Then and Now — 1936 & 2023 — 749 17th Ave N (Crescent Lake)
From a 1937 Times article by Lillian Blackstone: “The English-type bungalow of Dr. and Mrs. MacCordy is a solidly constructed home of stucco with shingle and brick trim. It is termite proof, is insulated throughout with four-inch mineral wool in the walls and ceilings and has ventilating and heating equipment to guarantee warmth in the winter months and circulating cool, fresh air in the summer.”
“Dr. and Mrs. MacCordy and their sons, C. Ramsey and Edward, have been living in the house fo the past year and are planning to enlarge it without changing the original architectural contour. When completed there will be additional room space, including den and two bedrooms. One of the bedrooms will be on the second floor where, at the present time, a spacious 11-foot attic covers the entire house.”
“The house has been erected on a lot 62 feet wide by 126 feet deep. In the rear is a two-car garage to conform with the English style home, with playroom on the second floor for the boys. The MacCordy’s will have a rock garden and pool in the yard shortly and are now growing a five-foot high Australian Pine hedge as a boundary line on the east side. On the west side is a white picket fence.”
“Cypress has been used as the interior trimming throughout the house, and even the fireplace in the living room boasts a mantel of this wood. Exposed rafters are of cypress, also the doors and woodwork. It is in pleasing contrast to the rough-finished stucco, and the dull silver lighting fixtures.”
“It is a most livable home, with every comfort. The front door, with its gabled top, opens into a small vestibule which has a large closet. From here one may step either into a sun parlor, where exposure is to the south and west, or into a living room which is almost as wide as the house. Oriental rugs are on the polished oak floors, the rich reds and browns blended into the general color scheme. In the living room and dining room, the MacCordy’s have chosen solid mahogany furniture.”
“On either side of the fireplace, which is topped by a ship model, are niches which serve as bookcases. Windows are casement, with the panes forming diamonds. The windows throughout the house are equipped with Venetian blinds – a modern accessory every home-owner approves.”
“Archways connect the various rooms, taking the place of doors which are found, however, off the hallway leading into the two bedrooms.”
“Dr. and Mrs. MacCordy’s bedroom is in buff, with cypress trim, and is equipped with two large closets. The private bath is off the hall. The bedroom the two boys occupy will be redecorated soon with marine design and color scheme and furnished in maple. There is a private bath off this.”
“Like the rest of the house, the kitchen is electrically equipped. It has been decorated in a color scheme of golden tan and red and opens onto a rear porch.”
“Designed and constructed by Carlton W. Beard with a finishing touch of a 99-year Johns-Manville asbestos slate roof.”
Earl Cunningham MacCordy was born on February 24, 1891, in New Jersey, an only child, his father was a machinist.
Earl’s family moved to Amsterdam, New York (about 35 miles northwest of Albany) when Earl was a young boy, this is where he received his schooling. After graduating High School, Earl attended Tufts College in Massachusetts and received his degree as a medical doctor in about 1916. It wasn’t long before the US entered WWI, and in 1917, Earl joined the US Army Medical Corp as a 1st Lieutenant, spending a year on the front lines in France at a field hospital before returning to the states where he served out the rest of the war in stateside hospitals.
After the war Earl moved back in with his parents in Amsterdam NY., where he was establishing a private practice. It was during this time that he met Ms. Elizabeth Leslie, a local nurse who had also served in the war. On August 26, 1922, the couple married and had two sons, Cunningham Ramsey (1925) and Edward Leslie (1926).
It was after the birth of their first son, who they called Ramsey, that Earl and Elizabeth decided to move to St. Pete. Once settled here Earl set up his private practice. Their sons, Ramsey and Edward attended local schools and graduated from SPHS.
On February 8, 1941, at age 48, Elizabeth died, leaving Earl (50) with the boys aged 16 and 14. Elizabeth was buried in Royal Palm Cemetery. On March 4, 1942, Earl married Ms. Regina Barbara Melber, a young local nurse who was 27 years younger than him, they were married on her 24th birthday. It was a short lived marriage as Earl died a month later (age 51), on April 5, 1942. He was buried next to Elizabeth. The boys, Ramsey (17) and Edward (15) were now left without parents. However, the boys lead successful lives, Ramsey joined the Navy after graduation from High School and later attended Tualne University and followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a medical doctor. He unfortunately died at the young age of 39 in Bethesda, MD. Edward graduated from High School with honors and in 1944 entered his father’s alma mater (Tuft’s College) under the Navy V-12 program which paid for his degree in engineering, after which he did a tour in the Navy as a Lieutenant. After 20 years as a Naval officer in the Civil Engineering Corps, Edward joined Washington University where he would spend the next 24 years, ending as a school administrator. He died in 1996 at age 69. — Regina, who was only married to Earl for a month, lived to age 90, she died in 2008, and is buried in Floral City, Fl.