A Swiss Chalet in North Avondale Gets a Second Chance to Shine

Gingerbread-house architecture and historic significance make this North Avondale property a unique place to call home.

3989 Beechwood Ave., North Avondale

In need of an escape to the Swiss Alps? European travel might be slowly returning to normal, but hear us out—skip the international flight and just pay a visit to this newly listed property in North Avondale.

Photograph courtesy Kathy Kelly

Swiss chalet-style architecture, while popular in the Alpine Region of Europe, is relatively rare in the United States, but it enjoyed an American boom between 1885 and 1915, when the gingerbread-house-esque chalets began popping up in Colorado, Glacier National Park, and—for reasons that remain a little fuzzy—right here in Cincinnati. Some of our local favorites include this insanely cool property in Walnut Hills and this one in North Avondale.

This property, built on Beechwood Avenue in 1904 by Cincinnati clothier Andreas Erkenbrecher Burkhardt, needed more than a little TLC to bring it into the 21st century. But thanks in large part to former owner Sandra Wilson (who received an award from the Cincinnati Preservation Association for her work), the chalet is the envy of the neighborhood once again with its charming gabled roof, patterned bargeboards, balconies, and intricate eaves.

Photograph courtesy Kathy Kelly

Clocking in at six-bedrooms and four baths, the Burkhardt House is fit for a family. Outside, the expansive front porch is a peaceful spot to enjoy the outdoors, with plenty of space for a table and chairs or lounge furniture, plus a ceiling fan to keep you cool in the summer months.

Inside, a cozy foyer shows off the original woodwork and the stunning grand staircase. Original hardwood floors and fixtures were preserved throughout the home and elements like the fireplace in the living room add to the historic charm.

Photograph courtesy Kathy Kelly

The dining room, hidden behind a set of pocket doors, features mahogany wainscoting and a built-in curio cabinet in the corner. And in the light and airy kitchen, a butler’s pantry offers extra storage, making up for the short supply of cabinets. There’s even a sitting balcony right off the kitchen with enough room for a set of chairs—the perfect spot for morning coffee or dinner al fresco.

Photograph courtesy Kathy Kelly

Upstairs, the second-floor hall floods with natural light thanks to a trio of leaded-glass windows above the grand staircase and another balcony (the Swiss really love their balconies) off the hallway. Each bedroom has hardwood floors and every bathroom features updated details like modern subway tile in the showers.

Photograph courtesy Kathy Kelly

The main bedroom is spacious and refined with its fireplace and chandelier. And on the third floor, you’ll find another two bedrooms and an extra multipurpose space that could easily be a home gym or entertaining space. All that’s missing is the mountain-side gondola lift.

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