We bought our first home in 1994 — a very nice home on Southfield Road in Arcadian Acres on Evansville’s East Side — one of the oldest homes in the “subdivision,” built in 1940 on a small hill at the front of the neighborhood. For the first five years of marriage, we lived in rented houses in Downtown Evansville: A Civil War-era Federal style home across the street from where children once attended classes at the old Wheeler School on Mulberry Street; another Civil War-era Federal style home, on S.E. Riverside Drive, that featured a spacious first floor apartment, which we rented, and also had eclectic apartments carved into its attic space; and a charming Queen Anne Victorian on S.E. First Street with painted lady exterior colors of tan, taupe, and mauve.
Living Downtown was fun and easy. Nearly all of our friends — couples, like us, without children yet — were living Downtown in rented historic properties. Our social lives centered around our Downtown neighborhood — plenty of parties, summer festivals, Downtown running events, people watching from our porches, and walking our dogs.
While we loved our rented Victorian cottage in the Riverside Historic District, we looked at homes all the time, regularly spending Sundays at open houses. My husband is an avid student of residential real estate, a hobby that has led to the purchase of the two homes we have owned.
In looking to buy our first home, we looked all over the area — Downtown, East Side, Newburgh, and even Santa Claus, Ind. My husband had long admired the white Colonial house on Southfield Road in Arcadian Acres, and that is the home we bought. We lived there for 10 years; it’s where we lived when our boys were born. We remodeled the basement, added a bathroom, had a playhouse built for the backyard, installed white rail fencing, an architectural trellis, and a large fountain, and planted an apple tree. I was a familiar sight in the neighborhood, pushing a purple jogging stroller through the streets. (When Jackson was born, I switched to a turquoise double jogging stroller.) Still, we were looking at homes frequently, with no plans to move.
As our boys grew, we talked about expanding our home with a possible addition. Then one day in the summer of 2003, Todd took me to see a home he’d been watching for several months. In fact, we had gone through the home when it was for sale a few years before. In October 2003, we moved to Lombard Avenue, a street I wrote about in City View 2014. A friend and sorority sister bought our house in Arcadian Acres; it was a home she had her eyes on, relocating from Lexington, Ky., with her husband and daughter. Beth had grown up in a home in Arcadian Acres and had remarked that if she moved back to Evansville, she would love to buy our home. The family lives there still today.
We still look at houses for sale every week, though we have no plans to move. Our Lombard Avenue home will likely be the last home we own in Evansville.
For readers interested in real estate, homes, and neighborhoods — our research says that’s a lot of you — this issue should keep you turning pages. In putting together the feature, “Places We Call Home,” we looked for five recent homebuyers: the first time buyer; those moving up, buying a larger home for a growing family; relocators; urban dwellers; and rightsizers, the name given to buyers who want to purchase the ideally sized home for their current lives. You’ll hear what motivated these buyers in their shared stories. For each type of buyer, we selected a few recently marketed homes that we think are appealing. We also talked to experts in the real estate industry, who offer tips on maximizing value for buyers and sellers.
Kirk and Sherry Wright also profess to live in the last home they will own in Evansville — a home Sherry has named Casa Finale. We’ve visited this home on S.E. Riverside Drive before — when it was set to be a bed-and-breakfast called the Oliver House. Its opening was impeded by a historic preservation conflict over the replacement windows the owners installed; we wrote about it in the March/April 2002 Evansville Living. (The story can also be found in our online archives at evansvilleliving.com.) Read about the Wrights’ recent renovations in the home and their plans for it in our story on page 64.
I hope you enjoy this issue. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor
Read “300 Words,” the editor’s blog, at evansvilleliving.com/blog, each week.