At Home: A stunning condo in Summit Chase serves as gorgeous backdrop to art collection
“I love windows, he loves space for art,” says Patrick Carmichael of the home that he and partner Jeffrey Ayers have lived in for the past two and a half years. “We don’t have to compromise.”
The couple has lived in Summit Chase, the towering high-rise in Grandview, for nine years. Previously, they had been in a condo on the third floor. Living in the building was great, but having a better view would be fantastic. “There was one tree that obscured the view,” says Carmichael.
When a unit on the penthouse level opened up, they were excited to move. “We have this great view of Downtown,” says Ayers.
Summit Chase was built in 1964 and is comprised twenty-two floors with thirty-three different floor plans. The building was designed by E.A. Glendening & Associates and was the first high-rise condominium built in Central Ohio. The building was built on the former site of the Urlin mansion, which was torn down in 1950. George Cambridge Urlin and his wife Alice were instrumental in planning the city of Grandview.
From the Grandview Heights / Marble Cliff Historical Society:
Like many of their peers Urlin and his wife Alice were also active in the burgeoning local real estate market. By the turn of the century their Suburban Real Estate Company owned three separate Grandview Heights subdivisions including a huge amount of land stretching from Fifth Avenue South to Dublin Road. In addition to donating the land for the library, the Brotherhood of the Rooks home, and McKinley Field, they also named the city. The city’s name evolved from Alice’s exclamation of what a “Grand View” from the tower of the family estate high on the hill where Summit Chase sits today.
The previous owner had been doing some renovations to the 2,000 square-foot unit, which included putting in limestone floors. He also moved the staircase to a north-south orientation that really opened up the main living space and created a fantastic loft area. Upstairs there are two bedrooms and the space has two and a half bathrooms.
Carmichael and Ayers made cosmetic changes, such as darkening the foyer. “That’s a Frank Lloyd Wright trick,” says Ayers. “The pop of pink in the guest bath at the end of the hall is Patrick’s touch.” Entering the space with the darkened foyer makes the floor to ceiling windows of the main living space even more dramatic.
The couple added a sink in the loft area and it’s also where their television is. “This is where we live, really,” says Ayers.
Ayers has hung many of the landscapes in his collection in the upstairs hallway in a salon style. “I like to hang landscapes where there aren’t windows to mimic windows,” he says. One of his most memorable compliments was during a preview party for Art for Life the couple was hosting and guest Dennison Griffith complimented his layouts.
It took Ayers about six months to figure out where to hang each piece of his extensive art collection. “We had to let go of where pieces were in the old place,” he says, in order for them to find their new homes in this space. Some of the paintings’ new homes were obvious because of their size. Ronald D. Newman’s Forming Water had to be placed on the wall above the staircase, but it looks perfectly at home there.
Ayers has been collecting art for quite some time. “I had started several years ago collecting and didn’t have any focus,” he says. “We’re [he and Patrick] both from Ohio. I had an aha moment that we have a lot of great artists locally. There’s a lot of great art in town, people are still discovering it.”
Craig Carlisle is the first artist Ayers got to know really well on a personal level. He has several works by Carlisle. Ayers loves being able to connect with artists. “They are so generous with their time,” he says. “To be invited into their studios, makes that piece much more special.”
Ayers has also purchased pieces at the bi-annual Art for Life sale, put on by the AIDS Resource Center Ohio. It’s also where he purchased his first major piece, Kayapo #8 by Dennison Griffith. Ayers named that has his favorite as it was the “first important piece I ever bought…I bought it for my thirtieth birthday.”
Ayers and Carmichael met when they both were participating in Vaud-Villities, “America’s Longest-Running Music and Dance Spectacular.” Although they no longer participate in that, they are both very active in the community, despite their busy work schedules. Carmichael is helping put together the AIDS Resource Center Ohio’s Red Party, taking place on September 14.
The home is the only unit in Summit Chase that has a wood burning fireplace. Ayers and Carmichael love it – with a fire cackling, looking out across the treetops to Downtown, you are able to relax and decompress, without sacrificing any of the convenience of living close to the city.