This looks more like a small town home than a city residence. North Parkway was newly built and neither Rhodes nor Hein Park had even been laid out when this part of Vollintine-Evergreen was being filled in with rustic bungalows and slightly fancier Queen Anne cottages.
The house is a bungalow in the Arts and Crafts Style, which promoted casual, informal living. The exterior reflects this in its heavily textured stucco, deep overhanging roof supported by large triangular brackets, and a welcoming front porch that runs the full width of the house. Mature sweet gums cast the majority of the front yard in shade and perfectly frame the house. Miniature fairy roses line the wall that runs from the street to the porch. Evergreen azaleas and nandinas in front of the porch provide spring flowers and winterberries.
Amazingly for the 1920s, when ceiling heights were dropping to nine and even eight feet, this house is graced with 10-foot ceilings. The shed roof with its deep overhang makes the house feel low from the street, so it's a surprise to enter and find rooms that are tall and generously scaled.
The living-room seating area is arranged nicely around a fireplace flanked by bookcases. The entrance end is equally spacious and now comfortably holds a baby-grand piano. Likewise, the dining room beyond is a large, almost banquet-scaled room that feels even bigger because a long bay window with a built-in seat pushes the room out to the west.
Two bedrooms and a bath are downstairs. Both bedrooms also feature expansive bay windows. The bath has had a shower added near the tub. A long vanity topped with a slab of black marble and with an undermounted white sink is the appropriate focus here.
The original attic fan still operates so in spring you can employ it for cooling rather than the new central heat-and-air system. A fan is a real bonus from the past that is too often removed in renovations.
The kitchen has been renovated by the current owners several times since they took up residence in 1958 -- a testament to the continuing appeal of the street. Most houses here are now occupied by younger households who are renovating and adding on.
Although the kitchen layout is perfectly functional, it's probably due another update. The washer and dryer have been relocated from the basement to an area that was originally the breakfast room and butler's pantry. The center of the space holds the kitchen in a galley layout, and the rear, which had been porch and utility, has been opened up to the backyard, with triple French doors providing the perfect new eating area.
Out back, the patio would benefit from the addition of an arbor, since the rear yard, unlike the front, is very sunny. Of course, it's a perfect area for flower and vegetable gardening, and there are some spectacular perimeter shrubs like leather leaf viburnums and even several gardenias. There are two garden sheds in the rear corners of the fenced backyard and rear-alley access.
The rear-alley access would allow you to build a freestanding garage, but a spacious shed-roofed carport has already been attached to the house with a drive gate and an exterior door right into the kitchen for easy grocery unloading.
The upstairs has also been finished out with two rooms. The addition of a bath here would turn this into quite a nice master suite. With all the work that's been done this is an eminently livable house, which, with a little updating, could easily become a shed-roofed showcase.
1,760 square feet
3 bedrooms, 1 bath; $139,900
Realtor: Crye-Leike, 372-3690
Agent: Clarry Foster, 381-4655