1411 East Grove Street
This English Arts and Crafts home was designed by Arthur F. Moratz in 1929 for Dr. Herman and Freda Wellmerling. Moratz was a well known architect in Bloomington-Normal and the younger brother of Paul O. Moratz. Arthur primarily designed hospitals, churches, and schools throughout the United States. Important works in Bloomington-Normal by Moratz include Holy Trinity Catholic Church, The Normal Theater, the McBarnes Memorial Building and Moratz's own home at 317 E. Chestnut (on the south side of Franklin Park.) Twelve other private homes in Bloomington-Normal are attributed to Arthur Moratz.
Typical of the English Arts and Craft style, this house has a very steeply pitched roof. Traditional stone materials also typify this style and Indiana limestone decorates the doorways and window frames. The deeply recessed front door and crest with "W" emphasizes the old world charm that harkens back to Tudor architecture. The massive front door has a small door within for greeting guests with wrought iron accents. A charming flagstone path winds from the public sidewalk to the front door, hinting at the vari-colored terra cotta tile within.
Moratz was a proponent of fire proof building materials. In this home the foundation and floors are concrete with steel beam supports. In the basement the steel beams and concrete floors can be observed. The flooring employed in the home is a terra cotta tile throughout the first floor and oak floors on the second floor. The home remains almost entirely in its original condition, including the powder room on the first floor.
The kitchen has been updated by the present owner to include all modern conveniences with an eating area. These updates and artistic touches in keeping with the style of the house include built in shelving with hand carved English knights in the kitchen. A massive hand-hammered copper and mica light fixture continues the English Tudor theme of the house in the dining room.
The home was built with several built in features, such as a mailbox and cupboard to receive the mail, a firewood box opening both inside and out, and walk in closets. The dining room has leaded glass china built-ins. The first floor includes a living room, dining room, kitchen, powder room (with original fixtures ) and study. The second floor contains three bedrooms and family bath. The garage is original to the house.
Dr. Herman Wellmerling was well known for his expertise in fractures. With four other doctors he founded the Ambulatory Fracture Association, which is now the American Fracture Association. He shared his knowledge through "wet clinics" in Bloomington with surgeons from all over the nation.
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