Lots o' Options 

Circa 1917 Tudor Revival in Central Gardens.

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On the outside, it's a Tudor Revival. There's dark brick below, with half-timbering and stucco in the steeply pitched, front-facing gables. And there are arches on the front entry porch (hidden by nandinas under the left gable), but that's about as far as the Tudor details go. The facade, with its twin gables and center dormer with the chimney right behind it, is unusually symmetrical for a Tudor. If there were a center front porch and siding instead of stucco in the gables, about all it would take is a coat of white paint to make this a perfect Colonial Revival cottage.

Inside, there are no arches, no diamond-paned windows, and no stone mantel — things you would expect, given the exterior treatment. Nevertheless, it's a beguiling house, one of those increasingly rare Midtown homes that has not been renovated (except for a '70s kitchen re-do), so you don't have to wonder how it was laid out originally — it's perfectly clear. Now it really needs some sensitive updating, but it provides the opportunity to do so the way you like instead of undoing someone else's ideas.

There are three distinct public rooms across the front: a sunroom behind the front porch, a central living room with a fireplace, and a dining room on the same side as the butler's pantry and the "got to go" kitchen.

The living room has three tall windows and doors on three sides, making seating a challenge. The room could more easily hold a big, round table and be a fabulous occasional dining room and the perfect entry hall. The original dining room, butler's pantry, and kitchen could then be gutted and reconfigured. There's plenty of wall space for seating, and by removing two walls, there would be plenty of good choices for a well-planned kitchen and breakfast area.

The largest of the three bedrooms is on the ground floor. It has the largest closet and is adjacent to the existing full bath. These rooms, too, could be combined to create a comfortable master suite, and a new powder room could be added behind the kitchen.

The house is sited on a wonderful block in Central Gardens. It's not hard to imagine it updated and eminently livable by today's standards. Some houses can be a real challenge to renovate well, so it's always a delight to find one like this that has lots o' options. It doesn't matter if it's Tudor or Colonial, this one's ready for a revival.

1917 Harbert

Approximately 2,130 sq. ft.

3 bedrooms, 2 baths; $235,000

Realtor: Hobson Company, 767-1622

Agent: Deborah Mays, 312-2939

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