Let’s talk hot property, shall we? This gorgeous Highland Park English Tudor revival at 4814 Saint Johns Drive hit the market for $4.9 million last Friday. Our Monday Morning Millionaire is everything you could ever want in a home, and you simply cannot ask for a better location!
The English Tudor revival style evokes a sense of gracious living, and tradition. When you can find an original like this one that’s been seamlessly renovated and expanded, well you’ve hit the jackpot because they are rarely available.
The revivalist architecture trend became popular after the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It was a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. European architecture had a significant influence in the construction of the buildings and served as inspiration for a new generation of architects.
In the 1920s, if you could afford a substantial home, the English Tudor revival was the desired style. It’s called “revival” because the original Tudor period was from 1500 to 1559. The main features are ornamental half-timbering, stucco walls, and steeply pitched roofs. It’s a style you see not only in every English village, but all over Europe.
This beauty was built in 1922 and has withstood floods from a creek that ran through the property and multiple additions over the years that did not complement the architecture. The present owners purchased the stately English Tudor revival in 2003 knowing they would undertake a significant renovation. They called in architect Mark Domiteaux of Domiteaux + Baggett and builder Charles Haggard to do the updating and expanding their active family would need.
“We tried to make the house flow, and have the entire structure look like it was all from the same period,” Domiteaux said. “We had a really good time digging into English architecture and adding some fun and surprising elements to the house.”
One of the first decisions was to relocate the front entry, originally opening onto Dartmouth Avenue, to Saint Johns Drive. Ten feet were added to this area with a proper English entry hall to the formal areas and a charming vestibule, complete with leaded windows, leading to the family room.
“We tried to build in some eccentricity, so it felt like a rambling English manor,” Domiteaux said. “It has the unexpected things that you encounter when you turn a corner in a stately English home. I enjoyed that!”
One of Domiteaux’s favorite elements is the circular staircase. It connects multiple levels of the home rising from the garage to the family room, the children’s bedrooms, and the playroom at the top of the house. Domiteaux designed a compass rose at the bottom of the staircase created from multiple types of hardwood. This element is just one example of the many unique touches that were added to the house.
The house got quite the facelift with new timber, new stucco, and a slate roof. A guest suite was added above the garage that functioned as a play area when the children were small. The pool house was reconstructed and the creek rerouted, via huge drainage conduits, into Turtle Creek, so no fear of floods ever again! The pool was completely renovated, and the backyard was raised six feet which gave Domiteux the ability to reclaim lawn space for the couple’s growing boys as well as provide an excellent space for entertaining.
“The family has loved this house,” Ebby Halliday listing agent Kay Weeks said. “They wanted a big yard for the kids to hang out in and a pool that could easily be secured. The house is a wonderful home for entertaining. In fact, the family hosts a Christmas party each year with carriage rides leaving from the corner so guests can see neighborhood holiday lights.”It’s a rarity to find a home in the heart of Highland Park, with proximity to everything you need, and yet the moment you enter the front door, you feel as if you are in a stately manor in the English countryside. That feeling is a credit to Domiteaux and Haggard, who managed to deliver a house with all the credentials of an estate yet all the warmth of home. And it’s especially a credit to owners that had the foresight, patience, and taste to make it come to life.
“It’s a home that just wraps its arms around you,” Weeks said. If you’re ready to be enveloped in warmth, style, and history with a surprise or two around each corner, give her a call. This home is indeed a one of a kind English Tudor revival!
Karen Eubank 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 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