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Home Tour: Historic Glenbrow Home Revived

Anne Evans Anne Evans Home Tour: Historic Glenbrow Home RevivedThe Gunning House, also know as Glenbrow, after a stunning 3 year renovation.
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The Gunning House, also know as Glenbrow, has enjoyed a caring and thoughtful update, thanks to Dorri Steinhoff and Joe Kuspan, who purchased the home and property in the summer of 2014.

The home had been in extreme disrepair and vacant since 2005. As the renovations began, Steinhoff and Kuspan discovered it was in worse shape than they had originally thought.

“We deconstructed the house and saved every piece that wasn’t ruined,” said Steinhoff. Much of the wood had been damaged by termites. The deconstruction allowed them space to build up the clerestory windows in the kitchen area, allowing more light and better ventilation into the home.

The original design did not have gutters along the roofline which lead to water issues with heavy rainfalls. Adding gutters and French drains around the property corrected the water issues.

All new plumbing was put into the home. Sinks crafted from boulders were added to the bathrooms. A skylight was added in the living room and the foyer to allow more light into the home. LED lighting was installed throughout the home.

Glenbrow after a very careful and in depth renovation.

Glenbrow after a very careful and in depth renovation.

Cleared patio space uncovered boulders.

Cleared patio space uncovered boulders.

Another view of the garden courtyard.

Another view of the garden courtyard.

An exterior view of the home.

An exterior view of the home.

(Before) View of the main house from across the lawn.

Kuspan researched kitchen cabinets in homes in Rush Creek Village and studied old photos to make a reproduction of the kitchen cabinet style for Glenbrow.

The entire exterior of board and batten cypress horizontal siding was removed, sanded, and stained, based on a color close to the gray patina.

After clearing all of the overgrowth, brush, and poison ivy from the outside, the family discovered boulder gardens and stone patios, creating pleasant areas to enjoy the outdoors. Their oldest daughter rebuilt a frog pond near the front door. The walkway had to be demolished and replaced.

View of the new windows and kitchen cabinets.

View of the new windows and kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen stove and view out of the back door.

Kitchen stove and view out of the back door.

Kitchen cabinets display colorful dishes and more.

Kitchen cabinets display colorful dishes and more.

A view of the dining room to the kitchen.

The dining room. A panel was added that is removable and allows larger pieces of furniture to be brought into the home with ease.

The dining room. A panel was added that is removable and allows larger pieces of furniture to be brought into the home with ease.

The office had a small window added to view the ravine.

The office had a small window added to view the ravine.

Windows looking onto the ravine, in the living room.

Windows looking onto the ravine, in the living room.

One of the bedrooms.

One of the bedrooms.

The bedroom's fireplace.

The bedroom’s fireplace.

A door latch original to the home remains.

A door latch original to the home remains.

Boulder sink added to the a bathroom.

Boulder sink added to the a bathroom.

The bedroom that was added to the back of the home in the 1960s.

The bedroom that was added to the back of the home in the 1960s.

The bathroom off of the bedroom in the back of the home.

The bathroom off of the bedroom in the back of the home.

The master bath looks onto the boulder garden.

The master bath looks onto the boulder garden.

A view from the master bedroom to the far corner of the dining room.

A view from the master bedroom to the far corner of the dining room.

Kuspan has been working on a garden on the front of the home to add protection from the snow, and to have a place for keeping some of the ruins from the remodel.

“Little follies here and there,” says Steinhoff.

The 2,144 square-foot home was built in 1940 with walls of sandstone that had been quarried on-site. The concrete flooring was replaced to install a new hydronic heat system and plumbing.

The house sits atop a ravine and has floor to ceiling windows that showcase the view and allow the natural materials of the home to blend into the landscape. It’s Kuspan’s favorite aspect of the home.

“I love the view of the ravine,” he says. “Every day is a little bit different and you can really track time with the sunlight. You wake up every morning and are in tune with nature. It’s especially great when the stream is really rolling.”

Steinhoff agrees.

“I love the outside ares,” she says. “You just notice little details and get lost in nature and forget about the troubles in the world.”

The renovated walkway and retaining wall.

The renovated walkway and retaining wall.

(Before) Looking north along the house.

(Before) Looking north along the house.

A view of the home from the ravine.

A view of the home from the ravine.

More of the walkway beside the home.

More of the walkway beside the home.

Another view of the walkway from the carport to the home's front door.

Another view of the walkway from the carport to the home’s front door.

(Before) The walkway leading to the front door.

(Before) The walkway leading to the front door.

A view of the roofline of the home.

A view of the roofline of the home.

(Before) View of the rooftop.

(Before) View of the rooftop.

Natural flowers found throughout the property.

Natural flowers found throughout the property.

The frog pond.

The frog pond.

A closeup of the frog pond, and one of the residents.

A closeup of the frog pond, and one of the residents.

Fern garden.

Fern garden.

View into the ravine.

View into the ravine.

The stone patio that was uncovered.

The stone patio that was uncovered.

The couple's collection of Paolo Soleri bells find a perfect home in the walkway.

The couple’s collection of Paolo Soleri bells finds a perfect home in the walkway.

A closeup view of a Paolo Soleri bell.

A closeup view of a Paolo Soleri bell with the tower in the background.

Work remains to be done on the tower.

Work remains to be done on the tower.

Outdoor sculpture.

Outdoor sculpture.

The couple still has plans to renovate the tower on the property as an artist retreat/bed and breakfast, and they would like to add an art pavilion behind the ruins of the tennis court. They like the atmosphere the crumbling tennis court provides for entertaining. Clearing the pond is another thing they would like to do.

The Gunning House has historic status as an early example of Organic-Modernist architecture using Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house principles. This house was Tony Smith’s first house in the field of architecture. Smith was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright and led the design of the home along with Theodore van Fossen and Laurence Cuneo.

The tennis court area.

The tennis court area.

Filled in pool.

The pool that was once part of the property was filled in before the couple purchased the property.

Joe Kuspan and Dorri Steinhoff enjoying life in The Gunning House.

Joe Kuspan and Dorri Steinhoff enjoying life in The Gunning House.

In 2014, The Columbus Landmarks Foundation had the property as No. 4 on the list of the most endangered places at risk of demolition, destruction, or irreparable damage. Steinhoff and Kuspan have kept a relationship with the Columbus Landmarks Foundation and in October of 2017, held an event at the home where people could tour the space and hear the couple speak about the renovation. They plan to work with Columbus Landmarks Foundation on future events, join the Columbus Landmarks Foundation for updates. Otherwise please keep in mind Glenbrow is now a private residence.

See all of the before photos from when the home was purchased in 2014 and read more about the background of the home from my interview with Dorri Steinhoff.

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