Calling all giants: Verona may have the house for you.
Verona has lots of capes and colonials, but if you’re anything over 6 feet tall, you already know that the ceilings in these houses can be a problem. The colonials built here in the 1930s by Morris Heller all feature just 7 1/2 feet of headroom. Victorian builders were more generous with their ceiling heights and, although Verona doesn’t have many turn-of-the-century houses, there is one for sale now at 38 Forest Avenue. Its first floor has 9-foot ceilings and those of the upper two floors are also above average.
But back down to that first floor for a moment. To get into it, you step across a wide front porch bounded by rhododendrons. Friends of mine have a porch like this in Montclair and it is a wonderful place for a Sunday brunch or a summer dinner. (And you won’t be paying Montclair’s property taxes.) The current owners put a mahogany floor on the porch in 2005, which means it will be there for quite a while.
Turn-of-the-century builders also created generously sized rooms, and they accommodate 2010’s overstuffed furniture with ease and room left over. That includes the third floor, which could be a master bedroom suite, a family room and home office, or guest quarters since there are already three full bedrooms on the second floor.
Quibbles? Yes a House Snooping column wouldn’t be complete without them. But I’m not going to put the lack of central air here since the house’s eastern exposure, high ceilings, deep porch and large windows should keep it plenty comfortable. (It does have window and wall A/C units). Instead, I will single out the living room fireplace surround and mantle, which were modernized someplace along the way. But mantles, as any old house fan will tell you, are a very easy fix.