For Sale: An Urban Oasis in German Village

Michelle Sullivan

Few streets in Columbus are lovelier and more storied than those that line Schiller Park in German Village. Stunning architecture, mature landscaping and quaint brick roads surround the city's second-oldest park in a cocoon of history and character. The perfectly symmetrical, two-toned brick two-story at 933 City Park Ave. is a shining example of a pristine neighborhood gem worthy of a park-side seat. It's quintessentially German Village. Until you see the pool out back.

Thine eyes dost not deceive. Smack dab in the middle of the city, this 19th-century beauty boasts a backyard typically reserved for a suburban mansion, with an in-ground pool, spacious patio, built-in bar and plenty of shade, plus a driveway and a two-car garage.

So why exactly are the owners moving?

Roger and Robin Smith say they caught the remodeling bug while redesigning the former four-family house, which was featured on last year's German Village Haus und Garten Tour, and they're ready for another project. When they bought the property in 2012, it had already been converted from two separate lots into a 3,200-square-foot three-bedroom single-family home. Structurally, it was sound. But, boy, did it need a design overhaul.

While Roger took some convincing, Robin saw through busy wallpaper and drab window treatments to the bones: original hardwood floors, ornate woodwork around doors and windows, marble tiles, exposed brick archways. She used a fresh color palette-slate gray with pops of yellow, green and white-bold patterns and distinctive decor to breathe new life into the century-old home. The result is a contemporary space that accentuates the charming, vintage elements.

A coat of lily-white paint on wood trim makes tall, narrow windows seem brighter and deep mahogany floors look even richer. A new glass-walled shower in the master bathroom lets an original marble column inside shine. The ice-blue stained glass from Franklin Park Conservatory the Smiths used to replace panes in an odd French door in the stairwell-likely a remnant of the house's past life as a rental-creates a remarkable built-in piece of wall art.

The upstairs hallway needed little more than a splash of paint; the brick archways and wrought-iron railings that greet the top of the stairs are the natural focal point. Glass transom windows above each bedroom doorway insert additional charm, while a skylight illuminates the stairwell.

Like the first floor, the second floor is capped by a 10-foot ceiling, an anomaly for houses in this revered, yet cramped, neighborhood. In another unlikely quirk, the stairwell was at one point widened, eradicating the typical steep, narrow chute and introducing a more gradual incline.

Copious windows upstairs and downstairs flood the house with sunlight, not to mention breathtaking scenery. The only view in the summer that rivals the one of the park across the street is the one from a poolside lounge chair out back.

933 City Park Ave.,

German Village

Listing price: $1,150,000

Listing agent: Donna Vichinsky, Coldwell Banker King Thompson