Live in Evansville long enough and you’ll quickly find there are beautiful homes to be viewed in each of our neighborhoods. In 2019, we knew our list of 10 most beautiful homes was only a fraction of the interesting residential builds in the city. For this year’s list, we set out again (immediately after going to press with our first list) to find new homes that caught our eye. Scouting the streets, we have collected a new list of 10 homes to admire. From the Riverside Historic District Downtown to Newburgh, Indiana’s State Street, browse through the 2020 list of Most Beautiful Homes.
Architect: Designed by H.G. McCullough and constructed in 1964 :Style:: Colonial Revival with Federal Colonial influences :Significant Stats:: Four
bedrooms, four and a half baths, and 6,382 square feet.
Why it stands out: Traveling along Browning Road in the northern neighborhood of McCutchanville, it’s hard to miss the unique and majestic architecture of this home. The wooded, private almost 2 acres and one-of-a-kind home is what attracted owners Michael and Debbie Hinton. “I love the great architecture and design inside and out,” says Debbie. “This home has great bones — great materials that stand the test of trends and time.” When the Hintons moved into the home in 1998, renovations were made to improve the flow of the home with an updated floor plan. The couple also added in features such as Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, limestone and marble floors from Italy, and extensive woodwork. In 2008, the couple updated again, creating a first-floor master suite and sitting area, a wine cellar, storage, and an additional two-car garage. “I am especially proud that Michael and I worked together to custom design every detail and renovation on our own,” says Debbie. “We truly love living here.”
Location: West Side
Architect: Designed by Clifford Shopbell & Co. and built by Jacob-Bippus & Sons in 1920
Style: Prairie School
Significant Stats: Two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 3,880 square feet
Why it stands out: Registered as a historic house with the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1984, this West Side home has a pristine prairie school style. The estate, known previously as the Michael D. Helfrich Estate, was built for the Helfrich family who emigrated from Germany in 1837 and established a successful saw and lumber mill on the West Side. With no children, Michael poured his fortune and time into the estate. However, the current homeowners Todd and Kristin Wannemeuhler prove the house is the perfect family home with their six children who love exploring the grounds. “There are few opportunities to live in a historic home on nearly 7 acres within the Evansville city limits,” says Todd. “The grounds include a century-old original landscaping feature with ponds and a bridge. A century-old mortise-and-tenon joint heritage barn is located on the property as well.” With original woodwork, 8-by-12-foot original stained glass window panels, and modern amenities, like a detached garage and private in-ground pool, the historic home stands the test of time.
Location: Riverside Historic District
Architect: Built in 1856 and extensively remodeled in 1876 by Vrydagh & Clarke Architects
Style: French Second Empire
Significant Stats: Four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and about 9,000 square feet
Why it stands out: Dr. Charles Hudson describes owning his historic home on Riverside Drive like having an expensive mistress. “It’s enjoyable a lot of the time,” he says. “Then there’s a lot of times you think, ‘Oh my god, this is so much work.’ But it is very satisfying when you get a project done and can sit back and take pride in doing it.” Hudson has invested a lot of time, energy, and funds to restore the house originally built for the wholesale grocer Charles Viele. During World War II, the home was split into apartments and the third floor was used as overflow accommodations for the McCurdy Hotel. Later, the house was slated to be torn down for a condominium complex, until the property was purchased by Gwendolyn Koch and the project killed. While Koch saved the home, it has been Hudson’s call to restore it once more to its former glory. “The idea is that you look at it and say, ‘Gee, that house is in great shape,’ but really it’s because lots and lots has been done to it to make it look like it did,” he says.
Location: West Side
Architect: Unknown and built in 1950
Significant Stats: Three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and 2,886 square feet
Why it stands out: Suzan Williams has history with her home along Jennings Lane. While she and her husband Randall purchased the home on the West Side in 1984, Suzan also grew up in the house until she was around 14 years old. “I grew up in this neighborhood. When we moved back, some of the same neighbors still were here,” she says. In 1992, the couple did a complete remodel of the original home with the help of Pete McCullough, who designed the new look for the Williams. The home’s look changed quite a lot, says Suzan, with the addition of an upper level and a family room in the back. “It’s not a giant home; it’s a very livable home,” she says. “I like the homey look of it. It’s kind of fun to have a house where you know there’s not another one like it. It’s one of a kind.”
Location: Newburgh, Indiana
Architect: Built by original owner A.M. Phelps in 1869
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and 8,300 square feet
Why it stands out: Jill and Patrick Griffin’s home laid the foundation of their neighborhood and gave them a chance to leave their own mark in history. While the original estate, with stables, a tobacco barn, and servants’ quarters, took up a city block, the home had humble beginings. “The builders put four stakes in the ground, put string between them, and started laying bricks,” says Patrick. “Other buildings were sold through the years and are now homes in the neighborhood.” The Griffins have owned the home since 2002, with a brief intermission from 2007 to 2012 when they moved to Constance, Germany. They felt peaceful, relaxed, and transported through time when they first drove on the gravel driveway. With hundreds of years of stories, including the tale of a friendly ghost, the Griffins have developed a small archive about the house. While origins are important, Patrick says their favorite part of the house comes from their own projects. “We really enjoy our kitchen, which we renovated a few years ago,” he says. “This renovation eliminated the remaining apartment and finlly brought the Phelps-Hopkins House back to its original layout.”
Location: Copper Creek, Newburgh, Indiana
Architect: Unknown and built in 2000
Style: Modern-style Ranch :Significant Stats:: Four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and 3,562 square feet
Why it stands out: A true ranch-style home — that was what Roger and Chris Hollen were looking for in 2007 when they came upon this home in Copper Creek. “My wife and I were just driving the neighborhoods, and the house just brought our attention to it,” says Roger. “It fits our lifestyle. We feel comfortable here. It’s charming, warm, and inviting. It’s our great escape.” Built in 2000, the home is not a traditional ranch style but still sports one floor with no basement. “To us it was an English-style home,” says Chris. “We did renovations inside and out, incorporating the English style we love into the décor.” The couple also transformed the outside landscaping, calling on Roger’s knowledge as a Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener. Many heirloom plants that have been with the couple through 30 years of marriage have been incorporated into the landscaping. “The home has a touch of elegance but is welcoming when you come in,” says Chris.
South Lombard Avenue
Location: East Side
Architect: Designed in 1937 and built by John F. Hagel in 1938
Style: Traditional Colonial
Significant Stats: Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and 3,121 square feet
Why it stands out: Michael and Laurie Schopmeyer purchased this home in 1993 after Michael’s former boss at Pearl Laundry asked him to buy it. “Mr. Korb kept asking if we wanted to buy this house. Eventually we gave in and bought it,” says Michael. The home’s unique features, such as the more than 100 different species of trees and shrubs on the 1.5 acre lot, stem from its rich history. Michael says the home was designed for the eccentric Robert H. Pott, inventor of the impact wrench. Pott had the house wired for his shortwave radio hobby, leaving odd electrical outlets scattered across the ceiling. Adding to the home’s legend, the greenhouse in the backyard was designed by the famous Lord & Burnham of Chicago, who also created the historic greenhouse at the Lincoln Park Zoo and Botanic Garden in Chicago. With all this, the Schopmeyers couldn’t imagine calling anywhere else home. “It was one of the best decisions we have ever made, as it has been a great place to raise a family,” says Michael
Location: East Side
Architect: Anderson and Veatch
Style: Mid-Century Modern Contemporary
Significant Stats: Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 2,419 square feet
Why it stands out: Whether it’s the interesting roofline or the unique colored brick, the Isadore Fine home looks quite different than the other homes in the Lincolnshire area. Built in 1936 by prominent Evansville builders Anderson and Veatch, this home is rumored to be the first in Evansville to have a central air-conditioning system. “A lot of people also assume the home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It wasn’t,” says current owner Robert Emig. Robert and his wife Carol have called the modern-style home theirs since 1998. Since moving in, the couple has done little to change the home other than needed maintenance, enjoying the house just as it was constructed. “We love the style of the home. Her front porch gets many compliments from visitors,” says Robert. “It’s home. We realize it’s unique and has some history. It’s a beautiful area.”
Location: East Side
Architect: Designed by H.G. McCullough and built in 1971 by Syl Elpers
Style: French Country
Significant Stats: Five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, two half bathrooms, and 8,300 square feet.
Why it stands out: When Mike and Shannon Frank purchased their Johnson Place property in 2008, they were captured by the home’s distinctive curb appeal. Built for a coal company executive, the exterior beams on the front porch were sourced from his coal mine. “The home is large but lives cozy,” says Shannon. “We loved the charm and friendliness of the neighborhood and knew it would be the perfect home to raise our family.” Many projects and renovations have been completed by the Franks, including refurbishing the pool in the backyard, constructing new patios, and adding landscaping, which has made the backyard one of their favorite areas on the property. “Over the years, we have updated or renovated most of the rooms in the home, blending many original elements with modern updates,” says Mike. “Last year, we completed our final project — a luxurious remodel of the master bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet.”
Location: East Side
Architect: Unknown and original property restructured in 1920
Significant Stats: Four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and about 4,500 square feet
Why it stands out: With its appealing symmetry and inviting Tudor style, this historic East Side home’s charms don’t stop once you step inside. The house was remodeled in 2010, with updates to modernize the kitchen, but the original details of the home, like the crown modeling, hardwood floors, and doors, preserve the historic feel. “The main floor, other than the kitchen, is all original,” says the current homeowner, who has lived in the home since 2012. “We love that it had all the original features, with an updated, functional kitchen.” The main level also includes a unique solarium with a working fountain in the wall, while behind the home sits the carriage house, now converted into a garage, that originally held stables. “The front half of the house — the dining room, the solarium, and all the original crown molding — is what drew us to purchase the home,” says the homeowner.