The village of Fairport’s Historic Preservation Commission designated the William B. Bly House at 20 Woodlawn Ave.
The home was built in 1886 by Bly and reflects the Queen Anne style that was popular at that time. The home met the criteria for designation because of historic interest, personages,
architectural style and is a recognizable feature of the neighborhood.
Bly was a well-known and respected contractor and builder in the area for 30 years during a period of rapid population growth in Fairport. Emma Bly had a Millinery shop on Main Street. The newspaper advertisement promoted her as a “Fashionable Milliner and Dressmaker.”
William had the contract for carpentry and masonry work when the Hawkins block on Main Street was raised. He built J. W. Pramelee’s house at 29 West St., Martin Austin’s house at 52 W. Church St. and the Railroad Station in Despatch. It is likely that he built the turret on Will O. Greene’s house at 23 Woodlawn Ave. William died in 1900. Three years later, Emma sold the house and had a new home built at 24 Woodlawn Ave.
The second owner, Jerome Rundell, converted the house to a double and rented part to Ruth and Louis Yantz who operated the “Louis Beauty Shop.” The current owner bought the house in 1957 and has lived there over 60 years. They operate a bed and breakfast and have hosted many visitors and PGA attendees since 1995.
This home built in 1886 reflects the Queen Anne Style that was popular from 1880 to 1910.
It has a cross gable form with a gable stepped into two gables. The front porch is at an angle and has a second-floor hexagon turret with a low pitch roof. Each gable has rows of decorative shingles, a half round sunburst and a course of modillions supported by scroll-sawn brackets that separates the decorative shingles from the lap siding.
The front has a group of two one-over-one double hung windows and the north side has a group of three. The center window has clear lights and the side has multiple lights with stained glass. Like the gables, the window hoods feature a course of modillions.
The home has a rectangular shaped two-story bay with a shed roof, sunburst and modillions. It also has large decorative panels below the first-floor windows and bands of square panels three high, above the windows.
The front door features bull’s eye and pressed glass squares surrounding a plate glass light in a playful asymmetrical design of square and rectangular wood panels. It has the original mechanical lever and doorbell.
The home, sometimes hidden behind the leaves of the birch tree in front is known to Fairport residents and visitors to our village. It has a unique porch and turret in the corner of the gables and many unique Queen Anne features. Since 1995, the home has been a bed and breakfast, simply called 20 Woodlawn. It was featured in the 2010 Front Porches of Fairport calendar.
Visit fairportny.com for more information on the FHPC and designated landmarks.