Reader Kirby R. sent a very nice note to me and with it came his vision for how the Hardy home must have been laid out based on the various descriptions in the books. His architectural diagram was so professional looking, and so closely matched how I envisioned the home to look, I asked for his permission to post his drawing here. So here it is for us all to enjoy.
First a drawing of the exterior. Remember, the Hardys lived in a large house in a nice neighborhood of Long Island, New York:
Then we have the architectural diagram of the ground floor as well as the grounds outside:
Here is a closer look at the ground floor plan:
Finally we have the diagram of the upstairs as well as the basement:
Here is what Kirby wrote me about his views of the Hardy home:
THE HARDY HOME OVERALL:
“When I think of the Hardy’s adventures, I think in terms of the Eisenhower administration; late fifties / early sixties (pre-Beatles). A simpler time. So when I designed the house, I kept that in mind. So the TV in the living room is BIG; a piece of furniture. It would take two people to move it. They have a canning room for spinster Aunt Gertrude, a sewing room for the stay-at-home Laura, and a potting room for both, to help them in their gardening. There is a shortwave station and a real reference library with real books in the house because of this being a pre-cell phone and pre-computer era. Most of these things would be common in our modern world.
The home is two story, with a full basement. The facade is traditional ‘Olde English’, with lots of stone work, as was mentioned in the books. It would fit right in with any upper-middle income WASP suburb in America of that time. It sits on a large, shaded, tree-lined corner lot. I installed a fence in the back yard even though one is never mentioned because it made sense to have one. I would say it’s chain link rather than private, since some mention is made of someone looking into the back yard from the side street and the Hardys seeing someone run down that side street.
The Hardys don’t have a dog, which is sort of crazy, given the nature of Fenton’s work. A big trained German Shepherd in the back yard and little yappy chihuahua in the house would have made for great early warnings — better than their alarms which never seemed to help — but since they didn’t have permanent dog residents — no doghouse. Maybe Gertude and Laura were too busy with all that canning and potting and sewing to keep up with dogs?
There’s a formal entry hall with the main stairs going up, and the only interior stairs that go down to the basement. Originally I had a formal living room to the right off the entry, with a family room or den in the back as homes of this size tend to have. But I can’t find any mention of two gathering rooms, just a living room. This works out well anyway, since in at least one case a guest stayed in a guest room just off the entry area. I did keep the formal dining room because the Hardys love to eat, and Laura would be the type of homemaker to want one. The family actually uses it, mostly for dinners.
The kitchen is the central meeting place in a lot of stories, so I paid careful attention to it. I went with the ‘country kitchen’ concept rather than a kitchen with a separate breakfast nook, since Chet often plops right down at a table with Gertrude serving him pie or roast beef sandwiches while standing right next to him and admiring his appetite. Most meals and discussions are at this table so I made it round so that everyone can see everyone else clearly. The door to the back porch off the kitchen was important since Chet comes right into the kitchen — unannounced — all the time.
The living room / den is large but cozy, with a fireplace and back stairs that only go up. The 25” TV (black and white?) is the centerpiece of the room. There’s probably a big radio on an end table since they sometimes tune in to one in this room. Laura’s sewing room is right off of the living room, down one step and through the underside of the stairs. She probably stays busy mending Frank and Joe’s clothes because of all their adventures.
The detached double garage has a support column since the boys’ lab is over it. It’s over-sized so it can fit two cars and the boy’s motorcycles inside it as well. Not much else to say about the garage.
The second floor has more than just the family’s bedrooms; it also has Fenton’s study and library and a second guest room since a book details a young visitor staying in it, close to the boys’ own room.
Frank and Joe share a room, have their own closets and a built-in desk in a nook for doing homework. The windows face the front of the house since there are multiple examples of them looking out to the front yard when Chet yells at them from the street, or when something is thrown through the windows. Yes, the Hardys have two guest rooms yet Frank and Joe share a room. There’s a hall bathroom that the boys and a guest would share.
Gertrude has her own bathroom connected to her bedroom. In my mind, she’s a permanent member of the household, not a frequent visitor as stated in early books, so she needs her own private space.
Fenton and Laura share a large master bedroom and bath, with an over-sized closet to hold not only their clothes, but his most-often used disguises.
The study has Fenton’s desk and two armchairs facing it. Frank and Joe are usually the ones sitting in those chairs. The safe is in the large closet. I gave the room bay windows because mention is made that the Hardy boys could see their dad’s light on in the study when they pull up to the garage at night. Bay windows allow easier notice of that. The library is just that. Lots of books on lots of subjects, and file cabinets to store all of Fenton’s detailed card files on the criminal underworld.
Frank and Joe’s lab is on a second floor too, but separate from the house since it’s over the garage. The outside stairs are a direct lift from the books. I added a small half bath up there because who wants to go all the way back into the house when nature calls? It doubles as a small dark room, in the days when you needed one to develop high-quality pictures.
Admittedly, most of the basement details are pure conjecture. I know they have a furnace down there, and the short wave station (although I think that was once stated as being in the attic. Oh well, the basement makes better sense.)
I put the laundry room down there, along with a huge closet for winter clothes storage and many more of Fenton’s disguises. He also has a secure room for the most sensitive items that can’t go in his safe.
Just for fun, I added a mini-gym for the boys and their friends Biff, Tony, Chet, Jerry, and Phil as a place to work out and practice their hand-to-hand fighting skills. And to just goof off together. It could also double as a teen’s room, when Iola and Callie and other girls join the boys for dancing to “beat records”, eating sandwiches and drinking root beers, and enjoy some good clean fun together. (Remember — late fifties / early sixties?)
There is an outdoor stairway leading down into the basement in the back yard so that Laura and Gertrude can come straight from the their gardening into the potting room. And that’s about it. I hope this floor plan helps readers to envision the Hardy’s home life a bit better. It was fun doing it and revising it.”
Thank you very much, Kirby, for contributing this to the site. It helps us all picture the events of the book that much better.
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