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At Home: German Village Restoration

Anne Evans Anne Evans At Home: German Village Restoration
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  • Sumo

This month we explore a beautiful and meticulous renovation in German Village. When John Napier’s wife decided to move here for work, they decided they also wanted to buy a house in German Village. John says, “we never really considered living anywhere else.” German Village is wonderful. He went on to say, “German Village is the best neighborhood I have ever lived in. It’s quiet, the people are friendly and each day there is another set of flowers blooming. The wonderful smells change day to day and morning to night. I really can’t imagine living in a nicer neighborhood.” That would be hard when you have this beautiful four bedroom, 3 bath, 2900 square foot home planted on a great street corner to come home to every day. And, having a cute dog that likes to sit in the front window on the third floor ready to greet you when you get home doesn’t hurt either.

The house was built in 1868 of very hard golden bricks made of sandstone. When the Napiers bought it a couple of years ago, it had a casino operating out of it. Luckily that part of its past did not do much damage to it, besides some choice woods being carved into a room’s hardwood flooring. A lot of the trim is the original dark stain. The house has four fireplaces that have original tile that boasts beautiful color. The tiles in each room serve as the decorating focal point with the wall colors playing off of them. The Napiers repainted every room. The fireplace in the master bedroom has been converted into a little nook for their dog.

For furniture, much of it has been found at The Grandview Mercantile. Their decorating style stays period to the house. This is first house that John feels he doesn’t completely feel that he owns. He said, “I feel more like a caretaker of a living historical museum. This house has a character and soul.” You feel that as you walk through it. Maybe it is the age of the home, the darkness of all of the woodwork, or the exposed brick walls, but the house feels as if there is a heaviness to it, like it will be around forever.

John is taking some landscaping courses at Ohio State and has worked on their back patio himself. Some of the flowers in the front yard were bought at the North Market.

One of his favorite projects in the house was a guest bathroom. The counter top is a gorgeous piece of soft white marble. John not only likes the look and feel of it, he loved its price. It was a piece from the scrap pile at Corner Stone Granite. The granite and installation was only $325. They have also had some work done by Franklin Art Glass. The blue glass door between the master bedroom and bath, and the front window. They are waiting on the studio to finish glass work for the front door.

All of the art in the house is done by John, his wife, or their family or friends. John did the piece, “Primary Intersection” and his wife took all of the photos, the ones above their bed are from their honeymoon in Italy.

When it is time for them to move, hopefully the new owners will be as caring as the Napiers have been.

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  • shmack

    Look, it’s Tenzo.

  • tolemac5050

    this house should be on HGTV…it is perfect!

  • Queen of Coins

    Absolutely gorgeous house, but the architecture dates it at about 1888.  I’m usually uncannily good at this, check back and tell me if I’m wrong.

  • That is a beautiful home.

  • “Absolutely gorgeous house, but the architecture dates it at about 1888.  I’m usually uncannily good at this, check back and tell me if I’m wrong.”

    Quite possibly.
    The only indication I have is the cornerstone with an  date on it.
    The previous owner said 1920, the title said 1900, the architecture says 1888 and the cornerstone says 1868.

    I doubt it’s 1920 and I believe unkown dates are put in the title registry at 1900.

    thanks for the kind comments guys

  • Nitsud Regnifloh

    lovely patio.

  • HeySquare

    Looks fantastic!

  • I love your dog, I have seen it out on walks around the park and the hood!

    What I found interesting and would love to know more about is that you bought it a few years ago and a casino was being run out of it?  Like a high roller GV group of gamblers kinda casino?  A casual friends only or are there full blown fun spots right under my nose???

  • Bear

    Lovely home, nicely-told story — and some really nice photography, Anne.  The angles from the outside in particular are spot on.

  • full gambling place.

    There are 12 hidden cameras, a hidden bolt room, pressure plates on the stairs, a hidden safe and hidden gun room.  From a touchscreen in the bedroom he could monitor every room.

    We removed the front hazy glass and found out it was bullet proof.  It’s being replaced by Franklin Art Glass for something more period.

    I have yet to look into the cistern in the basement.

  • FrankTank

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your home.  Yet again the Village shows off an outstanding treasure!

  • cc

    Nice home! Do you have any pre=restoration pictures?

  • scott413

    Wow, that’s a really well-done home.  I, too, would love to see some pre-restoration pictures.  Thanks for sharing this!

  • DJ777


    Imagine how shocked, amazed, vexed, and chagrined I am when my realtor friends call to tell me my old house is featured on the website as some abused fixer-upper.  All these years I’ve let you take credit for the rennovations, which, in sum total, is actually only the marble in the hall bathroom and the glass to the master bath.  Everything else was my idea and execution.  No, there was not a casino running out of the house.  It was home to my family of 4.  I put $130,000 into its rennovation, above and beyond its $395,000 purchase price, including the 3rd floor deck, kitchen, bathrooms and refinished all the wood.  And I have every single bill to account for this truth.   How many times did YOU meet with the German Village commission to get the changes approved?  There was nothing carved, obscene or otherwise, into the wood floors.  I would know; my family and I refinished them all, by our own hand, AFTER we pulled the carpet up that covered every surface.

    As for the full casino nonsense:  Where did you find all these hidden items?  I would like to see them.  There were no hidden cameras, no safe, no hidden gun room, and no touchscreen.  Pressure plates?  Well, of course, those activated the lasers and robots.  Dr. Evil put those in when he was fighting Austin Powers before I owned the house.  Are you serious?  If having a front door camera (the extent of the technology) because I had two little boys and lived on a busy corner is running a casino, then Vegas has it all wrong.  Oh, and you made me replace the front glass because it had a crack in it from age.  Doesn’t sound very bulletproof.  None of this equipment ever existed in the house.  And how, exactly, do you operate a casino behind a Taco Bell and a block from a Blockbuster on the corner of 2 busy streets without the police noticing?
    I’m so terribly disappointed that you’ve taken this misrepresentation this far for attention.   

    It was rude to take credit for all my rennovations, but please don’t fabricate complete fantasy to make you look like the good guy who saved this treasure from ill repute.  You got a great deal and I lost a fortune.  Don’t dishonor us both.

  • I’ll link to some of the renovations.  If possible I’ll put a pre and post on each room.

    Pre only of fireplace:

    (To be fair; the casino story was relayed to me by the neighbors, I never did see it. The place was empty when I bought it. However, a casino is the nicest of the three stories I have on the use of the house.)

  • Wow – I often imagine a confrontation like that with the fortmer owner of my house, but in my imagination, it’s my wife and me that berate the idiot prior owners for their utter lack of handiness and “fixes,” that did more harm that good. Renovation is an emotionally fraught subject.

  • ” in my imagination, it’s my wife and me that berate the idiot prior owners for their utter lack of handiness and “fixes,” that did more harm that good. Renovation is an emotionally fraught subject.”

    I understand what you mean. A lot of the previous work done on the place was absolutely destroying it. We had:
    The kitchen stove exhaust blowing dirt and grease between the base cabinets and floor (no outside venting). It was also installed without proper grounding so it regularly blew fuses and was melting the bottom of the stove.
    A backyard graded to drain water into the garage door. Front yard graded against the foundation We ended up doing significant foundation repair.
    Storm windows and doors held together with duct tape and caulk (we had to replace some they were so bad)
    Cracked cement shower pan that drained into the floor and the room below’s ceiling.
    A new roof addition put on so that the main roof drained to under the new roof.
    A bathroom with pipes runs on the outside wall, so they froze up on the first winter. (I think we ended up repairing or modifying just about all the pipe)
    Worst was the inside tuck pointing done with Portland cement that was destroying the historical brick.  http://www.tenzo.org/brick

  • In response to the before and after requests.
    I’m planning on putting together a full before and after for the house.  Here is some that I have up now.  http://www.tenzo.org/GVRenovation

  • Motorist

    Well this just got interesting…

  • cc

    Regardless of the controversy, you and your wife have a wonderful home and I hope whoever buys it after she finishes her residency also appreciates it as much as you do.

  • cc

    ?????? Please notify when editing posts. I am fine with it otherwise.

  • Beth

    oooh, snap on the pictures!

  • Bear

    DJ777, if you think John invented all of this stuff just so that all of us would like him, you clearly haven’t been reading Columbus Underground for very long.

  • Real or not casinos gizmos sounds cool!

    DJ777 post made my day, pretty funny, awww poor guy sold his house and wants some credit for some work.  Sniff sniff.

  • Re-not-vations

    From the looks of the MLS listing when you bought it I think the sink was moved in the kitchen. Thats a renovation worth wrting about. All of the pictures from when you bought it make the house lokk as if it was pristine when you found it. I guess that I can understand that you would want to make it seem as if you did most of the work when it comes to reselling. Only makes sense.

    P.S. He said the guy was commiting a crime, maybe even a felony. That might hurt the wallet.

  • lifeliberty

    Groooooaaaaannnnnnn……………. anywho……

    Love the walk-in shower.  Wish I had something like that for Life.  Awesome you nabbed up a deal, sucks the sellers are still bitter. 

    Oh well, haters be hatin!

  • Really beautiful house. The woodwork and the exposed brick, especially, are gorgeous. I love that you have a nook for your dog!

    I have cursed the owners of every house I’ve ever bought for “fixing” things- like nailing windows shut or covering hardwood floors with horrible vinyl- but it’s probably my karma for painting the mahogany staircase of my first house white. Likely anyone who ever bought a house from me shook their fist at whatever “creative solution” I imposed on the house. We all love our houses, and put a lot of love into them; emotions can run high, for sure.

  • BUSH

    GREAT! GREAT!! JOB. A work of art and best living, too.

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