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At Home: Restoring a home overlooking Franklin Park

Anne Evans Anne Evans At Home: Restoring a home overlooking Franklin Park
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Putting an offer on a house is often a very exciting time. However, when that offer gets delayed again and again due to circumstances out of your control, it gets stressful.

Melissa and Tyler Evans, with their daughter.

Tyler and Melissa Evans waited eight months to hear whether they were the owners of a beautiful home overlooking Franklin Park and even had lost the contract during that time. Luckily, they were able to get back into contract and became the owners in August of 2012.

“We wanted to move to an older home on the East Side,” says Tyler Evans. “Melissa’s sister-in-law owns a home in West Jefferson that was built in 1865 and we just love the history and the architecture of older homes.”

The 6,700-sqare-foot, five bedroom, four and a half bath home had been gutted to the studs. It needed lots of attention. They worked with Jeff Porter, Melissa’s step-father, and his construction company to bring the home back into grandeur.

“The home was once so grand and had been neglected for so long…it’s been wonderful to bring it back to life,” says Tyler.

The home was built in 1899 by Ira Hutchinson Willson, of the wholesale boot and shoe business Belknap, Carpenter & Company located at 243 Front Street N. He lived there with this wife Elizabeth.

After eight months of renovations, the family moved in. Walls had been painted neutral, soothing colors. Additional spindles and railings were built to match the original ones. Corbels and trim were milled to match the existing pieces.  A pass-through was cut through the brick former exterior of the home, to connect the kitchen and the living room and improve the flow of the home.

The living room during construction. The added pass-through can be seen to the right.

The finished living room. This room is the most original to the home.

“We love the layout of this home,” says Tyler.

The couple used several sources for lighting fixtures and they all look appropriate to the age of the home. The beautiful chandelier close to the balcony was a lucky find on eBay. Hardwood floors in oak were added throughout to give a warm and inviting feel. Quartz ledger stone was put in as a backsplash in the kitchen. A farmhouse sink completes the elegantly aged look.

The kitchen island was once a counter for a hardware store that the couple found while shopping the Springfield Antique Mall. It anchors the kitchen, providing plenty of workspace for cooking, entertaining, and art projects. A built-in window seat adds comfort, seating, and storage to the kitchen. Other pieces throughout the home were sourced from small boutiques around Columbus such as Cottage Street, Objects for the Home, and SOBO Style.

The window in the half bath is original to the former exterior of the home. The staircase is also original to the house.

The upstairs rooms are large and feature plenty of room to relax. There’s also lots of play areas for their daughter, and soon-to-be-born son. The proximity to the park is also a huge benefit for their young family and two dogs.

The master bedroom at the front of the home features a large balcony overlooking the park.

A beautiful stand alone tub, shower with rainfall shower head, and a walk-in closet complete the master suite.

The nursery.

Their little girl's room during construction.

Finished windows and a window seat provide a beautiful play area.

The couple love touring historic homes, having attended the Olde Towne East tour of homes in the past. This year, their home will be part of Olde Towne East’s Summer Tour of Historic Homes.

“We put a lot of work into the house and we just want to show it off,” says Tyler. “It’s been vacant for twenty-five years. Everyone wants to see it.”

“We weren’t really looking to move,” says Melissa, “but we found this pretty home.” Tyler agrees. “We’ll probably be here forever.”

If you’re interested in checking out more homes in Olde Towne East, this year’s Olde Towne East Summer Tour of Historic Homes is scheduled for Sunday, July 14th from 1-6pm. It begins at the Scotts MiracleGro Company Community Garden Campus at 1820 Franklin Park South. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour.

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 [email protected].

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