Skip to comments.Dramatic 1959 split level time capsule house in same family for 55 years -- 55 photos
Posted on 05/25/2014 10:26:28 PM PDT by lowbridge
A hot tip from reader Abigail lead us to this 5,153 sq. ft., impeccably maintained and impeccably detailed 1959 split level time capsule home, listed for sale in Kettering, Ohio. The home has an impressive collection of original bathrooms three full and two half filled with stunning mosaic tile walls, walk-in sunken showers, double vintage laminate vanities with colorful sinks and some amazing wallpaper. Throughout the house, stunning stone and brick walls seem to await around every corner, along with many other fantastic midcentury details, preserved and loved by the large family that called this house their home since the day they moved in 55 years ago, in 1959. Wow.
(Excerpt) Read more at retrorenovation.com ...
AAAUUGGHHH! MY EYES! MY EYES! LOL
The bathroom wallpaper is a little “busy”.
Love the piranha pine though.
This house MUST have inspired Oscar Wilde’s last words, “Either this wallpaper goes or I do.”
There are numbers of similar mid-century (often called “Eichler” homes—I assume after the designer/architect out there in CA. If such a home was built in OH, I assume it would be a little more stoutly built. Other than the bathrooms, they look pretty cool.
But you go to renovate anything in such a home, and I mean anything...and your nightmare will begin with great vengeance.
Love it! Not long ago, we had a client with a similar home. One bathroom was “pink” tile, fixtures, and a huge corner tub; the other was turquoise. Lots of stone, wood paneling, etc. The best part; the kid’s rooms had been preserved with all of the toys, 60’s era rock posters, etc.
The furniture was Mid-Century modern and matched throughout the house (dining room, bedrooms, occasional tables all from the same “collection).
Fun to see!
Cool I like it!!! Just my era!!!
Taboola is a fun site I stumbled on, to view fabulous homes.
First thing I thought of when I saw the wallpaper. I'll have to check the house out.
I have a sunken shower similar to that and have been wondering about using it as a large bath although one person advised that the tiles would not support the weight of a large amount of water.
I figured the original builder may have been elderly or handicapped as it has a railing leading down the steps to the bottom.
Price: $325,000 is a BARGAIN!
Wallpaper that says "get your nasty business done and get out NOW!"
Listed at $325k with an annual property tax bill of 6,479. And if you track down the property records you'll see a great last name for the owner.
I hope the new buyer doesn’t change a thing about it.
The same house would be well over a million in a more desirable city.
Not dissing Kettering. I have relatives that live right down the street from this house. The neighborhood is very nice.
Perfect, manicured lawns and well maintained homes.
I might replace one or two carpets in the house, but that’s it. Is there a basement? Any pictures of the garage?
Amazing. I could sell my dump of a house, move into that one and still have a $100k to spend. Amazing all of the space it has! I wish they had a photo of the kitchen.
And the kitchen looks like it has had some upgrades. New refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.
So it's not TOTALLY vintage.
But very nice.
Someone took very good care of this property.
Thanks for mentioning the kitchen - I missed it the first time as it is so open.
I honestly don’t understand any of the negative comments about the bathrooms. They’re quite unique, and I could easily accept their oddities, since the design, execution and result are all FAR older than I, and follow a different aesthetic from today.
Well, I guess it’s a matter of perspective, since some others on this site can’t seem to appreciate the peculiarities and idiosyncracies of life before they were around.
No wonder we are having trouble explaining history, when so many are willing to expunge its vestiges for minor personal preferences.
There has to be a reason a 5100 s.f. house is only $325,000.
Indeed. Edgar J and Rosemary B, aged 92 and 91.
When my wife and I were looking at houses in Tulsa in 2008, we toured one with some similar details that probably was built in the 1960s. The detail that stood out the most between the two was the stair and balcony railing over the split level.
Same here with me, too.....I feel like I’d be in one of those Japanese cartoon shows with all the weird animal like characters.
Additionally, the outside is not in good shape, and the multiple roof partitions are a nightmare -to maintain and to keep from leaking. As expected, most of the outside concrete work looks on the verge of rotting due to age, drainage and runoff problems. Could use a new paintjob, too. I’d like to see on mid-winter and one mid summer heating/cooling bill for that place.
Horse hockey. It cost us four grand to renovate the swimming pool and plumbing, the harsh winter killed the damn palm tree (in Alabama!), the living room chimney work needs to be completely redone before we can even burn kindling in it, and the central HVAC took a nap on us in December, so we can't even cool the joint now until we get another contractor in here to fix it, and the temps are in the 80's already! And I can't even till the garden or pilot a riding mower because I've had a staph infection in my leg that six weeks' worth of antibiotics won't get rid of! I'll damn well guarantee you that we've burned through enough money to pay off half the mortgage, and it still looks like Kelso ought to come out of the bathroom holding his britches up by the belt buckle and asking, "Red? You got any more toilet paper? The roll's empty."
A log home. All I ever wanted was a log home.
I commiserate with your problems. Back the early 80s I built my own home. Did the electrical, labor, small carpentry, sheetrock, finish work, and my brother in law did the plumbing. I contracted for framing, brickwork and roofing.
That taught me what to look for in a home and when I sold that home for $350K (materials and labor on it was $85K originally) I searched for about three months and finally settled on the one I have now. Nice little $150K home that was new, but the builder got into trouble and the bank took the home back. It was built extremely well - all copper pipes, good heating, electrical and plumbing. Full basement unfinished where I have all my tools/guns etc. and I can ride my mower out the boat door.
I do hope your leg gets better. It’s bad to be sidelined with a bunch of work to do. I was that way 18 months ago with a broken foot where these old bones just don’t heal like they used to. Take care.
[BTW, back when I had a Class III electrical license, a buddy and me wired a log home for a friend. It was THE worst electrical job I ever did in terms of trouble.
Outlets routed into the logs, long drill holes for the wire, planning for settling, etc. A nightmare. The yearly bolt tightenings for the long rods through the logs was a chore in and of itself. That threw me off ever wanting to own one.]
That’s no average split-level house circa 1959!
You’re right. That house was most definitely several cuts above the typical 1950s house.
I thought it was amazing. I’m in the minority but I love the bathroom - busy as it is. Those split levels had one thing in common - a love of one inch mosaic tiles. Just beautiful.
“The bathroom wallpaper is a little busy.”
A “little busy”? I would have a seizure taking a shower. The place is interesting though.
Guess what it was built on. I kid you not.
And I know what it entail to build a log home. I subscribed to Log Home Living for ten years and went to every log home show that came within a hundred miles of us. I saw the process, and lapped up every bit of minutiae like it was mother's milk. That house we lost was my equity for building one. Maybe that was God's way of saying, just buy a couple acres of land and drop a 2 BR prefab chalet on it when you're ready. I don't know. But that big Viking Lodge that was in my mind's eye for ten years literally went up in smoke. 11 AM, on Friday, July 13th, In The Year Of Out Lord 2012, A.D. And it took two of the best dogs that God ever allowed to be born with it.
I sometimes watch those house hunting and home renovation shows on TV, starting all the way back to This Old House in the late 80s.
But one thing I notice about most of these shows now days is that just about everyone wants an open concept main floor, hard wood floors, kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, lot of counter space, very neutral color schemes for the bathrooms with those small rectangular tiles, and a very large master bedrooms with walk in closets and an en suite with double sinks.
I can just imagine watching one of these show 30 to 40 years from now, and them going through one of those homes built or renovated to todays standards of what a home should look like, and them saying:
Ug! This house really needs some updating. First of all we need to build walls to separate the kitchen and dining room from the rest of the main floor of the house, you know make it more cozy and we need to tear out those dated granite counter tops and replace it with laminate, and those stainless steel appliances? What were they thinking? You need to replace those with some olive green appliances and replace those wood cabinets with metal ones . And you know what would look so much better than those hard wood floors? Some shag carpeting? Orange deep shag carpeting is all the rage now. Let’s tear out those little tiles in the bathroom and replace them with bright pink large tiles for the walls and vinyl flooring. And that master bedroom? What a waste of space. Lets divide it in two to get an extra bedroom out of it. And all those plain white walls are just screaming for dark wood paneling and some wall paper - you just can’t have too much wall paper.
Everything old eventually becomes new again and everything cool and new today will eventually look out dated, until its eventually cool and retro and new again.
If you notice the green bathroom’s shower has not only a shower head but a bathtub spigot. I was wondering why? It doesn’t look like you could use it to fill the shower with water...
Heck for twice the money and three times the taxes I can find a nice place like that here in Connecticut. /s
The over-sized shower stalls are rare for a 1959 home.
Beat me to it. “Brady Bunch” was the first thing I thought of.
Not a single wall anywhere in the “upstairs/downstairs” split part of the split level living areas. If one person DOESN’T want to listen to the same radio/TV/Stereo or playstation game that is running ... Where does one go for simple silence or study or reading?
Me too, if it's any consolation...
For the '50s, this is pretty tasteful and sedate. I want '50s kitsch!
The step down showers are cool.
I detest that house,but it would sell for about $800,000.00 where I live.
That’s not a true “split level” which has the main public areas on ground level, bedroom areas a half flight of stairs up, with den, rec room and garage a half flight of stairs down, built on a lot sloping to the two story end.
It was custom built, that much is obvious. Some very nice details and some very unusual ones. Got a little carried away with three kinds of stone (don’t like the black stone all that much, myself), two kinds of brick.
The baths are fantastic but the wallpaper is over the top, it overshadows the tile work which is the visual focal point and the high point of those rooms. The sunken showers are especially nice.
The kitchen looks to me to have been ripped out and redone. That eating bar or island, that shape was popular about 10-15 years ago. I’d be curious to see what the original kitchen looked like.
Exterior, the bands of siding and bands of brick haven’t aged well, owners of this style home typically use some sort of masonry stain or paint to unify the masonry and the siding to make it flow better. Horizontal bands of brick or stone held up better visually, vertical ones end up looking like an old office building and so are toned down now.
The lawn is awesome, park-like. The evergreens, hemlock or whatever they are, are beautiful.
Looks like runoff management might be a constant chore with the way the garage entry is below grade, grade sloping to the rear of the house with concrete up to the foundation, etc., need to keep a positive slope away from the foundation to avoid moisture beneath the footings which causes settling and cracks. Obviously the original owners did this, or spent a fair amount correcting it prior to sale. The area outside the garage surely has to have a sump pump. Better keep it maintained and in good working order, or you’re going to have water in the basement, including on those nice original parquet floors.
All in all, great house. Needs a few things, not all “mid-century” has aged well. Keep the good, downplay the less desirable.
The house we are in was built in 1978, We have been here 17 years and I am still working on it. lol
All the carpet was original Harvest Gold. The floors in the bathrooms and kitchen were cushy white vinyl with gold streaks through it. The kitchen was all done with a Harvest Gold Sink, Harvest Gold cooktop and Harvest Gold range hood.
Every single wall in the house was covered in awful wallpaper. n When I started stripping the kitchen there were 5 layers of different wallpaper.
The house looks absolutely nothing like when we first moved in. I started working on it immediately.