Back St(F)airway
2001 Vassar Show House
Paoli, Pennsylvania
In collaboration with
Devine Designs, Inc.

A celebration of the great game of golf transforms this stairway into a dynamic focal point.  A series of prints by famous golf cartoonist and artist, Charles Crombie (1885-1967), illustrate the "Rules of Golf" and recall memories of the Tredyffrin Country Club and Golf Links whose fairways and greens once covered 135 acres across Sugartown Road from the show house.

excerpt from the
Vassar Show House 2001 Catalogue

Click here for YouTube Video

Worms Eye View Of East Corner

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 Two pros make their first appearance on the Vassar roster.  Each has a portfolio illustrating a wide range of unique projects.  The back stairway becomes an expression of their passion for history, art, and design.

excerpt from the
Vassar Show House 2001 Catalogue

Detail View Of Globe & Decorative Border

"Architect Maurice Weintraub and interior designer Eileen Devine discovered the club's almost forgotten existence while researching The Woods' history for ideas to use transforming the drab back stairs area into a provocative exhibit.  It was the space given by the Vassar Show House committee for their debut, and they decided that golf would be the theme.  They dug for maps, old photographs and artifacts.  They came up with a 1920's Pennsylvania Railroad map that showed the layout of the 18 holes. .........An aerial photograph of the area was blown up and screened onto wallpaper to hang at the bend of the stairs. ...........

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Detail View Of Shelf & Decorative Border

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Weintraub and Devine interviewed area residents who had been caddies on the course in their teens,........Adding humor and color to the exhibit are prints of Charles Crombie's comic 24 rules of golf, which create a decorative frieze around the walls. ..........The small backstairs space has become a miniature museum at the hands of the Wayne architect and Devon designer.  It recaptures the flavor of old Paoli, before the advent of St. Norbert's Church, housing developments and the shopping centers lining Lancaster Pike."

by Helen Cooper
"Suburban Spotlight"
of The Suburban and Wayne Times
Thursday, May 24, 2001


View Up From Stair

"We were also taken by the Back Stair, by the team of designer Eileen Devine (Devine Designs, Inc.) and restoration architect Maurice E. Weintraub.  Both were there proudly showing off one of the most impressive research feats of the entire outing.  Their theme centered on the land, itself, which had originally been part of the tract used by the old Tredyffrin Country Club and Golf Links.  They assembled Pennsylvania Railroad maps, aerial photo's from the 1920's, personal mementoes from the surviving, old Tredyffrin caddies  and various other, period golf memorabilia.

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View Up From Bottom Of Stair

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Their clever work in a cramped, dark and airless back stairway may have been the historically-significant hit of the entire Show House.
  We left in awe."

  by Mary Beth Kelly of
  Main Line Today Magazine
 June 2001


View From Top Of Stair

"Their research into the history of The Woods led this design team on an exciting adventure and the results of it make the back stairs a most unusual part to the house tour."

by Danna Cornick of
County Lines Magazine
May 2001

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Detail View Towards West Corner

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 "According to research done by Maurice Weintraub, an architect from Wayne who is working in partnership with Devon designer Eileen Devine, on this year's Vassar Show House, Catherine Graff was an avid golfer.  She played at the Tredyffrin Country Club and Golf Links, once located just across the street from the Show House.

View Of Stairway From Hallway

When you visit this year's Show House,.......the back stairs is the space that will showcase the history of the Tredyffrin Country Club from 1917 to 1943.  Don't miss it.  Weintraub and Devine went all the way back to the original blueprints and land grant maps for the Club to make sure their reconstruction would be accurate."

by Mary Beth Kelly of
Main Line Today Magazine
May 2001

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Detail Of Shelf

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 The painted borders outlining the ceiling reflect the manicured edges of greens and fairways.

View Looking Up From Top Steps

As one descends the stairway they are confronted with a 6' by 4' aerial photograph of "The  Woods" from May 2, 1926.  The photograph acquired from the Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware was digitized, enlarged, printed onto wallpaper and applied to the wall.

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Detail Of Lower Stair

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  Old Golf trophies from local club tournaments sit on the shelves along with other artifacts associated with golf.

Detail Of Shelf With Golf Trophies

The tongue and groove beaded board wainscoting accentuated the already vertical emphasis of the stairway.

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View Up From Bottom Of Stairs

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A continuous line of hand painted lettering sits below the shelf listing the last names of local golf pros.

Items on the shelves highlight artifacts and memorabilia from the Tredyffrin Country Club.

Detail Of Shelf And Hand Lettering

Bordering the space is a frieze of decorative prints.  The prints, commissioned in 1906 by Perrier, depict the "Rules of Golf" as defined by French artist Charles Crombie.  


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Rule #23 From The "Rules of Golf" By Charles Crombie

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To the left items of interest include an original invoice for club dues to Captain E. B. Cassatt in 1936 and a photograph of one of the clubs Pro's, Bud Lewis.

Detail Of Shelf And Brackets

The "before" photograph to the right reveals an ordinary stair hall.  The white plaster ceiling and walls  were bowed and cracked from years of neglect.

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Before View Of Stairs