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South Wayne Pillar House

This image of a newly-built home in South Wayne in the 1890s was new to the Radnor Historical Society last year. It is a snapshot, probably taken by a resident of the home, giving a unique perspective on life in early Wayne. The home was built on Summit Avenue, now the southern stretch of South Wayne Avenue.

It was designed for builders Wendell & Smith by F.L. & W.L. Price, and is by far the most prolific house style in all of Wayne. The so-called "Pillar House" was first designed by the Price brothers around 1887 and used for several homes in North Wayne, the first of which were built along Walnut Avenue (plus one on Oak Lane). The design was adapted slightly for the Midland and Lancaster Avenues in South Wayne, and in the mid-1890s the design was further adapted (with an oriel window on the front gable) for a group of homes like this on what is today South Wayne Avenue.

The Pillar House design even made its way to other locations: there is one on Montgomery Avenue in Bryn Mawr, and even an example in Bayfield, Wisconsin. When a successor firm of Wendell & Smith developed Essex Fells, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City, the Pillar House design went with them. Several examples of this house which originated here in Wayne can still be seen there.

- Greg Prichard,


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