Melissa Locati is from Pensacola, Fla., and her husband, Michael, is from Fresno, Calif., neither of which is known for 19th-century farmhouses.
But somehow they developed a love of old things, so when they moved to Pennsylvania and were looking to settle 20 years ago, they bought a 1815 Federal-style farmhouse in Ambler.
With three children, they found the 4,460 square feet, five bedrooms and 2½ baths more than ample. And the house is in the Upper Dublin School District on a 2.3-acre plot carved out of what had once been a dairy farm. “We thought it would be a great place to raise the kids,” Michael says.
Plus, it had a two-story “bank barn” and a carriage house from which they would run their online auction business specializing in antiques, jewelry and estate sales.
The couple bought it from a dentist who practiced there. The Locatis think it could also be an artist’s studio.
“The sky’s the limit on what they can do with the barn,” Melissa says, perhaps an antique car collection.
But now, with the kids older, they think it’s time to downsize.
The original interior plan of the home remains intact, with a grand center hall entrance with two large rooms on either side.
The staircase, chair rails, and window moldings are original, and there is a center hall painted by an itinerant artist for the Lukens family, which built the house.
The house has seven fireplaces, including a marble surround one in the drawing room and a walk-in one in the kitchen.
The mechanicals have been updated: Central air on all three floors in 2019, a new hot water heater in 2020, and an updated electrical system.
The barn is heated and has industrial ceiling fans. The carriage house, built in 1827, has electricity, split system air-conditioning, and a powder room.
“We’ve seen ourselves as caretakers,” Michael says. “We really hope another young family will continue to maintain the 19th-century buildings. We hope it’s here for another 200 years.”
The house is close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a SEPTA regional rail stop, and downtown Ambler.
It is listed by Arlene Lawn and Jane Healy of Long & Foster Real Estate for $925,000.