Locust Avenue: dreamin' can become a reality

ASKING: $625,000
SIZE: 3,087 finished sq. ft., 690 unfin.
ADDRESS: 872 Locust Avenue
CURB APPEAL: 9 out of a possible 10
LISTED BY: Roger Voisinet of RE/MAX Realty Specialists 434-974-1500

Locust Avenue always delights. That each house is uniquely crafted and clearly loved by past and present owners shows in every window box, front porch, and architectural detail.
On weekends, bicyclists, dog owners, and walkers commingle on the sidewalks. For city living, it combines the best of all worlds with its location, community, and big trees.
South of the 250 Bypass sit some grand homes, of which this showpiece is one. The driveway, with its gracious and sweeping curves, is part of the original plan– which of course accommodated inhabitants and guests arriving in carriages.
The roof of the front porch extends over the gravel–creating a porte-cochere enabling fluttering damsels in their many-layered crinolines to enter unsullied. The front porch, with its 531 square feet, could easily serve as a fair-weather room: visions of wicker, palm fronds, and mint juleps danced in our head as we toured.
From outside, the house is not really a knockout: it’s a solid brick square of impressive proportions but not really architecturally showy. The interior, though, embraces visitors with natural light and space. Ten-and-a-half-foot ceilings, fluted columns, pocket doors, and pristine pine wood floors greet one in the elegant foyer, a room unto itself.
Constructed before artificial summer chill became de rigueur, the house was designed to ensure constant airflow naturally. The triple-hung windows stay open, which would not happen if a Westinghouse unit were chugging away during the summer months.
Rooms fan out from the central foyer, each ideal in proportion. There is no delineation between formal and informal, each room (den/study, living, dining) eminently comfortable and easily accessible from the others.
A butler’s pantry which serves as pass-through from dining room to kitchen is the perfect accessory to a modern house. Containing not much more than a wall of cupboards and a sink, it’s a discreet and unique way of storing all the junk that accumulates in modern life. The kitchen then does not need to be grand or the focal point of social gatherings, especially when you have a two-story screened porch out back looking onto an estate-style garden.
Massive rows of boxwoods could give hours of enjoyment to kids hiding and seeking in the natural maze of hedges. Nearly three quarters of an acre stretch out behind the house that includes a small Quonset hut (unusually quaint), cutting gardens, a fishpond with water lilies, and another sitting area replete with shade-producing dangling wisteria.
Upstairs, the design from downstairs continues with an expansive sitting area joining all three bedrooms. Several small rooms serve as storage and closet space, and a second floor sitting area (television room) off the main bedroom duplicates the view (only higher) from downstairs. Above the doors, transoms were installed to further the airflow– very much appreciated on this 90-plus degree day.
The house abounds in both historical relevance and modern livability. Although grand, it is not intimidating– without much doctoring it could easily be home to a family or a couple. The details enhance the beauty and functionality of all of the living spaces. Local artists Miles Andrew and John Owen have rendered some of the floors to look like old tiles, which visually stun the viewer with authenticity. It’s a designer’s touch that complements the rest of the house without making an overbearing statement.
Much like the house itself.

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