Comfortable enough in a bungalow they’d restored themselves, Hannah Callaghan and Bob Weaver had lived in Portland’s historic Irvington neighborhood for over a decade. Still, they looked out for grander homes going on the market: these are rarely for sale, and usually quite expensive. One summer afternoon in 1990, they heard about the so-called Nun’s House, just listed. A family named Brady, the original owners, had left the house and all its contents to the Sisters of the Holy Name, and now the Sisters were selling.
Designed by prominent Portland architect Joseph Jacobberger, the exterior boasts a unique mix of Tudor Revival with Arts & Crafts details. Unusual and imposing, the stucco and brick façade has great curb appeal, with gables and bays, decorative bargeboards, Gothic tracery, and a deep porch. Built for Michael Brady, a railroad-equipment salesman, the fine house has its original chandeliers and wall sconces, glowing stained-glass windows, built-in bookcases with leaded glass, and even the carved-wood drapery cornices in the living room. A valuable, Birge & Sons simulated-leather wallpaper in the library had never been removed.
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