She wasn’t looking to buy a home. In fact, Abigail Mack was perfectly happy in the condo she had purchased while she was in graduate school. It overlooked Franklin Park and was a good size. But because of her job with Homeport, she’s aware of homes that come up for sale on Columbus’ Near East Side. And then that special property came along. The kind that you see and think, ‘oh, that’s so wonderful!’ and you get a bit gleeful, but it’s out of your price range so you swear not to think of it again. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t watch the house. It came down in price. Then down again. And again. Soon, it was to the point where she could make a financial situation work. She decided to go take a look, and then fell in love.
The 5 bedroom, 3 and a half bathroom, 2800 square foot American Foursquare home occupies a double lot on a corner in Woodland Park. It was built in 1910 by a lawyer, Robert Watts McCoy and his wife Christine L. Chapman. They had one son. The home had enough space for their family and a servant or a nanny. The servant stairs remain completely in tact, leading to the second floor from the kitchen. There is also a large cedar linen closet (complete with working key!) on the third floor attic space.
The kitchen had been redone recently in new granite with new appliances. Although done a bit fancy for Abigail’s tastes, she likes it. The butler’s pantry was removed during the remodel to give the kitchen more space. The unique kitchen island is a table Abigail’s mother found at a school in eastern Colorado. It was probably from a home economics room as one of the drawers can hold a sewing machine. It also has plenty of distressing and colorful phrases carved into it, giving it an original charm.
Many of the furniture pieces throughout the home have been handed down from her family. Her family loves antiques and since Abigail has the most space out of her family members, many pieces have come to live here. She also has furniture from both of her grandmothers. The buffet in the kitchen was from her grandmother’s farm. Most things from her farm had been painted blue. Abigail’s father restored the buffet to its original condition.
In the dining room, Abigail has her other grandmother’s original Duncan Phyfe dining table. “It was the nicest thing she had in their one room shack in the middle of the Dust Bowl,” says Abigail, “and it is in immaculate condition.” Not a scratch on it. She would like to reupholster and refinish the chairs. One by one they were broken, being a bit too delicate for the hard-working farmers that used them every day.
The dining room has one of the homes several gorgeous mantels and fireplaces. It is completed in Rookwood tile, by the Rookwood Pottery Company, an over century old artisan tile company from Cincinnati. The classic craftsman designs for the fireplaces add to the home’s timeless feel.
Abigail also loves the crown molding and beautiful wood trim found throughout the home. The windows are the original casement windows. There are French doors between some of the downstairs rooms. The stair landing is home to a gorgeous stained glass window that is colorless. It is a detail that is special to the home and just right for Abigail because while she loves stained glass, the usually colorful panes can be a bit busy for her taste. This house is an elegant version of simple farmhouse style.
The sleeping porch is what really sold her on the home. Once she saw that she knew she was going to figure out how to make owning this home work. I visited on a warm summer afternoon and there was a lovely breeze through the home the entire time. Even though the sleeping porch faces onto the street, it was peaceful, shaded and relaxing. Abigail loves hanging out there with her friends.
Abigail installed a house fan on the third floor that is wonderfully efficient. She says they have barely turned on the air conditioning. Along with the linen closet, the third floor has its own bathroom which is nice for her roommate.
The second floor has the other four bedrooms, with three of them connected. You can enter the nursery first, then go into the master bedroom where large his and her closets lead to the master bathroom. Through the bathroom, you can get to what was probably an older child’s room. Abigail has made the door to that bedroom a removable shelf to give her roommate more privacy and to provide more shelving in the bathroom. The other bedroom on the floor has it’s own bathroom.
The room that had been a nursery is filled with windows and is perfect for her teenage daughter. The space is large enough for her bed, desk, sitting area, storage, and a wardrobe. It’s a beautiful room. When purchasing this home, Abigail was aware the public schools in Woodland Park are not rated well. For what she has had to pay for this home and the property taxes, Abigail has been able to afford sending her daughter to the Mansion Day School and Columbus School for Girls- decisions she has been very happy with. They also enjoy visiting the Ward Family YMCA.
Woodland Park is a great neighborhood to live in and the people here are friendly. “I love the neighborhood and the historic houses,” says Abigail. “The varied styles are awesome. You will find a 10,000 square foot mansion next to 1,000 square foot attached row houses all within a block from each other.” There are not many open lots and the cohesiveness of the neighborhood has not been disrupted.
The home has lots of yard space from its position on a double lot. Abigail’s boyfriend, Landon Proctor, keeps a good sized vegetable garden on part of it. He also keeps an apiary that is doing very well. He has owned the beehive for awhile and did have them housed on a farm in Zanesville, but needed to move them here in the Spring. To date, they have had no cause for alarm and the bees are happily producing plenty of honey.
The porch in front of the carriage house is another place they all enjoy gathering. The carriage house is a one bedroom suite above the actual garage. All together, it’s a beautiful property being cared for and enjoyed by a group of people who have the benefit of being a great group of friends.
At Home is a monthly column on Columbus Underground focused on urban home remodeling and style as well as older home renovations and unique homes in Columbus. If you would like to have your home featured in the At Home series, please send an email to me at Anne@columbusunderground.com.