455 Birch Street
Gazette Article by: Cindy Fuller
Appeared in the Gazette: Summer 1994
The house behind the fence at 455 Birch is full of a maverick spirit. Besides being one of the most whimsical architectural treasures on the North Shore, its last owner, Georgia Maverick Lloyd, was drawn back to her childhood home after an absence of more than 40 years.
Built in 1920 by Georgia’s mother, Lola Maverick Lloyd, the house defies classification as a particular architectural style; but natural materials link it to Arts and Crafts, a movement that began in the late 19th century as a reaction to the excesses of Victorian art and architecture.
Lola Maverick Lloyd was raised in Texas. The house she designed in conjunction with Swedish-American sculptor, Charles Haag, embodies the maverick sprit she inherited from her father, a rancher who was famous for not branding his calves. Lola, also an artist and sculptor, produced a home that is an eclectic, artistic mix of southwest and Swedish. The bright green fence surrounding the property characterizes what lies beyond the threshold.
A central red brick fireplace is the focal point of the two-story living room where a large mural of a southwestern scene dominates one wall. Above a balcony on the opposite side of the room there is a painted “maverick” calf.
Lighting also received creative attention. In the dining room Lola painted a large daffodil and suspended a bulb surrounded by a fringed crepe paper “center”.
Throughout the house there are a number of wooden chopping bowls which were carved with natural themes, including mushrooms, a butterfly, flowers and fruit; they are placed over recessed light bulbs. Bronze, ceramic and wood sculptures by both Lola and Haag dot the rooms and hallways.
Shortly after Georgia’s return to the house, she hired the firm of Hasbrouck, Peterson, Zimoch, Sirirattumrong to restore it. As a result, the original maverick spirit burns very brightly today.