Archer & Buchanan Architecture's Hobbit House in Chester County

The 600-square-foot treasure near Gwynedd Mercy College feature intricate details and whimsy found few other places on the Main Line.

West Chester’s Archer & Buchanan Architecture has been amassing an incredible track record, with a 17-year portfolio that includes numerous award-winning designs for new homes, renovations and historic restorations. One project, however, stands out among the rest based on originality alone: Completed in 2004 on a 16-acre Chester County property near Gwynedd Mercy Academy, the Hobbit House has been stirring up renewed interest thanks to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the recent film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fabled book.

The modestly eccentric home’s owner is Vince Donovan, an avid collector of Tolkien memorabilia. Though only 600 square feet, the structure isn’t lacking in detail. It has a round, 200-pound door with a single-point pivot hinge, a timber-frame design, and a ceramic-tile roof imported from France. “Everyone put their heart and soul into this project,” says A&B’s Peter Archer. 

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