A simple ranch overlooking historic Rush Creek Village, a community it predates yet mirrors in design
When the sun sets and the woods around Rush Run begin to darken, the houses perched on the peak of a steep, wooded hill that juts upward from the ravine light up like beacons between the trees. The view of these glowing window-walled houses, which offer a glimpse into Worthington's historic Rush Creek Village, is best seen from 327 E. New England Ave., a modest, burnt-red ranch on the other side of the winding creek.
When the 1,870-square-foot house was built in 1953, Rush Creek Village was nothing more than a blueprint. The first home in the Usonian community, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's organic architecture, wasn't built until 1954. Yet the minimalist-style house just a stone's throw away from the now 42-acre neighborhood exhibits similar characteristics, which were unusual for post-war houses of the 1950s.
The four-bedroom ranch is a stout-looking rectangle, with a flat roof and a well-hidden one-car garage. Like other modern designs, its open floor plan includes lots of little space savers, like hidden closets and accordion doors, and features plenty of wood, some of which is rooted in Columbus history. The hardwood floors in the dining and living rooms were carved from trees cut down at the former Central High School. The double-paned windows in the dining room and kitchen offer copious light and a stunning view as well as an interesting architectural quirk: to open, they slide inward and parallel to the wall on a wooden track. The first floor's three bedrooms, clustered together at the end of a narrow hallway, each have an angled ceiling that draws the eye outward toward the windows. A walkout basement provides a naturally lit living space, an additional bedroom and access to a backyard patio and hot tub.
Owner Bill Gilbert's favorite view of the nearly half-acre lot is from the master bedroom, lined with casement windows that overlook the ravine. In winter, when the trees are frosted in a thick layer of snow, he says it's easy to mistake his suburban backyard for a Colorado mountainside. Early mornings also offer the illusion of being someplace secluded, someplace farther than a mile from Worthington's downtown. "You can't hear anything out in the back," he says. "It always amazed me. You feel like you're living out in the country, but you're in Worthington."