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:
That is a nice looking place! Seems like they are making good progress. The before “jungle” shows they had some fortitude!
This house clearly got lucky! Few potential buyers would have been able to see the potential — or have the guts to make it happen!
I know this house! Well, at least this model. I had a friend who rented a room in this design in California back in the 80s (it was a shared rental). I remember the floor plan, she had the upstairs bedroom to the left of the bathroom. I remember it not being a very fancy house, but it had a lot of charm. I was mostly intact which of course was why I remember it so well. Of course, now I don’t remember what street it was on, or know if it is still around. 🤪
Thanks for bringing back some good memories.
Fun! It just goes to show how immensely popular this particular design was! My impression of the interiors tallies with yours; not overly fancy but very memorable and charming. The second floor of the original design is filled with interesting nooks and crannies of all sorts; the sloping ceilings contributed immensely to the sense of overall charm and coziness. No one will remember the interiors of houses built after 1980… especially not decades after visiting them!
This house has so much charm and character. I love an old house with lots of “nooks and crannies” and interesting features. It feels like a home. I think one of these went up for sale last year in a town near mine; I remember the curved prorch corner and the closeness of the porch roof to the main roof, as this this design has, and I remembered how great I thought it was. The proportions are just right, too. Thanks for sharing this excellent restoration in progress!
…and thanks to the owners for sharing their house with us! It’s easy to see why this was one of Radford’s most popular plans; it’s even more appealing today in a world of increasing mediocrity.
I wouldn’t recognize a Radford model if it hit me over the head, but this one I will remember! It’s a charming little house.
LOL! I agree, many Radford designs have a certain clumsiness built into them, but this one is very graceful. I suspect that they went through a lot of different architects on their staff over their many years in business and that some of their first designers may have been among their very best.
Very cool place. It does have some great character and the new owners really look like they’re doing a fantastic job on the restoration.
I’m surprised at the simplicity of the porch columns in the early photo. I really would have expected something more consistent with the Queen Anne detailing elsewhere.
Good point! By 1902 -1903 when the house was likely designed, the Queen Anne style was still morphing into the Free Classic variant of the style. While the asymmetrical form with hipped roof and gables remained, fussier elements such as turned posts were replaced with simpler designs of Classical inspiration. The 1509 reflected this trend for Radford’s more style-conscious customers while the catalog simultaneously offered more old-fashioned and decorative Queen Anne options for others!
It’s amazing the difference between the first 2 in how themulticolor makes it look bigger and gives it more punch.
Also it appears those both have curved porches but the featured house porch looks square. Just another variation? And that piercing in the gable of the porch roof seems like a throwback to the Queen Anne houses.
Being 6+feet tall, I think the original might be a little too cozy but an interesting house in both versions.
Charming place! Hope they keep the wallpaper 🙂