Property: Vintage Modern in Bexley

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From the July 2014 edition

A mid-century ranch stands out on one of Bexley’s most prestigious streets.

Among the mansions that line one of Central Ohio’s most prestigious streets, beset by thick, deeply rooted trees and plopped in the center of impeccably manicured, plush lawns, is one lot that stands out from the rest. Granted, you won’t find cookie-cutter houses on Bexley’s revered North Columbia Avenue. Most of these estates have been around since the 1920s and ’30s, evidenced by their mostly Tudor, Colonial and French Eclectic styles. Each is different in its nuances, its character, but they’re all linked by period architecture, making a pattern of stately elegance. The angular, asymmetrical brick ranch at the end of the stone circle driveway at 400 N. Columbia Ave. is like a red rose in a garden of white.

This mid-century modern house entered the neighborhood decades after its neighbors—in 1960—bringing the era’s simplistic, organic aesthetic with it. The face is geometric, like an obtuse triangle filled in with squares and rectangles of wood, brick and glass. A sloping roof extends over the main entrance, shading the driveway before meeting a trio of brick walls, creating a tunnel-like underpass that’s ironically futuristic. In true mod fashion, a two-car carport stands in for a traditional garage.

Two tall, heavy black wood doors swing open to reveal the entire front of the house: The corner living room, sleek kitchen and spacious dining and sitting area are all clearly visible from the foyer. The vaulted, exposed-wood ceiling is punctuated in spots by skylights, washing the hardwood floors with light. Brick accents the space—it’s used to break up window panes, to divide space and to encase the fireplace (and hibachi grill) that anchors the room. A sunlit, narrow hallway leads to four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a spacious family room. Light spills in from two sliding doors that open to the backyard, as well as from the adjacent sunroom—a bright, tiled space with two walls of glass and four more sliding doors that offer a view of the kidney-shaped pool and private backyard.

This house on half an acre (a gem for landlocked Bexley) maintains much of its original form. The few changes current owners Bill and Amanda Hayden made to the home—including an updated kitchen, a built-in, wall-sized bookshelf and multi-tiered backyard deck—were intended to mimic the existing style. You’d never know they weren’t there in 1960.

On a street where every house elicits a craned neck, trying to absorb every inch of the elaborate designs and ornate details, it’s this home’s refined simplicity that draws the most attention.

Have a real estate lead? Send it to msullivan3@columbusmonthly.com for consideration.