Columbia-Tusculum’s Million-Dollar Masterpiece

This Ray Roush/Carl Strauss modernist dream home is full of light.

3049 Ononta Avenue

Photograph by Chris Farr of The First Showing LLC

Modernist architects Ray Roush and Carl Strauss sprinkled the city with mid-century masterpieces. From this East Walnut Hills home still on the market to dozens of others like these three in Hyde Park, the partners are responsible for more than 100 homes in Cincinnati, including this Columbia-Tusculum stunner. True to their signature, the hillside house features a wall of windows that offer panoramic views of the city from just about anywhere in the home.

Photograph by Chris Farr of The First Showing LLC

Photograph by Chris Farr of The First Showing LLC

From the street, though, you’d never guess this non-descript exterior hides such wonders (and three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths). A gated path next to the driveway leads to the entrance. Open the front door and you’ll immediately see the back wall of the house features floor-to-cathedral-ceiling windows, which allow loads of natural light to beam through the living room, with its custom curved cabinets throughout. “The house is very open,” says current owner Janet Schlegel. “With one of the best river views in the city.”

Follow those cabinets around the corner, and you’re in the kitchen, where the curves continue along the counter and one side of the cozy island. Storage is not a problem here. In addition to cabinets and drawers around the sink, on the opposite side of the room, a long counter tops more drawers and cabinets, and glass-fronted upper cabinets provide even more space. You can also access the family room, down a few steps, where sleek built-in cabinets and shelves surrond the fireplace/TV wall. Inside the closet, there’s a fridge hookup, so it’s easy to make this space party-ready.

Photograph by Chris Farr of The First Showing LLC

Upstairs, the lofted master suite overlooks the living room and that glorious wall of windows. The spa-inspired master bath features a double vanity, marble countertops, and a massive bathtub. A walk-in closet has drawers and shelving that offers loads of organization and one of two laundry rooms is attached. The rest of the bedrooms, den, bath, exercise room, and second laundry room are located on the lower level.

There are even more surprises outside. The deck overlooks the river and the backyard is perfect for maintaining a garden. “After I moved in I fenced in the back and created a fenced and gated courtyard in the front,” Schlegel says. “Installing retaining walls allowed enough space to build a small patio, which is a great, private place to enjoy morning coffee, reading in the afternoon, and a cocktail in the evening.”

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