loch aerie in frazer 2013

Here is beautiful and marooned Loch Aerie.  It’s 2013 and she is still hanging on.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the Tabas family cared as much about this mansion’s preservation and future as the airplanes in their front yard they feel the need to get media for?


marooned and desolate in frazer: lockwood mansion (“loch aerie”)

There is a mansion which has fascinated me for years.   A giant Victorian creature, marooned and perched on an island of land in Frazer, PA along route 30, a/k/a Lancaster Avenue a/k/a Lincoln Highway.   You also see it when you go into Home Depot.

Every time I see the mansion I look for signs that either someone has bought it, or someone wants to tear it down.  It deserves to be saved as it is a truly magnificent structure.

I learned more about the house thanks to a You Tube video I am posting.  It should be preserved.  It’s very cool.  It is also of the designs of Addison Hutton .  Once upon a time a few years ago, I was on a committee that saved a house called Beechwood, on the Lower School Campus of the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr.  It was also an Addison Hutton house.

Anyone have any stories to tell on this house?  The Daily Local wrote about it a couple of times in 2010

Am I to gather from another article sent to me that was also in The Daily Local that this poor house is owned by the Tabas Family?  Hmmm, I knew Susan Tabas Tepper growing up, knew about the Downingtown Inn, Mickey Rooney’s Tabas Hotel, Twelve Casars, and Riverfront and City Line Dinner Theaters, but not this.  Are they going to let this just rot?  Why don’t they restore it and sell it?

Lockwood Mansion owners reject bid

Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010

By GRETCHEN METZ, Staff Writer

The Lockwood Mansion is going back on the market.
The seller, the Estate of Lockwood Mansion, a Tabas family trust, turned down the winning bid of $720,000 by a New York businessman.

The bid was too low to satisfy the family, said Robert L. Dann, executive vice president at Max Spann, an Annandale, N.J., real estate and auction company that handled the sale.
The auction was held at the estate May 27. The sale was contingent on the approval of the seller.
Shekhar Gioyal, a telecommunications executive, said he was the top bidder. The day of the auction, he said when he heard about the property, he decided to bid based on the building and location. His plan was to maintain the exterior of the 1865 limestone structure and convert the interior space into commercial use
Dann said the Tabas family wants to sell the property for more than $1 million. However, the family has not agreed on a listing price and until they do, Dann said he cannot put the 2.1-acre property back on the market.

Here is the delusional offer sheet on the house – apparently it is the listing of a Keller Williams guy in Exton named Bob Liberato.  He needs to buy a clue and a better head shot.  The property is listed at $2,250,000?  And oh yes, it can be yours as a commercial rental for $20 a square foot – you know I guess they just aren’t worrying about reality getting in the way of the economy, right?

In my humble opinion, the owners don’t care about this mansion, or its history or the fact that it was a work product of an incredibly famous Philadelphia architect.  Mind you this is what is wrong with the corridor along which it sits.  Drive up through Paoli and beyond – through to Frazer, Exton and beyond and  you will see a lot of pretty amazing structures just rotting.  And in between them are hodge podge commercial developments dotting the landscape with no thought to planning whatsoever.  (Another rotting structure I have always been curious about is the house so falling in on itself it is dangerous either right next to or near Clews & Strawbridge.)

I also found a very cool slide show on Flickr .  You know what is crazy?  This is exactly the kind of structure that should be on The National Trust for Historic Preservation watch list.

They don’t build ’em like Loch Aeire / Lockwood Mansion anymore .  But much like La Ronda in Bryn Mawr once sat rotting in her faded glory, so does this home.  And generally speaking, people either don’t care, or only care when it is too late.

I dub Lockwood Mansion the La Ronda of Malvern.   May we only hope her ultimate fate is not so horrible as La Ronda’s was.