Home of the Week
28 Clifton St., Portland
This buddleia (butterfly bush) in the front yard has a lovely scent, and attracts hummingbirds as well as butterflies.
PORTLAND – Researching the history of this elegant Victorian in the
Coyle Park neighborhood off Back Cove, the present owner wondered
whether her house might have originally belonged to a sea captain. No,
as it turned out – it was built for Warren Sparrow, the city’s first
insurance agent, a prosperous and prominent citizen who was the first to
suggest that Portland install a trolley system.
Still. A sea captain or insurance magnate of any era could only take
pride in this completely charming Second Empire home, which has been
completely, lovingly renovated/restored in the past dozen years.
The best original features, including stained-glass windows and
leaded-glass transom and sidelights around the front door, have been
preserved beneath the distinctive mansard roof and 10-foot ceilings.
Though not recently, the first floor has been expanded, with the
addition of a large sunroom that is open to a spacious dine-in kitchen
(white cabinetry and appliances and cast-iron sink, and colorful tile
counters and backsplash); and enclosure of the L-shaped side porch
(photo at near right) which includes a laundry room at the rear. Off the
formal dining room, there’s a pantry with built-ins. The living room has
a wood-burning brick fireplace whose flue needs re-lining, but is ready
for a gas insert.
The staircase wall’s striking pattern, and the stars of the ceiling of
the master bedroom, were hand-painted by the same artist. Actually,
there are two master-bedroom options, because the front (guest/second)
bedroom also has an en suite bath, with glass shower enclosure, and
enjoys enhanced illumination via the cupola, whose light is refracted
through a stained-glass window. The master bedroom’s bath has a soaking
tub, full-wall tile that also covers the ceiling, and a classic, 1950s
The full basement, divided into three large rooms, provides extensive
space for workshop and storage. The Weil-McLain furnace is five years
new; both electric and plumbing systems have been replaced.
Nothing to mow here: Both front yard and fenced back yard are entirely
devoted to a stunning variety of perennials, ornamentals, shrubs and
tall grasses and small trees, and inspired hardscaping combining brick,
pebble, and stone (the patio). This Zen-like retreat has twice been
featured in garden tours of the city.
The home is listed for sale at $419,900 by Tom Landry of Benchmark
Residential & Investment Real Estate. Please note that an Open House
will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24. For more information
or to arrange a private showing, please contact Tom at 939-0185 or at
Baths: Two, plus one 1/2
Square feet: 1,722
Lot size: 0.12 acre
Garage: One-vehicle, detached
Benchmark Residential &
Investment Real Estate
Produced by the Marketing Department of the Maine Sunday Telegram, the
Home of the Week is provided at no cost.
Staff photos by Derek Davis. HOW suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org.