BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- Last Wednesday, the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the Victorian Society of America gave their annual Historic Preservation award to homeowners Lou and Cynthia Madarakas for their years-long painstaking restoration of 41 Park Place, the historic Theodore Ward House. Over the past few years, they've restored the house in keeping with its original charm.
"I would like to thank the Victorian Society for giving this most fitting recognition to Lou and Cynthia Mandarakas for their hard work and tireless dedication to restoring this architectural gem, one of the grand picturesque homes on our Historic Green," said Councilman Rich Rockwell, Council Liaison to the Bloomfield Historic Preservation Commission and Trustee of the Historical Society of Bloomfield. "Bloomfield is fortunate to have this beautiful home that tells the story of architectural styles and influences combining elements of Second Empire, Victorian, Italianate and Eastlake architecture that stands to remind us what life was like on the Green a hundred years ago."
The Mandarakases purchased the 130-year-old home in 2008 and financed the cost of interior and exterior restorations.
Built in 1887 by Theodore Hastings Ward, an early president of the Bloomfield Saving Bank and a Chairman of Bloomfield (a position equivalent to Mayor), the Victorian style home has been recognized by the Society of Architectural Historians for its design. One of the prominent residents of the house was Theodore's daughter, Dr. Gertrude Ward, a pioneer as a woman in the medical profession and a town benefactor known for her service in caring for victims of the 1903 smallpox epidemic and for founding the welfare agency, League for Friendly Service in 1910.
Interior work performed between 2009 and 2017 included restoration of the original library, reinforcement of the original plaster wall and ceilings and refurbishing of interior and exterior doors to restore the original stained trim, while exterior work included removal of aluminum sliding and replacing, restoring and painting the ornate Victorian trim.