphia Builders' Guide, 9/11/1889)
1920 Address changed from 205 N. Wynnewood Ave.2430
1937 Address changed from 25 N. Wynnewood Ave.2429
1961 Building no longer standing†

Years may be approximate. Where do we get these years?

The Fuller mansion, now in course of erection, together with lodge keeper's house, stable, etc., will cost about $70,000. A lake or body of water, 550 feet long by 150 feet wide, with an island, rustic bridge, spring house, etc., are to be constructed. —Philadelphia Builders' Guide, 9/11/1889

"George Goodman, architect for MacNamee & Bethel, is preparing for a fine residence, stable and porter's lodge to be erected, at Narberth Park, by Mrs. Fuller, a Pittsburg lady of large means." —Philadelphia Builders' Guide, 6/11/1889

drawing of a large three-story stone house with a rounded porch and turret
Philadelphia Inquirer August 19, 1889

A Pittsburg lady of large means

Margaretta T. Fuller, identified by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a sister of Andrew Carnegie,[1] had purchased in Narberth Park 20 lots (5 acres) for "a handsome country house". In a September update on her project, the Builders' Guide added, "a lake or body of water, 550 feet long by 150 feet wide, with an island, rustic bridge, spring house, etc., are to be constructed."

Crystal Lake

This would be a large lake, indeed, of 1.9 acres. A month earlier, the Philadelphia Inquirer had also mentioned a lake in a brief account of Narberth Park: "In the park a lake is being constructed 50 feet wide and 700 feet long, in the centre of which will be an island 26 by 60 feet, containing a rustic bower house. The lake will cost over $10,000, and is to be stocked with swans. There will be an asphalt drive around it and the island will be reached by rustic bridges and gondolas."

A portrait yet more fulsome gushed forth from the Philadelphia Record on May 3, 1890, page 3:

Continuing down Windsor Avenue we are surprised and delighted to find a beautiful large lake that surrounds an island, with a pretty bridge leading thereto. We are informed that the name of the lake is Crystal, on account of it being pure spring water. But hark! What is that? Looking to the south we behold a beautiful fall of water, which sparkles in the sun like a million diamonds as it splashes against the rocks and continues down the book between the well-kept banks that look like rows of dark green velvet. Looking to the northwest we see the picturesque residence of Mrs. M. T. Fuller. It is built on 20 Lots, on the top of the hill to the right of the lake adjoining the residence of Mr. Henry C. Gibson.

The swans! The gondolas! The rustic bower! The million sparkling diamonds! Surely, both descriptions of this Main Line Xanadu refer to the same lake, featured in advertising since June 1889. Even the smaller version (a mere 0.8 acres) would have stretched half the length of today's Narbrook Park, from Windsor Avenue to the horeshoe at #21 Narbrook.

And yet, no lake appears on any local property atlas north of the railroad until 1919. Crystal Lake must have been short-lived, at most 1889-1896. It had disappeared by the publication of A. H. Mueller's 1896 property atlas.

Court-Hey

The property was purchased in 1899 by liquor dealer Edward T. Maguire who re-named it "Court-Hey".[2] According to Victoria Donohoe, it was considered for the site of St. Margaret's Church in 1901, but was not available. Edward, Sr. died in 1905 and his children sold the property in 1909.[3]

Neither the Fullers nor the Maguires were ever counted in the census as Narberth residents; both maintained city homes and considered Narberth a "country house". In 1909 publisher James and Elizabeth Artman were the first to make it their principle abode. They reestablished a lake, much more modest than Crystal Lake at ¼ acre, with an island, rustic bridge and shelter. They expanded the house's attic into a full third floor, into the building that is pictured below. Artman also subscribed to the Narbrook Park project, successfully acquiring in the 1915 drawing three lots adjacent to his property.[4]

Skating on the Lakeview's pond in the 1940s or '50s. Courtesy Ted Goldsborough

The Lakeview

1938 beer canIn 1923 Artman and his partners sold Chilton Publishing, and Artman retired. George Esslinger, grandson snd namesake of the founder of Esslinger Beer (1868-1980), acquired the estate in 1924 and converted it into the swanky Lakeview Apartments in 1925. The pond and its hill became a sledding and skating attraction for local youngsters; it attracted wildlife, too, as the years went by and the lake silted up. Victoria Donohoe recalled the noise complaint by a neighbor demanding the borough "do something about the frogs!"

1925 newspaper ad for the Lakeview apartments
Philadelphia Inquirer March 22, 1925, page 3
Transcription

The Lakeview

An Exclusive Modern Apartment

Wynnewood, Wynnewood Ave. & Winsor[sic] Road

THE ideal setting for those who enjoy the comforts of the city with suburban surroundings. A home for the man who appreciates the beauty of nature. THE LAKEVIEW is situated on top of a hill amid 4 acres of picturesque wooded lawns with winding paths whose natural beauty cannot be surpassed. Main Line of P. R. R. 19 minutes from Broad St. Station, 5 minutes from Narberth and Wynnewood stations.

FEATURING

  • Janitor Service
  • Refrigeration
  • Private Laundry
  • Garage Free
  • Maids' Quarters
  • Fireplace
  • Private Lockers
  • Tennis Court

Apartments of 3 Rooms with One Bath, to 8 Rooms with 3 Baths

There are only Six Apartments

$125 to $250 PER MONTH

AGENT ON PREMISES NARBERTH 2251

Narberth Memories

My Dad lived there until '40 when he returned from Portugal with his new French bride. I found an advert for the apt, with "maids quarters" and fire places. Pretty swanky digs. Elizabeth J. Artman, scion of one of the families who started Chilton Publishing, owned it up to at least 1919. It was converted to apt in 1925.

—Christophe Dean

"Artman's", known later as "Uffner's", was a single family home back in the early part of the 20th century. It must have been a coal/oil burning beast. By the time the Jordans moved into the Park in the early '40s, the house had been broken up into four apartments on the first and second floors with servants quarters/extra bedrooms located on the third floor. I spent a lot of time at the Taber's home with Steve. Their apartment was on the ground floor towards Wynnwood Road. It had a large shared basement suitable for all kinds of activities the most productive of which was a basement darkroom in which we developed and printed photos. Less productive but still entertaining were long after school sessions of Canasta and Samba that included George Redpath.

Jim Jordan

The 1950s were not kind to the Lakeview. A fire destroyed the stable/garage. Trees felled during Hurricane Hazel did extensisve damage, not all of which was repaired. Occupancy dwindled.

The aftermath of Hurricane Hazel, October 16, 1954

In 1956 I was delivering the Evening Bulletin newspaper to one or two renters in Lakeview Apts, so it was occupied then.

Some years after that the separate stable/garage burned down late one evening. It was dark and the blaze was spectacular against the night sky. Apparently kids had been smoking in the loft earlier and had left behind something that was smoldering.

—Dick Slama 6/22/2022

There was a lot of tree damage not only to the house itself, but many large trees came down on the property from Hurricane Hazel. The damage to the main house was such that I don't think the owners thought it was worth repairing. The trees against the structure were removed, but the broken windows and structural damage was not repaired.

Slowly, year after year, maintenance was declining. Eventually, the late 1950's, I believe, one single woman was renting. She had a baby. I heard rumors she was a prostitute. She used to buy gasoline at O'Bryan's Mobil Service on Forrest at Haverford Aves. where I worked in those days, even up to 1966. She had a baby in the car. She had very little money for gas, for example about 50 cents. Once she needed oil but didn't have the money to buy it.

Henry, I believe that was the African American's name, who lived in West Phila., was the "custodian" of the main house. He and his teenage sons tore down the structure about 1960.

The house was vacant for several years.

—Ted Goldsborough 6/22/2022

Raphael Uffner, the Lakeview's last owner, in 1961 began selling off lots to develop Narwyn Lane, and the lake disappeared for the last time into a culvert that empties into Indian Creek in Narbrook Park. With it went the frogs and skaters.

The Fuller/Maguire/Artman/Lakeview parcel was from 1889 one of the largest in the borough.[5] By the time of its subdivision, it remained the second largest private property in Narberth, exceeded only by Albrecht's Nursery at Meeting House & Montgomery.

service road
Narbrook service road Ted Goldsborough
house
The Lakeview
stable
The garage
wooden gazebo in disrepair, roof falling in
The rustic gazebo and bridge, 1951
The lake at the Lakeview, 1950s
wooden gazebo in disrepair, roof falling in

References

  1. Well, sort of… Margaretta Fuller's sister, Lucy Coleman, married Carnegie's bother Thomas, so Margaretta was Andrew Carnegie's sister-in-law's sister. By some reckonings, this made her was Andrew's "co-sister-in-law", by others, no relative at all. Thomas Carnegie had died in 1886, further diminishing any family tie.
  2. Court Hey may refer to the 19th-century estate outside Liverpool, England, owned by Robertson Gladstone. Its connection to Maguire is unclear.
  3. "Mrs. E. T. Maguire Court Hey" appears at 210 N. Essex in the 1908 property atlas. By then that would be Mrs. Edward T. Maguire, Jr.
  4. Artman bought #5, 7 and 9. #7 and 9 were later combined as #9.
  5. The 1900 map labels it 5 acres, the same as the T. B. Belfield property, which begat Montgomery Court apartments, Barrie Road and the Methodist church development.

U. S. Census

Census Name Relation Age Own Race Marital Birthplace Business Trade Note
1910James ArtmanHead43OwnWhiteMarriedPennsylvaniaPublishing Co.Proprietor
Elizabeth J ArtmanWife38WhiteMarriedPennsylvania
Franklin C ArtmanSon17WhiteSingleNew Jersey
Vera M ArtmanDaughter16WhiteSingleNew Jersey
Alvin C ArtmanSon14WhiteSingleNew Jersey
Marian ArtmanDaughter9WhiteSinglePennsylvania
James M ArtmanSon7WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Theodore R ArtmanSon3WhiteSingleNew Jersey
Maud WilliamsServant20WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaPrivate familyServant
Joseph HudnowCoachman35BlackSingleVirginiaPrivate familyCoachman
Laura McCulloughServant36WhiteWidowedPennsylvaniaPrivate familyServant
Ellen P GilbertGoverness52WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaPrivate familyGoverness
1920James ArtmanHead53OwnWhiteMarriedPennsylvaniaPublishing HouseOwner
Elizabeth J ArtmanWife47WhiteMarriedPennsylvania
Franklin C ArtmanSon27WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaHouseCarpenter
Vera M ArtmanDaughter25WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Alvin C ArtmanSon23WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaAutomobilesLather
Marian ArtmanDaughter19WhiteSinglePennsylvania
James M ArtmanSon18WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Theodore R ArtmanSon13WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Florence CartrightServant20WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaPrivate familyServant
Lillian L CartrightServant16WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaPrivate familyServant
Mary VanwhyServant19WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaPrivate familyServant
Joseph McCormickHead35RentWhiteMarriedNew YorkPrivate familyGardeneraddress: 25 Rear
Nora McCormickWife28WhiteMarriedIreland
Mary McCormickDaughter0WhiteSinglePennsylvania
1930Joseph W BordenHead33RentWhiteMarriedPennsylvaniaheating & plumbingengineerLakeview Apts.
Kathryn BordenWife27WhiteMarriedPennsylvania
Joseph W Borden Jr.Son3WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Joan BordenDaughter1WhiteSinglePennsylvania
E Robert RiterHead46RentWhiteMarriedNew Yorkpaving co.secretaryLakeview Apts.
Gertrude RiterWife42WhiteMarriedPennsylvania
Mary HoffmannServant18WhiteSinglePennsylvania
E Robert Riter Jr.Son16WhiteSinglePennsylvaniaprivate familymaid
Robert G BennettHead48RentWhiteMarriedEnglandsteam railroadmechanical engineerLakeview Apts.
Amy M BennettWife43WhiteMarriedNew York
Robert G Bennett Jr.Son19WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Harry E BennettSon14WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Jane A BennettDaughter5WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Nora A CosgroveServant21WhiteSingleIrish Free Stateprivate familyhousekeeper
Lilie C EsslingerHead56RentWhiteWidowedPennsylvaniaLakeview Apts.
George F EsslingerSon30WhiteSinglePennsylvaniasoft coalbroker
Russell Conwell RobinsHead30RentWhiteMarriedPennsylvaniafurniture (retail)presidentLakeview Apts.
Analine RobinsWife30WhiteMarriedPennsylvaniafurniture (retail)vice president
George H BatchelderHead31RentWhiteMarriedNew Hampshireretail paperpresidentLakeview Apts.
Louise B BatchelderWife31WhiteMarriedNew Hampshire
Max Robert Redlich Head33RentWhiteMarriedGermanyapartmentjanitorLakeview Apts.
Margot Redlich Wife34WhiteMarriedGermany
1940Samuel H Grench Head38RentWhiteMarriedPennsylvaniaIce FactoryIce Salesman#A1
Roslind Grench Wife37WhiteMarriedPennsylvania
Samuel Grench Son0WhiteSinglePennsylvania
Robert G BennettHead56RentWhiteMarriedEnglandSteam RailroadGen'l Supt.#B1
Kathryn Bennett Wife39WhiteMarriedNew York
Jane A BennettDaughter15WhiteSinglePennsylvania
George F EsslingerHead40OwnWhiteMarriedPennsylvaniaGlass BottlesSalesman#B2
Alice Esslinger Wife30WhiteMarriedNew Jersey
Lynda Esslinger Daughter2WhiteSinglePennsylvania
William Pierson Head60RentWhiteMarriedOhioMedical CollegeDean & Professor#C2
Mary Pierson Wife58WhiteMarriedOhio
Max Robert Redlich Head43RentWhiteMarriedGermanyIn Apt. HouseCare Taker#C3
Margot Redlich Wife50WhiteMarriedGermany

No census records found 1900 - 1940.

Other resident listings

Joseph J ReinNarberth Roll of Honor

Views of Narberth Past

Lakeview Apartments, 209 N. Wynnewood Avenue appears in: