It’s been 24 years since siblings Connie Lacy and Paul Corman caught a glimpse of the home they grew up in. Recently, they walked through the rooms for what they agreed was the final goodbye.
The 3-story home, located at 124 North Allegheny Street, was built in 1899. The exterior red brick and careful symmetry are signature features of the Revival period of Georgian Architecture. The interior, a 7-bedroom, 5-bath pinnacle of modernized historical charm is incredibly spacious and flooded with natural light. Throughout the years, the heating of the house has been upgraded from coal to oil to natural gas. The backend of the property features a 2-bedroom carriage home, where Connie and Paul’s late brother and his wife lived for a short period of time following their marriage in 1960.
Connie and Paul’s parents, Paul Sr. and Thelma Corman, sold the home in 1992 and the home had served as a Family Health Services Practice. Connie admitted that once it became a clinic, she never thought she’d be able to go back. Then, in July of this year, the house went up for sale.
Connie’s niece told her the news. Connie immediately contacted the realtor, Derek Canova of Kissinger, Bigatel & Brower Realtors, to ask if it would be possible to walk through the home before it was sold. Connie, a current resident of Richmond, Virginia, felt that she had been given an opportunity that she couldn’t say no to, and so she arranged for herself, Paul and some close family members to have a reunion of sorts, beginning at 124 N Allegheny in downtown Bellefonte. The response to her idea was a resounding yes.
The excitement was apparent as the pack moved throughout the home, bustling in and out of rooms with remarks of activities that had once taken place there, how different some features looked and then again how others seemed to be exactly as they had left them.
In the second-floor study, the brother and sister chuckled over the memory of what they referred to as “the most uncomfortable love seat ever.” Connie clarified: “It was so thin!” Paul gleefully motioned to where the TV set had been. Behind one door, Connie was delighted to find the laundry shoot.
On the third floor, or what was described as “Paul’s stomping grounds,” were three large rooms and a gorgeous full bath. Paul, examining the bedroom that he had shared with his brother James, laughed about how he had hated the floral wallpaper that once covered the walls. “Of course it didn’t matter,” he smiled in appreciation. It was apparent that the room held some of his favorite memories.
The family’s live-in maid, Annie, had occupied one of the third floor bedrooms. The siblings described her as being like a family member, with Connie reminiscing on how she and Annie would sit in the kitchen and listen to the radio shows together. Connie smiled: “I can still see it.”
As the time began to draw to a close, the siblings and other family members earnestly thanked Canova for allowing the day to happen. After believing that their final viewing of the home had been over 20 years prior, it meant so much to them to have this one last experience to treasure.
As plans for lunch rippled throughout the group, Connie repeated a line of praise she had uttered numerous times that day—short, sweet and unequivocally sincere.
“Oh, it was just a wonderful home.”
While revisiting one’s past is known to conjure up mixed feelings—of relief, joy, gratitude, sadness—the family members appeared to embody an overwhelming aura of contentment in their decision to come back to the home that had, in more ways than one, shaped their youth. It was as if they had already decided that the act of reminiscing should not be wasted as a tearful journey into what once was, but rather a period of uplifting appreciation and maybe even more necessary—closure.
“This is it.” Connie said, now positive that this was, in fact, the final goodbye.
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