Since 1926, this striking five-bedroom home has held its prominent position across from the Western Hills Country Club—itself a neighborhood landmark that had been founded just 14 years earlier. “The house with the breezeway,” as it’s known to locals, is also set apart by a sweeping drive up the long front lawn, towering mature trees, and a sweet storybook-style roofline. It is a hard-to-miss piece of the west side landscape. That sprawling side of Cincinnati has seen plenty of change through the decades, retaining its personality with the help of distinguished characters like 1420 Neeb Rd. But back in 2011, the home was in the sights of a developer, who looked to tear it down and subdivide the property.
Coldwell Banker listing agent Sadie Burbrink briefly lived in the house as an adult, after her mother Amy Grace, also a real estate agent, bought it. “She was in a bidding war with a builder who was going to build small houses on the lot,” Burbrink says. But Grace won the war. Once she moved in, she began giving her new home an interior makeover. She focused on the walls, either having them painted in vivid colors and unique texture treatments or tearing them out completely. Houses of this vintage often have floor plans partitioned with walls and doorways, and Grace sought to open everything up. “The house was choppy,” Burbrink says. “It probably hadn’t been updated in years. The kitchen was three separate rooms. [Grace] updated it from top to bottom. There’s not an inch of that house that she did not touch.” The result is an interior that feels worlds away from the historic exterior. The main floor features wide open spaces with the kind of uninterrupted square footage usually reserved for distant suburbs. Grace replaced a first floor fireplace with a Mod half-circle buildout (if you’ve seen Frasier, then you’ll know just the style).
And that paint job? It’s distinctive, to be sure. The interior design may not be for everyone (we are, after all, still in the age of All White Everything). But Grace saved a piece of west side history and preserved it for decades to come.