A house in New Albany styled after a Midwestern resort lodge started with the timber frame of a 130-year-old farmhouse and grew from there.
Follow the private driveway at 6740 Walnut St. through an alley of trees to the stunning white house that emerges, and you might think you took a wrong turn and somehow ended up on a ranch out West. Though the 7.7-acre estate is only a three-minute drive from downtown New Albany, it’s surrounded by green space and farmland—the perfect setting for this enormous ranch-style home. One look inside the nearly 10,600-square-foot house Scott and Lori Bracale built in 2005, and their inspiration becomes clear: It’s modeled after Big Cedar Lodge, a luxury wilderness resort in Ridgedale, Missouri, where they spent many weekends before moving to Ohio.
“We wanted to take some of the best characteristics of Big Cedar Lodge and build them into a home,” Scott says. They did it in a big way by incorporating the original timber frame of a 19th-century farmhouse, which encases the open living room, dining room and kitchen, with wood beams that line the walls and cross overhead. The original farmhouse’s cornerstone—engraved with the builder’s initials and the date 1882—is embedded in the living room’s towering stone fireplace. They incorporated vintage details throughout, like pre-Civil War windows and salvaged barn wood, to maintain the rustic aesthetic. The pinewood floors in the master suite aren’t just 100 years old—they were once underfoot at Barbra Streisand’s Malibu home.
The house is 1 story, with the exception of a loft in the living room and a mother-in-law suite above the three-car garage, accessible by a spiral staircase in a space that, from the outside, appears to be a silo. With a below-ground, 55,000-gallon swimming pool, a heated barn with a full-size basketball court, ATV trails and a movie theater in the basement, it’s a children’s play haven—the Bracales raised their three children here—and it has a mudroom equipped with two sets of washers and dryers and a shower to contain the subsequent mess.
It has welcomed teen pop royalty, too. The Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and David Archuleta are among the stars who have visited. Scott is president of Tween Brands Agency, which oversees marketing for the specialty clothing retailer headquartered in New Albany, and he’s responsible for booking entertainment for the Tween Brands-sponsored concert at the New Albany Classic each year.
The house may have a rustic design, but it features advanced technology. The entire home was built using structural insulated panels and pressurized concrete, building methods stronger and more energy-efficient than alternatives. The property is equipped with its own water-treatment system, well and backup generator and heating. “We wanted to build a home that will be here 200 years from now,” Scott says.
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