Villa Strafford

Wayne, PA

The private residence built in 1909 belonged to the Colket family of Wayne, descendants of Tristam Colket who founded the Chestnut and Walnut Railroad Trolly line in Philadelphia. This colonial revival style home was built by architects McIlvain and Roberts, a Philadelphia firm noted for their Colonila Revival designs, especially those along the Main Line. Sold in 1960, the home was converted into a restaurant and was operated for a time by the renowned Chef Tell. Last operated under the name “Villa Strafford”, the restaurant finally closed in the early 2000’s. It’s long term vacancy and neglect was the subject of discussion and various design schemes for years to come.

A developer came to us wanting to investigate several schemes involving saving & restoring the original building as a commercial property while adding a residential component. Three schemes were proposed; one which removed the original building and two that maintain & restored this building. As the developer was leaning towards a full removal, we chose to withdraw our services due to our unwavering desire to restore the original home for office use. Ultimately, years later, another developer purchase the property, demolished the home and built high density, attached, single family residences. As it was not located within any of the (3) three designated Radnor Historical Districts, there was no local governmental opportunity for formal historical review / preservation attempts….another loss for Radnor Township.

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              © DCL Architects 2016