Altepec Hill – Charch Estate: Architect Alden B. Dow
This 6500 square foot home was designed by Alden B. Dow for a cousin, Dr. William Hale Charch and his wife Ruth. Completed in 1950, the home originally sat on over 80 acres of land and incorporated the salvageable walls of a stone farmhouse and barn which had succumbed to fire. Much of the stone utilized in the home’s construction was quarried on the site. Now on 8 acres, the property still features three ponds and beautiful sweeping views of the Brandywine Valley, but now also includes an in-ground swimming pool. The bulk of the home’s layout is original, exceptions being the 2-car garage having been converted to an apartment for Dr. Charch’s sister in the early 1950s, and the central outdoor terrace being converted to an indoor space in the 1990s. The majority of the distinctive Dow casework in the home is intact, although the most of the colored linoleum top finishes on the casework have been replaced with more contemporary materials. The current owners have owned the home since 2004 and have undertaken upgrades to roofing, lighting, and HVAC systems, in addition to performing period-sensitive renovations of the kitchen and master bath.