Two years ago, the house at 970 Lenox Place in North Avondale was just another residual of Cincinnati’s boomtown heyday. If you looked closely, you might’ve been able to discern the ornate details of the home, but curbside, it left an impression of grimness and neglect. The average passerby probably didn’t think twice about it.
Allison Harten did. In 2016, she and her husband bought the house—that is, saved it—from a property wholesaler. Over the ensuing two years, they painstakingly restored it to its former glory. Now you won’t just notice the house as you pass by, you’ll stop and stare.
The house was built in 1901, back when local architects flexed their muscles by reproducing styles from across the pond. These included Tudor, Queen Anne, Richardson Romanesque, and the like. Even by those standards, however, the house’s Swiss Chalet design is a rare breed. The style never took off stateside, so you’d be hard-pressed to find anything like it outside of Cincinnati.
With many of the home’s original details preserved, Harten was able to polish them back to their original spectacle. It begins outside: the ’70s brown paint job was stripped away in favor of a six-color scheme to highlight the intricately carved wood siding. The wraparound porch was given some new love, too; it’s now perfect for dinner parties or morning paper-reading.
On the inside, the house shines with reclaimed elements in every room. Built-in wood seats flank the carved wooden fireplace in the living room. Two-story leaded glass windows illuminate a wood-paneled grand staircase of rare tiger oak wood. The original wood floors abound as well after being restored to perfection.
Harten and her husband also sought to bring the 5-bed, 3.2-bath home into the 21st century. That includes everything you think it would—new appliances, new plumbing and wiring, and a new HVAC. It also includes an open concept first floor, which required the removal of a partial wall. Now the kitchen breathes with the other rooms, and the 12-foot island rightfully functions as the heart of the home.
The finished lower level is another attraction for the average, modern family. It sports recessed lighting, a wood-grained tile floor, and 1,000 square feet of living space. There’s a game room and an office down there, too.
But the star of the show might be the renovated master bedroom. It’s an elegant mix of old and new, with inlaid wood floors and an en suite bathroom outfitted with a double vanity and custom cabinets. The adjacent room was joined with it to create a dreamy walk-in closet with washer and dryer. So, as with the rest of the home, you can revel in the past while living in the future.
Ready to move in? This wonderful Swiss Chalet home is on the market for $650,000.
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For more information on the home, visit the listing.