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Lisa Murtha


The Address: 605 Evening Star Lane

Mid-Century Modern design was all the rage here during the 1950s and ’60s. While Carl Strauss and Ray Roush converted countless hillsides into sleek homesites, and the Dombar brothers dotted the city with their Wright-inspired structures, brothers Walter F., an architect and engineer, and John B. Sheblessy, also an engineer, were busy creating Evening Star Lane, a striking 1950s subdivision of 10 modern homesites on the former Samuel and Mabel Taft estate in Clifton.

Walter Sheblessy’s own house on Evening Star sold just last year, but there’s another chance to get into this iconic MCM community: 605 Evening Star Lane, on the market for $325,000. Designed and built in 1974 by William Mumma, the house was not part of the original development, but only architectural purists would know it, says listing agent Susan Rissover. “The materials date-stamp it more than the design,” she notes, citing “rough-sawn cedar [wall paneling] and acoustic paneling on the ceiling” as examples.

The Address: 215 Garrard St.

The best things about 160-year-old houses aren’t the detailed crown moldings, the original hand-painted wall murals, or even the ornate bronze chandeliers; the best things about 160-year-old houses are the stories. This Covington Italianate townhome’s story began in 1854, when it was built for millionaire entrepreneur Amos Shinkle. Credited with bringing gas street lights to Covington and founding the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky, Shinkle is most famous for helping finance the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Although Shinkle lived in several Covington-area homes throughout his life, this one is thought to be the only one still standing.

Will Hillenbrand

On the eve of his 56th children’s book, the Terrace Park author and illustrator draws us a picture of kids’ most important muscle—their imagination—with his magic pencil.

The Address: 260 Weaver Road

The Oberhelman name has been a big one in Park Hills since the 1930s, when the family ran Chappie’s Tavern on Dixie Highway’s original “gourmet strip.” But William Oberhelman had dreams of starting a pay-to-fish lake instead of joining the family business. In 1950 he purchased a 30-acre tulip farm in Florence and built several lakes on the property, including local icon Chap’s Lake, which is still a pay-to-fish lake today.

The Address: 307 Wanoka Woods

A short walk from the landmark St. Thomas Episcopal Church, the 1970s-era Wanoka Woods subdivision is something of an anomaly for Terrace Park, which is known more for its historic homes. And yet, nestled on a wooded lot alongside the Little Miami River, this contemporary home successfully pays homage at every turn to the waters it sits beside.

The Address: 1840 Madison Rd.

This 1904 Colonial Revival manse, now on the market for $1,575,000, originally served as a single family home for railroad executive William C. Greene, but its history holds more than just generations of genteel Cincinnati families. Between 1935 and 1988, it was known as McNicholas Hall, part of the Institutum Divi Thomae (St. Thomas Institute)—a research facility and partnership between inventor George Sperti and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Here—our hand to God—Sperti is said to have developed Preparation H, and possibly even Aspercreme. The Archdiocese supported the Institute by selling many of Sperti’s patents; legend has it that the formula for Preparation H fetched $1 million, says current homeowner Frank McWilliams.

The house didn’t fare as well. Sperti grew ill and in 1988 the institute disbanded. The abandoned building eventually fell into disrepair. By the time Frank and his wife Janna purchased it in 1990, the living room floor had caved into the basement. Undaunted, the McWilliamses set out to reconvert the Institute’s science labs back into bedrooms, and restore and update everything from the living room floor (it’s now solid hardwood) to the woodwork, bathrooms, fireplaces, ceilings, copper gutters, windows, roof, and even the third-floor skylight.  There’s also a fully functional dumbwaiter in the back stair hall.

Buyers craving a modicum of tranquility will be pleased to know that the 1.86-acre lot affords plenty of distance between the house and busy Madison Road. There’s even more local history out back: The property abuts the Scarborough Woods nature preserve, which gets its name from the property’s original owner, W.W. Scarborough, once the president of the Cincinnati Gas Company.

John Morris Russell

The CSO has finally found someone feisty enough and fun and talented enough to fill the shoes of the late, great Eric Kunzel. A chat with the new owner of the red dinner jacket on the eve of his debut as permanent maestro of the Cincinnati Pops.

The Address: 4117 34th St.

Your body’s already a temple; now your home can be, too, if you buy this Oakley property for just $325,000. Formerly the Oakley Christian Community Church, it’s now definitively a single-family home thanks to the decade-long efforts of creative owners Gregg and Nora Martini.

The Address: 18 East Fourth St.

If you’re looking to move downtown, you can’t get much more centrally located than this condo in the Fourth National Bank building. Even though Tom Borcher and Valerie Louis are selling this 10th floor, 1,950-square-foot unit for $385,000, they plan on staying in the neighborhood. “I’ve walked to work every day for 15 years,&rdq

Cottage Style

French country charm—in Delhi Township.