Monday, April 22, 2013
The deal means both sides get more money than either paid for the Villanova estate.
One year after a fire did major damaged an historic Villanova mansion, an arson lawsuit has been settled. Philly.com reports that: Four months after accusing a Canadian couple of scheming to buy - and then burn down - his famed 19-bedroom Main Line mansion in an insurance-fraud plot, a Radnor Township man has decided to drop his legal battle with the pair and split the proceeds. Disclosed in court records, the deal means both sides get far more cash than either paid, or ever offered to pay, for the estate designed by Horace Trumbauer. Jerald S. Batoff, a real estate executive who had lived on the estate since 2001, will keep more than $7 million of the $18.5 million insurance payout. Dean Topolinski, the Toronto businessman Batoff …
Thursday, April 4, 2013
The owner of the historic state says arson was the cause of the blaze.
It was one year ago today, April 4, 2012, that fire tore through the mansion named Bloomfield on South Ithan Avenue in Villanova. While neither police nor fire representatives have said that there were any “criminal origins” to the fire, owner Jerald S. Batoff alleges that would-be buyers Dean Topolinski and Julie Charbonneau “engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that included mail fraud, wire fraud and arson aimed at obtaining both insurance proceeds and the property itself for future real estate development, according to a lawsuit filed Nov. 29 in U.S. District Court. Topolinski and Charbonneau entered into an agreement to purchase the property for $5.2 million in March, 2011. But Batoff, the seller, alleges that they never …
Monday, December 3, 2012
The owner of historic "Bloomfield" said Canadian renters engaged in "a pattern of racketeering activity" prior to the April blaze.
The fire that all but destroyed “Bloomfield,” the Horace Trumbauer-designed mansion on South Ithan Avenue in Villanova, was part of a scheme by renters to obtain an insurable interest in the estate and assert the right to receive all proceeds of the insurance in the case of a fire, according to a lawsuit filed Nov. 29 in U.S. District Court. On April 4, flames devoured the mansion and neighbors gathered at the foot of its driveway to watch and gasp. While neither police nor fire representatives have said that there were any “criminal origins” to the fire, owner Jerald S. Batoff in his complaint alleges that would-be buyers Dean Topolinski and Julie Charbonneau “engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity that included mail fraud, wire …
Friday, May 4, 2012
The estimated damage is $13.5 million from the Villanova fire.
The fire that gutted a Villanova mansion on April 4 may be have been caused by an "electrical failure," according to fire marshal Don Wood's report. But "there is no conclusive evidence to support that conclusion," he continues. Although the ignition factor remains undetermined, the fire marshal states that the fire started in the basement ceiling beneath the attached garage. The estimated loss from the fire for owner Jerald Batoff of Bala Cynwyd, is $10 million in the structure and $3.5 million in contents. The house was being rented by Julie Charbonneau and Dean Topolinski. The mansion may the subject of a lawsuit by real estate agent Lavinia Smerconish, who claims that the owner was trying to cut her out of a commission. According to …
Monday, April 23, 2012
Real estate agent Lavinia Smerconish claims she was cut out of a commission.
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- Sam Strike
Monday, April 23, 2012
Prudential Fox & Roach is intending to sue both the owner and renter of Bloomfield, the Villanova mansion that was gutted by fire April 4, because it claims they cut Real estate agent Lavinia Smerconish out of an expected commission of more than $230,000 on the sale of the property, reports Philly.com. The article also outlines the history of the estate. According to police, nothing is indicating that the fire had criminal origins.
Friday, April 13, 2012
There are no indications of criminal causes in the Villanova fire.
Investigators of the April 4 fire that devoured an historic Villanova mansion are saying that construction taking place at nearby Agnes Irwin School was not the cause. Main Line Media News reports that construction crews had been using explosives in the laying of a foundation for a new building. Radnor Police superintendent William Colarulo said nothing is indicating that the fire had criminal origins, the newspaper reported. See a gallery of Bloomfield on the day after the fire. Read about the history of the mansion and property here and here.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
State fire officials have been called to help in the investigation.
Radnor Fire Marshal Don Wood is not ready to issue a cause of the multi-alarm blaze that destroyed part of a Villanova mansion April 4, reports Main Line Media News. State fire officials have been called to help in the investigation, the newspaper reports. According to Planphilly.com, the property had been the site of a Victorian home built in 1885 and later owned by Albert Eugene Gallatin, a Villanova native whose ancestors included the Secretary of the Treasury under President Thomas Jefferson. See Bloomfield on a better day.
Monday, April 9, 2012
In its current form, Bloomfield was built in 1923 from a design by famed architect Horace Trumbauer.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Residents of Radnor, and indeed the entire Philadelphia region, were captivated last week by the fire at one of the Main Line's great mansions. In its current form, Bloomfield was built in 1923 from a design by famed architect Horace Trumbauer. The estate was well-known for its large formal gardens, part of which was subdivided within the last 30 years into the Trianon development. Bloomfield was home to cotton broker George McFadden Jr., in whose family the house remained until the mid-1980s. Other Horace Trumbauer mansions in Radnor include Ardrossan and Woodcrest, which is now the central building at Cabrini College. - Greg Prichard, Radnor Historical Society
Thursday, April 5, 2012
See how the Villanova mansion looks the day after the fire.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
A fire tore through the mansion named Bloomfield on South Ithan Avenue on Wednesday. It took firefighters hours to extinguish the blaze. See how the house looked on Thursday.
Bloomfield was home to historic architecture.
When fire tore through the mansion named Bloomfield on South Ithan Avenue on Wednesday, it not only repeated history, but also destroyed it. Watching with a crowd of neighbors as Bloomfield burned, real estate agent and home builder Jeff Baxter lamented what he was seeing. "It's a shame. They don't build them like that anymore," Baxter said about the home with 19 bedrooms, a 25 by 35-foot ballroom and six-car garage. "You can't replicate the workmanship and design," Baxter told Patch as firefighters moved into the third hour of fighting the flames. See more photos and video from the fire here. Bloomfield was a turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century country estate. "(The) French chateau designed by Horace Trumbauer is one of the last remaining grand…