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Saturday, April 20, 2024

2023’s 10 Most Beautiful Homes

One time-honored way to get acquainted with a city is by perusing its homes, and in Evansville, that method fits the bill. Our neighborhoods are teeming with historic houses, edgy designs, classic styles, and a few surprises. Take a tour with us from the winding roads of McCutchanville to brick-lined streets Downtown and learn about these 10 homes that are among the most beautiful in the area.

Newburgh Road (at top)
Location: East Side
Designer: H.G. McCullough Designers; built by Mike Bredhold in 2010-11
Style: Italian-inspired
Significant Stats: Four bedrooms, four full baths, and about 10,000 square feet
Why It Stands Out: When Kim and Dan Hermann looked at building a new home, they knew they wanted an East Side abode with enough space to host family for holiday gatherings. Flipping through books of house plans, they landed on a spacious concept inspired by the architecture of the Italian Peninsula. Stone, including limestone, was employed in place of stucco but still looks right at home. A Renaissance-influenced balustrade staircase leads from the circle driveway to the recessed entryway, which includes a curved mahogany front door. Even the criss-cross leaded glass windows above feature Roman arches, lending the exterior a decidedly Mediterranean feel. The front indeed is grand, but you’re more likely to find Kim under the covered veranda wrapping around the back. The veranda is stabilized by pillars, sports outdoor heaters, and overlooks the in-ground pool and outdoor fireplace. Given they spend at least eight months a year enjoying the outdoors, the Hermanns find it a worthy investment. “This is our forever home,” Kim says.

Photo by Zach Straw

Winstead Way
Location:
Winstead Place, West Side
Designer/builder: H.G. McCullough Designers; built by Gus Loehrlein of Loehrlein Carpentry in 2002
Style: Colonial Williamsburg
Significant Stats: Four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and 4,072 square feet
Why It Stands Out: If anyone doubted Wayne and Patti Deig’s love of Williamsburg, one look at their home on Winstead Way would convince them. The retired schoolteachers spent many Christmases in the historic Virginia town and often admired the 1770s James Anderson House during walks along Duke of Gloucester Street. In the early 2000s, the house plans were made available for purchase, and the Deigs seized the chance to bring a piece of Colonial Williamsburg to Evansville. Exterior differences from the original are few. Where the Anderson House is clad in clapboard, the Deigs’ home is white brick. Apart from one set of steps instead of two on the front porch, the exterior is a faithful reproduction. The front is framed by only boxwoods, just like the Anderson House. “It’s a homey home,” Patti says. “Now, we are enjoying Williamsburg every day.”

Photo by Zach Straw

Old Plantation Drive
Location: Plantation Estates, McCutchanville
Designer/builder: H.G. McCullough Designers; built by Dunn Hospitality Group in 1995
Style: Colonial
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and 6,000 square feet
Why It Stands Out: Evansville natives Gail and John Dunn, the chairman and CEO of Dunn Hospitality Group, designed their forever home from the ground up. Gail’s primary focus was entertaining. With 20-foot ceilings towering over the front room and 14-foot ceilings in the kitchen, there certainly is room, and the double-sided fireplace connecting the dining and living rooms adds a touch of refinement. The couple’s elegant home has hosted political campaign events for politicians and fundraisers and holiday parties for local organizations. “I’ve had so many different events here,” Gail says. “I’ve entertained all my life.” Another important aspect of the home is art, reflected in the numerous paintings stationed throughout. Aside from the glamour of entertaining, Gail says a source of joy also is watching the wildlife that wanders past their home, including foxes, turkeys, and birds.

Photo by Zach Straw

Southeast Second Street
Location: Haynie’s Corner Arts District
Designer: H.G. McCullough Designers; built by Dan Woolen in 2020
Style: Modern
Significant stats: Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and 3,100 square feet
Why It Stands Out: Jim and Christine Keck built their home on the site where a big Queen Anne known as the Karges Mansion once stood before falling into disrepair and being torn down by a previous owner. Christine says she and Jim wanted a new home that had some modern or contemporary lines to it but that also was compatible with adjacent architecture. Their two-story house sits offset, like its older neighbors, to angled Southeast Second Street and has a contemporary feel with “a lot of light, a lot of openness,” Christine says. “I wanted a good room for interaction in that main common space. You walk in and look right into the backyard.”

Photo by Zach Straw

College Highway
Location: Lincolnshire, East Side
Designer/Builder: Unknown; built in 1921
Style: Tudor Revival
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and 6,417 square feet
Why It Stands Out: In a neighborhood full of historic homes, this 1920s Lincolnshire Historic District beauty with protruding gables, a recessed entryway, copper flashing, and timbered trim is a must-see. The home’s original details are full of charm. Built for Walter Noelting, the executive vice-president and treasurer of Faultless Caster, Timothy Zifer and David Wyatt have called it home for a decade. The chimney with brick detailing is capped with decorative chimney pots, and intricate brick patterns are scattered on all sides of the house. A whimsical turtle water fountain fronts a mosaic-tiled wall in the garden room. There’s even an underground two-car garage. Zifer and Wyatt have undertaken an extensive renovation and finished the first floor, which now sports refinished hardwood plus cleaned and polished stone floors, repaired plaster, and repainted walls. “We love this home and plan to stay here for the long haul,” Zifer says.

Photo by Zach Straw

Browning Road
Location: McCutchanville
Builder: Built in 1998 by Donnie Denton for Denton Homes
Style: Georgian
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, four full and two half bathrooms, and 10,325 square feet
Why It Stands Out: Mark Harmon often drove past the house that would eventually become his home in October 2022. It’s a prominent feature on Browning Road with its stately columns, oval window on the dentilled front gable above the portico, twin copper lion statues, attached garden building with hexagonal roof, Palladian window, and other hints of Renaissance architecture. Harmon says he didn’t intend to buy a house of this size, but “I fell in love with the peace and tranquility of the property the moment I drove in the driveway,” he says. “You feel like you’re out in the country, yet you’re really very close to town.” Seventeen acres surround the property, part of which is wooded, and Harmon plans to add more trails and fire pits.

Photo by Zach Straw

Old Plantation Drive
Location: Plantation Estates, McCutchanville
Designer/builder: Designed and built in 1993 by Rick Doss
Style: Modern Colonial
Significant Stats: Four bedrooms, five full and two half bathrooms, and 8,485 square feet
Why It Stands Out: Janice Stiver’s entire extended family called Green River Estates home. She and husband Phil even had just added onto their house. So, it purely was for fun that she joined her sister at an open house in Plantation Estates in 1997. There was one problem: “It was love at first sight,” Janice says. “It was such an amazing cheerful house, from the outside to the inside. It’s large, but it doesn’t feel large. It has a lot of color, windows, and bright light. I could see our family fitting in there perfectly.” The home stands apart from its many red brick neighbors with its white-painted brick, green shingles, and driveway constructed of pavers. Another bonus: The Stivers bought the property in December and had no clues as to what the landscaping was hiding. Up sprang striking azaleas, dogwoods, magnolias, and cherry blossoms.

Photo by Zach Straw

Cypress Pointe Drive
Location: Victoria Estates, Newburgh, Indiana
Designer/builder: Designed by Derek Sola, Design Principal at JCJ Architecture in Las Vegas, Nevada; built in 2012 by Exquisite Homes
Style: Modern
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, and 8,555 square feet
Why It Stands Out: When Nicole and Chad Bobe decided to build a custom home in Newburgh, Indiana’s Victoria Estates, they wanted a clean, modern design that maximized the natural beauty of the lot. Nature reaches in through walls of windows; sunlight bounces off the vaulted ceilings and wraps around the floating walkways. Also impressive is that the architect, Derek Sola — Nicole’s brother, who once worked for famed architect Frank Gehry — designs high-profile projects for international gaming operators in Las Vegas. Nicole says he jumped at the chance to design something on a smaller scale. “It’s a simple, modern design. The interior has a central spine that expands into a massive space in the back where the main living spaces flow freely from one to the other into an expansive view overlooking the pool and lake,” she says. “The exterior bleeds into the interior.”

Photo by Zach Straw

French Island Trail
Location: Newburgh, Indiana
Designer/builder: Built in 1950; designer and builder unknown
Style: Traditional
Significant Stats: Four bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 6,000 square feet
Why It Stands Out: In 2020, Kim and Rod Warren had just built a home that they’d planned to live in for the rest of their lives. Fate intervened when this property came on the market. They jettisoned their Huntington Creek home in favor of the sweeping vistas of French Island Trail. “In almost every room, you can see the river, and that’s just beautiful,” she says. Three years later, the Warrens still are enthralled. “I love how far it sits back from the road,” Kim says. The previous owners already had updated much of the house and planted much of the garden, which includes a magnolia tree, two coral bark Japanese maples, hydrangeas, yellow ribbon arborvitae, holly, beechwood, Hinoki cypress, roses, ornamental grasses, and black-eyed Susans. Kim wants to recreate a stone fireplace that originally was part of the property. Her trademark, though, are the gnomes she sets around the property, earning her the nickname “gnome lady.”

Photo by Zach Straw

Southeast First Street
Location: Riverside Historic District, Downtown
Builder: Built in 1867 by Jacob Meyer
Style: Italianate
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and 4,500 square feet
Why It Stands Out: Named after Alvah Johnson, who served as the U.S. provost marshal during the Civil War, this historic abode displays Italianate-meets-New Orleans flair. “The distinctive iron work, in a sunburst and whorl pattern, was added in 1893 and might be one of my favorite things,” says homeowner Amy Hayden. She and husband Jeff moved in December 2011 and since have renovated the sunroom and a bathroom and added an outdoor living space with a pergola. As the fifth residents to live here, the Haydens feel responsible to maintain its legacy. “Historic homes are precious gems in our community,” Amy says. “We know that this house was here long before we got here, and it’ll be here long after we leave. We want to do what we can to preserve it for future generations as people did for us.”

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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