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438 Clairemont Rd

Date of Construction:
Original Architect: Addison Hutton (?)
Original Owner: E. Gillingham
Description of the Resource: Dr. Joseph Eddy Gillingham, a retired lumber merchant, purchased a 237-acre tract of land and founded “Clairemont” between 1877 and 1881 during which point seventeen buildings were constructed. Clairemont was Gillinghams summer home and farm and was built atop a hill offering sweeping views. Portions of Gillinghams estate have been attributed to the firm of Addison Hutton; Hutton designed the 1892 gardeners cottage. Hotchkins 87-96 Suburban House Views (1897) and Kings 1900 Philadelphia and Notable Philadelphians attribute the main house to Hutton, and the firm may have also designed the carriage house. The property contained as many as 37 associated buildings including a greenhouse and two smaller estates called “Brinklow” (house and five outbuildings) and “Althrop” (house and nine outbuildings). This brick outbuilding was built between 1887 and 1896 to the southeast of the main house. It generally exists in its original form, though the original porch on the west side is no longer exists. This is a two-and-a-half story house with half-timbering at the second story and within gable ends. At the west end of the front (south) façade is a pedimented entry and a chimney flanked by two dormers at the center of the roof slope. The rear roof slope has corresponding dormers, one small to the east and one large pedimented dormer to the west. The east gable end has a chimney and a lower two-and-a-half story side-gable section that appears to be original. Morris L. Clothier of the famed Philadelphia department store Strawbridge and Clothier purchased the property between 1900 and 1908. At this point, Gillingham moved to Brinklow and Isaac H. Clothier, Jr. moved to Althrop, which he re-named “Sunnybrook” (extant at 601 Matsons Ford Road); by 1913 Brinklow (extant at 2101 County Line Road) had been transferred back to the Clothier Clairemont property. In 1917-1918 Clothier retained Horace Trumbauer to design a new main residence to replace the original Gillingham house. (10/2012)
Class: 2
Street Classification: Minor
Name of Local Historic District: Not in a local district
Name of National Historic District: Not applicable
Reviewed By: Historical Commission
Inventory Index Number: VI014

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