Noted architect, Victor Wigglesworth built 24 Cedar Road, also known as the Emory F. Chaffee House, in 1913 during the developmental infancy of the Walnut Hill-Waverley neighborhood. Designed in the Prairie style with Craftsman elements—a rare style in New England—No. 24 occupies a distinct niche among the Revivalist homes lining Cedar Road. The house represents an early example of the exquisite craftsmanship and original vision of architect-published plans for suburban homes around the turn of the century. Emphasizing the horizontal in its two-story plan, No. 24 features a slate roof with deep eaves and wood trim, styled with a stucco exterior and supported by a fieldstone foundation. A history of only minor renovations means that the house hews close to Wigglesworth’s original plan, which earned No. 24 its designation as a Significant Historic Building in Belmont. Original Carolina pine flooring upstairs and down marks the building’s history; over harvesting of longleaf pine stands down the eastern seaboard threatened this versatile tree, and its commercial use ceased, making No. 24’s floors something of a rarity. Though Wigglesworth constructed a number of homes in Belmont, mostly Colonials, the unique design of No. 24 makes it a notable gem.
A beautiful foyer—outfitted in wainscoting—welcomes you to the home. At the foyer’s end, two elegant columns sheathed in molding frame the entry to the centerpiece of the house. French doors open to this generous double living room, brightened by a bay window over the central seating area and by additional windows over the secondary seating area at the east end. A handsome coffered ceiling compliments floor-to-ceiling paneling painted white. Bench seating flanks the fireplace in the northeast corner, making for a secluded reading nook. Varnished wood paneling outfits this cozy niche—also home to a relief of the mythical Greek King Oenomaus on his chariot. w Ample morning sun and the privacy of the trees and hedge make the solarium a perfect spot for your morning coffee. At the west end a set of decorative, small French doors connects the living room to a spacious dining room well-suited to entertaining. This room features a built in china cabinet and a closet. Two additional rooms occupy the southern corners of the first floor, also featuring wainscoting. The office to the east boasts its own screened-in porch that can open to the solarium. The room to the west has built-in shelves suggesting a library or children’s’ playroom. A powder room sits between this room and the dining room. The spacious U-shaped plan of the kitchen currently features a breakfast nook and capacious counters and cabinets. With some renovation this could expand into an eat-in kitchen with a family room. An unfinished basement provides generous storage capacity.
Accessible from the foyer or kitchen, the second floor features six bedrooms with excellent lighting and large closets. The two-room primary bedroom suite includes a full bath that could easily expand via renovations to the small laundry room next door. Two additional full baths, one with a freestanding tub, serve the other four bedrooms. The elevated hillside vantage of the north-facing windows offers a scenic view of Belmont. A staircase leads to a large unfinished attic ripe for expansion. Full-canopied tall trees border the property, which is also bounded by a tall hedge in the backyard. A garden featuring a stone path that winds through a plethora of perennials, shrubs, and small trees enlivens the front façade, which faces south.
A large two-car garage abuts the back yard on its west side. Built in a matching style at the same time as the house, the garage complements the property and offers good space for gardening materials. A long driveway provides ample parking capacity for your guests.
Situated on the corner of Cedar and Highland, No. 24 sits on an 11,492 square foot lot in the desirable Fairmont-Cedar-Hillcrest neighborhood. The new Wellington elementary school and the Chenery middle school are each within four blocks of Cedar Road, with the nearly- completed high school just one block past the Wellington. Half-way between Belmont Center and Cushing Square, the environs provide a variety of restaurants, recreational facilities (including a yoga studio, gym, and community pool), a library, book store, drug store, shops, and other services. A Commuter Rail train stop in Belmont Center and two bus routes make Boston and Cambridge easily accessible, as is also Rt. 128 with a convenient car ride. Bike lanes offer invigorating alternate paths to the city.