Historic Highland Park Home Reinvented by Moderne Construction Group

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There’s nothing we appreciate more at CandysDirt.com than folks who understand the importance of history and preservation, and this is a historic home in Highland Park that is a total love story. There are far too many homes that fall under an unnecessary wrecking ball in our area.

We are especially heartened when we find a builder like Josh Zielke who marches to the preservation drum beat, and we couldn’t be more happy with the results in our Inwood National Bank Home of the Week.

Zielke is the owner of Moderne Construction Group, and he came across 4336 Livingston Avenue a couple of years ago.

“I’m a builder,” Zielke said. “Although I build a lot of new homes, I have a great appreciation for old homes. This house was speaking to me, and I just fell in love with it. It had these beautiful old bones but was not living the way people want to live today. The thought of it being torn down was heartbreaking, so my company bought it. I thought it would be a good opportunity to save it and make it work for a family.”

Highland Park Historic Home

The home was originally constructed in 1928. Zielke kept many of the original features intact, including the front door and porch tile, the phenomenal Batchelder fireplace, entryway tile and, a phone nook. He also kept a seldom-seen, quirky element — a metal box on the side of the house where the milkman would leave your milk.

Ask your grandparents about those latter two features!

Highland Park Historic Home

Highland Park Historic Home

Zielke was diligent about going the extra mile to keep the character and charm of this historic Highland Park home intact. The floors are a prime example of his dedication.

“The living room has original flooring that is a unique width,” Zielke said. “It’s an inch-and-a-quarter-wide hardwood. We don’t have a lot of that today. We salvaged quite a bit from a sister house across the street, then I bought long plank white oak and had it milled down to the same width and laced it in with the original flooring.”

Note the vintage tin ceiling in this historic Highland Park home!

Zielke more than doubled the square footage of the home from 2,400 to 4,365. He reconfigured the dining room and kitchen and converted an old porch into a home office. An upstairs master suite was added over the new living and screened porch areas. The house now has four en-suite bedrooms and two powder baths. We were taken aback by the fact there are four fireplaces. Seriously, how often do you see that?

“The screen porch wraps around the back and side of the home, and it has a fireplace,” Dave Perry-Miller listing agent Michelle Hopson said. “Its’ spectacular. It’s my favorite spot in the home.”

You can easily add a guest suite over the garage. It’s roughed in plumbed and ready to go!

“We kept as much of the original charm as possible,” Zielke said.

“People are surprised that I doubled the size. We spent an enormous amount of time trying to seam the old to the new so you could not find where the old house stopped and the new house began. I’m pleased that it feels completely original — it’s what I like best about doing remodels. I think a lot of people don’t realize with a little effort and time, you can arguably have a better house because you have the character and quirks that are hard to replicate. I just fell in love with this house. I wish I could have kept it for myself!”

Hopson has this classic, historic Highland Park home listed for $2.295 million, and you’re in luck as there’s an open house on Sunday. We suggest you get there early. This is a one of those homes that does not come on the market very often. It’s also within walking distance to Bradfield Elementary and Highland Park Village, so it ticks all the boxes!

Open House: Sunday, Sept. 24 3 to 5 p.m.

Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years. She’s been a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com


Karen Eubank

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for over 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying for his masters at The New England Conservatory of Music. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap.

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