Lean back in your chair, close your eyes, and think about what makes a great summer house. There are the images of screen doors, newspaper and crab-covered red check table cloths, and fresh-cut hydrangeas in brightly-colored watering cans. There are the glowing pillar candles in sand-and-starfish-filled glass canisters lighting time-worn wicker furniture, white wine, and good laughs. Model ships, crisp white columns, and chicken-wire cabinetry. Lemonade in Bell jars. Splashes of nautical Americana - the rope-strung signal flags, mounted oars, and ship wheels on wall sconces - abound in glorious summerhousity. But then there’s that other element, the bullet point on the realtor’s brochure that caught your weary winter eye and made you pick up the phone and call for more information. That element that helped define why you fell in love with the house in the first place.
[This is where we pause to acknowledge that there are three different summer house dreams: houses on the beach, houses in the mountains/country, and houses with pools. If you already have a house that manages to satisfy all three, let’s talk. I have a week in July I’m trying to book and I think we’d be great friends.]
For today’s Historic Properties for Sale post, I’ve pulled together a boutique collection (real estate lingo for “list”) of houses with pools. Shimmering, refreshing, anything-to-get-the-kids-away-from-their-screens, aquamarine pools.
First up is the “could this be any more classic New England” Ingleside Estate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Situated on over 17 acres, the white clapboard house was originally built in 1748 and was substantially renovated in the 1870s. Ingleside features an oval pool and separate pool house lounge, and grounds that boast a formal apple tree allée, tall evergreens, mature boxwoods, meandering stone walls, and an impressive collection of ornamental trees. With seven bedrooms, five and a half baths, and a modern kitchen, the main house might just be the perfect family escape.
Now, this next house is right in the heart of old Dallas. Hey, who am I to discriminate if someone’s looking for the perfect neighborhood escape? This 1913 Craftsman home has an amazing front porch, updated kitchen, four bedrooms, two baths, a separate guest cottage, and an immaculate landscape and backyard pool. Yours for the seemingly quite reasonable price of $485,000.
Last is the equal parts grand and welcoming Greek Revival “Hillcrest” estate in Clifton Forge, Virginia. Surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains, the house is just 30 minutes south of the historic Homestead Resort. With limitless access to the great outdoors, this house is a perfect mountain/country escape for anyone interested in hiking, fishing, and small-town exploration. Then again, with a pool out back, some of that exertion might just have to wait.
Okay, folks, the blog post is up. And ‘round these parts, the competition is stiff. So crunch those numbers, call the movers, and get ready for a summer of poolside bliss. And if a pool isn’t the end all, be all feature for you, check out the many other listing on our Historic Properties for Sale website.
David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He will be spending this summer's pool season mostly indoors, writing blog posts about historic preservation.