Richard R. Tatnall Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1991

Richard R. Tatnall Home
650 Chestnut Avenue

Richard R. Tatnall and his wife Elizabeth came to Redlands in 1907 to assist Elizabeth’s sister, Mrs. A. B. Johnson in the management of the Wissahickon Inn. In November of that year a permit to build an eight room home at the corner of Center Street and Chestnut Avenue was issued to Mr. Tatnall. The Tatnalls apparently stayed on at the Wissahickon Inn until 1912 when they are listed as living at the Chestnut Avenue address. Mr. Tatnall was at the “Real estate, Loans and Insurance” business, with advertising for his firm prominently displayed in the phone directory of that era. He died on March 21,1938 and was buried at Hillside Cemetery. The house was left for his children, Lucy and Ashton, to dispose of. Finding it difficult to part with the house, the children left it vacant until it was rented to Edith and Henry Cross in September, 1946. Mr. and Mrs. Cross eventually bought the house, and raised their children Henry III and Judith there. Like Mr. Tatnall before him, Mr. Cross also worked in the insurance business representing Firemen’s Fund Insurance.

The home is an interesting example of a side gabled Craftsman house. The profile of the house is unusual because the roof extends to form a porch on the Center Street side giving it a salt box appearance. On the Center Street side of the house are three dormers¬-the center one being smaller than the other two. The center and right dormers punctuate the porch roof. To the left of the porch roof, which does not extend across the entire side of the house, is a projecting dormer with its roof at the second story level. There is also a porch on the Chestnut Avenue side. This porch has four square columns with matching pilasters. The railing and balustrade of this porch continue around to the Center Street side of the house where the roof is supported by two large square columns. Both porches are of concrete construction, as is the foundation of the house. All the windows in the house are one over one double-hung windows, except the three small multipaned windows that face Chestnut Avenue. The driveway has always been on this side of the house.

Having lived in this fine home for forty five years, Mr. Cross is to be commended for his diligent and consistent commitment to the maintenance of this historic structure.