BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Township Council presented a proclamation to Lou and Cynthia Mandarakas for their restoration of the Theodore Ward House at 41 Park Place. The Mandarakases purchased the 130-year-old home in 2008 and financed the cost of interior and exterior restorations.

Built in 1887 by Theodore Hastings Ward, an early president of the Bloomfield Saving Bank, the Victorian style home has been recognized by the Society of Architectural Historians for its design. One of the prominent residents of the house was Dr. Gertrude Ward, town benefactor known for her service in caring for victims of the 1903 smallpox epidemic and for founding the welfare agency, League for Friendly Service in 1910.

“One of the original occupants of this beautiful landmark was Dr. Gertrude Ward, a renowned medical expert who performed studies on health conditions and gave talks around the United States about the importance and scientific principles of hygiene and sanitation, at a time when far too many people died of preventable illnesses due to poor hygiene. Dr. Ward was a pioneer and a strong woman at a time when women were discouraged from pursuing scholarly work. By restoring this local landmark, we also honor her memory and work,” said Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, Councilwoman Jenny Mundell and Councilwoman Sarah Cruz, in a joint statement.

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Interior work performed between 2009 and 2017 included restoration of the original library, reinforcement of the original plaster walls and ceilings, refurbishing of interior and exterior doors to restore the original stained trim, while exterior work removed aluminum siding and trimmed old paint off the original siding.

“I want to thank Lou and Cynthia Mandarakas for their hard work and tireless dedication in restoring this beautiful house. Bloomfield is fortunate to have so many beautiful homes that tell the story of various architectural styles and influences such as this house which combines elements of Second Empire Victorian, Italianate and Eastlake architecture. This house is also historically significant because it was built by the Ward family, one of Bloomfield’s prominent founding families. The house was also the home to Dr. Gertrude Ward, a pioneer as a women in the medical profession known for her service in caring for victims of the smallpox epidemic in 1903,” said Councilman Rich Rockwell, Council Liaison to the Bloomfield Historic Preservation Commission the Vice President of the Historical Society of Bloomfield. “We are fortunate to have this priceless gem as a landmark on our historic Green.”