Needs Nothin' 

Circa-1906 four-square in Central Gardens.

This home, with its elegant Indiana limestone exterior, sits sedately on the corner of Carr Avenue and Cleveland Street. The thin, paired columns that support the porch dance enticingly across the front and around the side. It's the playful juxtaposition of those Queen Anne columns with the massive four-square exterior that sets the tone here.

The exterior, though massive, does not prepare you sufficiently for the generously proportioned rooms and the lavish use of quarter-sawn oak. This fancy style of cutting up logs creates a rippled grain that's quite eye-catching and here is shown off in floors, door and window trim, stair rails, and mantels. All of which have obviously been refinished -- the oak gleams like a newly minted penny.

The story's made only more interesting when you find out this wonderful house was, for years, subdivided into six apartments. The previous owners tackled the behemoth task of reversing all that. They not only reestablished the original layout but did it so seamlessly that today there's not even a clue to suggest the prior indignities. Now that's not just laudable but rather remarkable!

Thirteen-foot ceilings on the ground floor immediately grab your attention. Proportionally tall pocket doors open from the entry to two rooms (one back and one to the side), offering options in how the public rooms are to be used. The massive stair with its incised newel post and turned spindles, all oak, animates the entry.

The front parlor is stately and is now used as the living room. In lieu of a focal fireplace, a built-in petticoat mirror gleams from one corner. The other sitting room (the gentlemen's parlor?) has a fireplace and functions perfectly today as a family gathering spot. There's even a side door to the porch set in a bay window for easy outdoor access.

The dining is adequately sized for a small banquet. Across the back is a single bedroom perfect for visitors, which could, natch, be a study as well. Then there's a full bath featuring its original footed tub. The kitchen, like the rest of the house, is large, with plenty of room for food- prep and a big family table. Tall windows fill this and all the other rooms with light.

Upstairs are another four bedrooms. The master, with its own sitting bay, has a fireplace and a redone private bath. What was probably an original sleeping porch has been enclosed to create a generous upstair laundry just where it's needed most. A two-car garage and recently renovated two-story workshop out back could even become a guest cottage without too much effort. You need not feel cramped here. You need not concern yourself with more renovations, 'cause this stately Central Gardens home needs nothin!

1353 Carr Avenue

4,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3 baths; $374,000

Realtor: The Garland Co., 527-7770, Agent: Chris Garland, 230- 3226

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