Among the first offerings by the Radford Architectural Company, Design No. 509 appeared in the company’s debut publication, “The Radford American homes : 100 house plans”, in 1903. Later marketed as Design No. 1509, the design was offered for many years and was quite popular.

A reader in North Dakota shares photos of his customized variant of this design; it differs from the published version in that the upper half-story is a few feet taller — making it closer to a full second story (with fewer areas of sloping ceilings). There are also a few subtle exterior differences — including an open gable on the front porch — but the house is otherwise essentially as designed by Radford. The sepia-toned image above shows this house shortly after construction.

When purchased several years ago, the house was quite overgrown and neglected. The homeowners are making great progress in returning the house to its previous condition. To better appreciate the subtle difference in the North Dakota house from that of others, we’ll first take a look at two other example of the 1509 which have the shorter second story:

The No. 1509, built as designed. Oakley, Kansas.

The No. 1509, built in reverse. Oberlin, Kansas.

The plan as first published by Radford. Note the short distance between the porch roof and the main roof of the house compared to the house in the following photo:

The raised main roof allowed for the insertion of a small window (seen covered in this image) as well as more generous interior wall heights.

This is what the exterior looked like when the house was purchased!

The beautiful stairwell has evaded the paint brush for over a century.

The dining room’s bay window is a nice attribute.

The substantial built-in buffet, while not shown on the published plan, is similar to one I have seen in another example of this house.

Another difference from the published plan is the inclusion of pocket doors. The plan calls for a pair of hinged doors.

Exterior restoration in progress!

The open gable of the porch casts an interesting shadow on the front door. The presence of the gable and the squared corner of the porch also differ from the published plan.

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