b'Making aHome forMusic and LoveA South Orange couple bring life and colorback to a Village classicBY TIA SWANSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY JULIA MALOOF VERDEROSAclear is that in 1926, Skolnik gave up both her career and Europe and moved to South Orange to marry Kelsey. Shortly thereafter, Kelsey ordered an addition to the house on Ridgewood Road: a grand, sunken, music room, complete with stained-glass musical instrument windows, yards of cupboards for holding mu-sic, a soaring ceiling, and an honest-to-goodness stage. The couple had a son and Skolnik did not perform for several years, professing that beingamotherandwife broughthermorejoy.In 1936, with her husband as a The foyer features a painting by mural artist Diana Maye Whitener. Look closely and see the tree trunk extend into the mural above it. Framing by Rick Hauser ofnotable patron, she became The Framing Mill. the first female concert mas-ter for the New Jersey Sym-phony Orchestra. Fastforwardacentury W ith its stolid stucco and uncut stone faade, its dark beamsto the spring of 2022, when the house, which had gone and iron, the handsome residence nestled next to the smallthroughseveralownersin branch of the Rahway in South Orange looks like it was builttheinterveningyears,in-by a respectable, established businessman. And it was. But itcluding two or three in the is also at least partially a monument to love.last decade, again came up Frederick Kelsey, a lawyer and member of the renownedforsale.Themarketwas Kelsey family of Orange, whose father was the main driver inhot,andthingsweresell-founding the Essex County Park system, had the house put up in 1914. He wasing in a matter of days, but married with a young family, and the house is substantial, with seven bedroomsthehouseonRidgewood (though it seems likely that the third-floor bedrooms were given over to staff).lingered.Maybeitwasits In 1915, Kelsey, a music lover, met Joan Jennie Skolnik, a Russian violin- size; maybe it was because itThe front entrance is surrounded by a hand-painted ist who was not yet 20 and already a sensation. It is not clear if they remainedlooked like it needed a bit ofmuralit extends to the second floorby Diana Maye Whitener, a Philadelphia-based artist. It took in contact over the next decade, during which time Kelseys wife died. What istouching up. (In the style ofher five months to complete.12/ matters magazine / hearth + home 2023'