Da bomb: '50s Cape spans decades with style
Address: 2108 Morris Road, Charlottesville
Neighborhood: Lewis Mountain
Year Built: 1958
Size: 3,228 fin. sq. ft; 1,631 unfin.
Land: 0.31 acres
Agent: Tommy Brannock, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate III, 434-977-3033
Curb Appeal: 8 out of 10
Owning a house within walking distance of Jefferson’s university can be a mixed bag. Living next to a den of rowdy Hoos or navigating a neighborhood overrun by swarming UVA fans can be distressing for anyone trying to live a normal life in the midst of Cavalier country. The flip side is the advantage of being able to walk to UVA and attend nearly every sporting event without fighting for a parking space.
Built in 1958, this clapboard-and-stone Cape Cod looks deceivingly diminutive from the curb, but the house expands upward and outward in the back to become a spacious neighborhood hub. One can only imagine the many block parties hosted in this ideal circular back yard. For now, two Adirondack chairs sit in the shade of some evergreens facing a charming wood playhouse and trampoline, waiting for summer.
Even though this late ‘50s house comes equipped with its very own bomb shelter, it isn’t stranded in time. There are new windows, and continuous oak flooring has been installed on the main floor. The generously proportioned five bedrooms and four baths will easily accommodate a live-in nanny to mind the brood. Very wide halls and stairways are typical of the era when families were large without being melded.
Taking this house into the 21st century included a major renovation of the kitchen and adjoining four-season room. A first-floor family room, created by removing a few walls, replaced the outdated basement rec room where teenagers were once banished. This bright new modern space just off the side entryway can be an informal dining area, TV room, or home office.
Stainless appliances, custom painted cabinets, and granite countertops make the open kitchen inviting and chic. In the spacious formal dining room, a large bow window provides a panoramic view of the grassy surroundings. An adjoining sunroom serves as a breakfast nook or a cocktail lounge, and access to the patio and yard from here and the new family room makes it easy to entertain a large crowd of partygoers. From there, they can drift naturally into the formal living room featuring a wood-burning fireplace.
Down the hall, one bedroom has an en suite study with built-in bookcases, and an adjacent full bath creates a private wing for an au pair or overnight guests.
The master suite near the top of the stairs overlooks the backyard. The room is large and airy with a unique curved-plaster ceiling and a walk-in closet and two-bowl marble sink in the attached full bath. Original marble and tile continue the grandeur in the four other bathrooms. But “original” can be the equivalent of “dated” for some buyers, so the bathrooms might be in line for a makeover.
A second-floor laundry room across from the stairs allows children to toss their togs right into the washer at day's end. Three additional bedrooms on this floor have various built-in cabinets, dressers and desks, providing an expanding family ample space to grow.
The infamous basement ruckus room still provides space where the kids can play drums, pool, or video games unfettered. With a full bathroom and adjacent mega storage, this “back to the future” relic could be converted to a "man cave." Garden windows and a partial glass door to the backyard provide lots of natural light, and a woodstove warms the winter air during football season.
The last bastion for a Brady Bunch family is the two-car garage. It not only provides off-street parking in a permit-only area, but also gives Dad a place to keep his 1957 Mustang safe from Junior. This is a well-built house that the evolving years from Cold War to New World Order have left unscathed.
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