A Multi Story House
From blueprints and construction to add-ons and modern renovations, this north Lincoln Street historic home is ready for its next chapter.

A Multi Story House

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Years ago, I wrote a story about an Aberdeen architect named John W. Henry. He and his wife came to Aberdeen in 1905 and he worked until his death in 1955. My interest in him centers around the fact he designed our building in downtown Aberdeen. He also designed the Murdy Clinic Building one block east. It is beside the former Lincoln Hospital, another building he designed, that the Nuns eventually moved to the St. Luke’s campus in the early 40s, changing its name to Lourdes Hall. I recently learned Henry not only oversaw the remodel once it made it to its new location, but he also planned out the route the building would take from Lincoln Street to State Street by way of First Avenue SE. He designed the Aberdeen Country Club and dozens of houses, many in the craftsman style. Sometime before the summer of 1912 he drew up plans for the W. D. Farrell house that was to be built on north Lincoln Street. I found mention of the proposed house in the newspapers, and it was reported that it was to be built by October of 1912. Whenever the Farrells moved in, they had a lovely, modern residence fit for a doctor and his family.

The Farrells moved to Aberdeen in 1910 and Dr. William Farrell received some notoriety when he delivered the Schense Quadruplets from Frederick in 1931. He would deliver over 4,000 babies in his career. He was a veteran of WWI and passed away in 1962 at the age of 86.

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Joe and Linda Van De Rostyne have made substantial improvements to this 1912 Craftsman home. Photo by Troy McQuillen

Throughout the years, the Farrell house would be added on to, reconfigured, and sold to various people in Aberdeen. The current owners are no strangers to cool old houses and they have put their signature stamp on the home, readying it for the next owners. Joe and Linda Van De Rostyne purchased the home in 2005 and made substantial changes to it over the years. Many in the region know the Van De Rostynes as a creative team that offered boutique interior design services. They combined Linda’s artistic talents of painting, design, and knowledge of materials with Joe’s construction and restoration talents when it comes to wood working, custom furniture, built-ins, finishing, and design. Joe was a private home inspector for a while as well. Prior to their retirement, they were the ones you called for help with home design challenges.

The home still has most of its original characteristic assets. The couple painted and restored the exterior, changing it from a colonial red color to brown. They encased brick pillars on the front porch in appropriate-looking wood, painted white. An old add-on bedroom became an expanded kitchen and cozy sitting area. Henry’s blueprints state that all the trim was red oak, however it is all painted white now, which adds a more modern touch. Linda says her decorating style isn’t necessarily dictated by the style of the house. Their furnishings represent eras in their lives over the decades and are pieces they love. Some get reupholstered, painted, or decorated for a new look.

The upstairs features four bedrooms, a bathroom, and a dressing room. One of the remodels to the house some years ago included more than doubling the sunroom on the south side, then extending the second floor over that. Both levels are wrapped with windows on three sides.

This is a wonderful example of a custom, craftsman home in Aberdeen. From what I know of Joe and Linda, the house seems perfect for their talents and artistic lifestyle. Unfortunately for Aberdeen, they are relocating to Las Cruces, New Mexico later this year. Linda has designed a new home and it’s currently under construction there. Needless to say, this John Henry-designed, classic craftsman Aberdeen home is available for a new owner. At the time of this story, Joe and Linda did not have a realtor, nor a price, so you’ll have to look into it on your own if you’re interested. //