Gothic-Revival Sorority House Converts to Condos


London estate home converted into luxury residences behind Gothic-revival exterior.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of  OUR HOMES London and Middlesex County, p.22. Find local businesses in our London directory.

Every house has a story but few in London can rival the story of Raleigh House. Built 150 years ago on the shady ridge overlooking the river just west of Talbot Street, the grand family home was one of many estates to go up in London during the mid-nineteenth century. Its large reception rooms and many bedrooms were first occupied by the Harris family. Much later they became home to Gamma Phi Beta sorority girls, teeming with their youthful energy from 1943 until 2005. Raleigh House was eventually purchased by the developers of the Blackfriars Estate condominium enclave. Work got underway in 2012 to divide the mansion into stylish urban units, guided by the strict regulations of historical designation. Three luxurious residences were created behind the gothic revival exterior. Multiple gables, a two-storey projecting bay and various window styles have continued to make an ever-so-noteworthy statement. In fact, the charmingly irregular house has often been described as a “riot of styles,” according to DUO Building Ltd.’s Pat Malloy, responsible for the transformation of the entire condo complex and, himself, a resident. 
In 2015 substantial changes to one of the Raleigh House units began yet again under DUO’s direction. The unit's owners wanted to take the home to a level of style and function in keeping with their honed personal taste. The 2,000 sq. ft. main-floor condo offers generous living areas for family gatherings, with the added advantage of gorgeous communal grounds complete with swimming pool.
Designer Bonnie Pierotti of Bonnie Pierotti Design Inc. worked with the owners on plans for a renovation. The first stage involved enclosing a 300 sq. ft. outdoor porch to make it useable year-round. A second charming porch on the home’s east side leads through the main door to a gracious front foyer and brick columns rebuilt by DUO.
The master suite features marble tiling and fixtures and faucets from Brouwer Plumbing & Heating. In the bedroom, an original circular plaster ceiling moulding frames a stunning chandelier, while a spacious walk-in closet built by DUO addresses practical needs.
They revamped the palatial living room into new galley-style kitchen and turned what was the original kitchen into a central hall, one that would also cleverly double as a butler’s pantry. Bonnie’s vision helped turn the hall into a room that is as gracious as it is practical, featuring two sets of custom closet doors by Riverside Millwork Group that are copies of original french doors in the home. The walls throughout are painted various Benjamin Moore shades, including the main living space in Edgecomb Grey.