Submitted by: Murphy Hendy, ONS resident and Realtor
The magic of the past sings poetically through the rooftops and tree canopies of downtown's Old Northside, painting the grounded historic streets with an ominous yet strangely familiar haunt from yesteryear. Many of us 'old house' dwellers have wondered, at one point or another, what it might be like to live in our home just after it was built. As residents of our treasured ONS quarters, we are accustomed to residing alongside the shadows & stories of the last 100+ years; which also means we understand how to appreciate (and sometimes merely tolerate) the many quirks & complexities of these seasoned Grande Dames. But what if the home was just built - just inhabited? I've asked myself many times, "what must it be like to experience that 'newness?" As I drift into this intoxicating mental excursion, I imagine perfectly crisp trim and siding boards, crystal clear windows whose weights were just hung, warm wood tones newly polished, a staircase as level as the horizon, and floors that shine as strikingly as the water's edge on a silent and still summer morning.
Let's venture over to Greg and Judi's home at 1207 N. Park Ave, where they invite us into their delightfully-curated 1994 Victorian-inspired charmer to experience that 'newness' we have all pondered at one point or another. Considering the general collection of homes in the ONS date pre-20th Century, don't let the youthful spirit of this handsome nouveau Victorian fool you - the love and adoration that the Kuetermans have for the dapper abode runs deep. This very sentiment reverberates throughout the ONS and lives in us all.
In 2004, on a brisk March day, the Kuetermans (venturing from their then-home in Columbus, Indiana) decided to hop-over to 1207 N. Park to enjoy the open house that was taking place (as they were in-the-market and looking to move to Indy). Greg was ready to be closer to his career with Eli Lilly and Judi was eager to begin her 15 year career with the IMA. Admittedly, they weren't sure where they wanted to land, so they set their parameters for 'downtown neighborhoods', where Lockerbie would become the main area-of-interest (a neighborhood they knew well, as dear friends lived there). Interestingly, 1207 provided them the relaxed opportunity to tour a home in the ONS, not somewhere they had been too focused-on up to this point. They both became immediately fond of the area (not surprising) upon arrival. Judi, who happens to be quite a prolific and adventurous cook, was hooked the moment she stepped into the kitchen, Greg remembers fondly. This critical space was instantly the deciding factor for them - even before they finished the complete tour (a personal realization we can all understand in our own pursuit-for-home). As they began heading back to Columbus that evening, they knew the impetus of submitting an offer was quickly manifesting; and so they did! Fast-forward to Memorial Day weekend: they closed on the house with former owners, Louis and Dorothy Habig! Welcome home, Greg and Judi - the now-3rd-owners of 1207! But not 2 days after they 'signed on the dotted line', tornadoes swept the core of the city and had residents (near and far) taking shelter - fearing for their homes and their safety. Greg and Judi were happy to report that they (and their newly purchased home) weathered the storm that weekend, but not without great emotional strain and a slight interruption to their well-crafted moving-day efforts. Since settling-in many years after that anxiety-laced move, Greg and Judi acknowledge, "The kitchen is the centerpiece of our home. When we have guests over, people gravitate toward it. It's big - with a lot of natural light and sends off a warm feeling". Greg also describes a profound deep blue striped wallpaper in the kitchen that caught his attention during the initial tour. It has provided the backdrop for countless gatherings, special life-moments, and an endless assortment of exciting Judi-meals: "We've not dared to replace it because it remains beautiful". Yet another sentiment we can all relate to here in the ONS.
The home is tucked-in between a distinguished 1993 contemporary home and a 1953 brick apartment building, The Genesee, while enjoying a perfect view of the iconic Morris-Butler house just across the street. The Kueterman's floorplan is semi-compartmentalized, intuitive, and reminiscent of what we might expect from a flawlessly renovated heritage beauty. A bright and tailored home office off the foyer pulls the focus momentarily, where it hosts an original map from the Battle of Normandy, hanging carefully behind glass. Judi's father was a soldier in this historic event (also known as 'Operation Overlord') and kept this map folded-up in his pocket where he would use it to jot-down quick notes while at task. Every single fold-line forever embedded into the map tells an intimate story of one man's exact moment in time. A broad and refined living room provides the wall upon which the striking stairwell will eventually twist up to the finished 3rd floor. Naturally moving into the kitchen - the heart of the lower level - we can understand the desire to mingle, congregate, laugh, and celebrate in all the ways Greg and Judi envisioned when they initially toured the home in 2004. The second level boasts bright and refined bedrooms & bathrooms before heading up to the 3rd floor flex-space; perfect for overnight guests, a fun play room for the visiting kiddos, or a cozy niche for Greg and Judi to enjoy a good movie together on a crisp fall night. Head out back by means of a large and inviting enclosed rear porch into the carefully designed, artistically-forward backyard retreat where a custom 'disappearing' waterfall feature sets the mood among a thoughtful mix of trees, shrubs, perennials and art. A beautifully appointed apartment sits inconspicuously atop the garage, allowing the Kuetermans the flexibility in how they chose to use the extra space, currently tenant-occupied. 1207 N. Park Ave was once the site of an abandoned parking lot; just ask them how many giant pieces of concrete chunks they had to remove from the property as landscaping efforts began to take shape!
Home is where we hang our hats - it's where we create our storyboard - it's where we keep the ones we love safe and secure. No matter the age, be it young or old, our home holds our hearts. Greg and Judi: we thank you both for opening-up your special space to allow us an intimate opportunity to experience the many ways in which you cherish 1207 N. Park Ave. The 'newness' of it honors the past with grace and evokes a full-bodied emotional connection that can be shared among our fellow neighbors and friends here in the dazzling and diverse ONS community we all love to call 'home'.
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