More than a century ago, on a steep hill above Melrose, developers built a neighborhood of Victorian houses, each one a different arrangement of stark geometric shapes. Fifteen Woodland Ave. is one of the most dramatic, rising from the side of the hill with a two-story tower, bold red shingles, and an elaborate, hipped roof.
This house, like most in the development, was built in Queen Anne style, with intricate fireplaces and parquet floors, ceiling medallions, and replicas of lincrustas - raised plaster designs that stretch along the walls. Windows are topped by panes of stained glass. The ornate fireplace in the front parlor has columns carved from wood, an oval mirror, and glossy, green tiles. Most of the house is wired with a speaker system and intercom.
The dining room, with seven windows, has its own bar sink.
"It really is set up for a grand party," said Linda O'Koniewski, one of the listing brokers.
On the third floor, a separate suite with four rooms and a full bathroom is a private retreat. A large, recently renovated balcony looks over the backyard. Porches are everywhere, including a large, enclosed front porch heated by a wood stove. The house also has two separate one-car garages.
Outside, the terraced yard stretches from a pergola-covered patio just beyond the dining room, past stone walls and a fountain to other small patios and a deck. In one corner of the yard sits a large, wooden shed that is as big as some small homes.
O'Koniewski and Peg Botte, the other listing broker, have scheduled an open house today from 1 to 3 p.m.