Phoenix rising: Second incarnation better than first on Lexington Avenue

Area: Charlottesville
Year built:
Square footage:
2,377 finished, 600 unfinished
.14 acres
Asking Price:
Curb Appeal:
8 out 10

Listing Agents: Roger Voisinet, RE/MAX Realty Specialists, 434-981-1076, Waki Wynn, 1st Dominion Realty, 434-466-9493

Personality. Anthropomorphic though it may be to describe a house as having a personality, this one does. Perhaps even more unusual is to ascribe a personality to a house that was rendered uninhabitable and abandoned following a fire in 2003. In 2005, the current owner purchased it, stripped it down to its studs, and began a full renovation. 

Two years later, the home had been so thoroughly reconditioned that the insurance company classified it as a new residence for underwriting purposes. The only original features the house contained were its footprint, its floors, several five-panel doors and the fireplace mantels. 

Today, a stone walkway wends through the English perennial garden that fills the front yard and culminates in several steps that lead up to a wide front porch. French doors open onto a large entry hall with a custom painted wood floor. To the left, a double-sized fireplace forms a focal point in the living room and cased openings on either side of the mantel lead into the dining room, which enjoys a second original mantel on the opposite side of the fireplace. Across the hall is a spacious kitchen with butcher block counters, glass-fronted cabinets, a large walk-in pantry, and a floor painted to match the one in the entryway.

A huge screened porch with double ceiling fans runs along the back of the home and overlooks a terrace and a well-tended yard that backs up to a small piece of land owned and maintained by Martha Jefferson Hospital.

On the second level, a wall was removed from one of the three original bedrooms, which was then coverted into a library. Sporting built-in bookshelves, a glossy black floor and a custom-made concrete desktop, the nook is open to below. Other rooms on this level include a bedroom with an attached bath, a closet housing a stack washer and dryer, and a master suite featuring custom paint finishes, dual closets and a bathroom with a walk-in shower.

Outside, a paved spot offers off-street parking for two cars, and a vegetable and herb garden provides a measure of sustainability. 

Quality details such as the high ceilings, the recessed lights, the fireplace mantels, the wood floors, and the beadboard trim in the bathrooms give this house distinction. The custom paint finishes, custom painted floors and treatments, and the owner’s flair for decorating give it a fun and funky vibe. It’s the culmination of these factors combined with the obvious care that has so evidently been lavished on the home, inside and out, that gives it personality. 

Aside from the limitation of currently having just two bedrooms, there are a couple of potential drawbacks to this house. One comes in the form of the temporary construction noise from the projects underway around the corner at the former Martha Jefferson location, and the other is the price. There are currently five houses in the city priced between $700,000 and $800,000, and there have been just two sales in that price range in the past year. 

The challenges associated with this particular price point may well be as temporary as the construction noise, though, when balanced with the convenience of the location. Situated mere minutes from Pantops and Martha Jefferson Hospital, the home allows for an easy walk to the restaurants, shops and music venues on the Downtown Mall. Even the recreation found at the Onesty Park pools and the weekly farmer’s market held in Meade Park are within walking distance.

1 comment

It could have been a really cold winter