Norwood’s got a lot going for it—historic homes on Floral Avenue, the Rookwood Shopping Center—but single family residential construction hasn’t been one of those things. Until now.
Consider this 2018 structure, the city’s first new single family home in roughly 40 years. Built by developer and contractor Steve Rueve for his daughter, Lauren, this painted brick three-bedroom initially caused a small ruckus among some Grove Avenue neighbors because its front-facing garage doors are pretty close to the street (many homes in Norwood have detached garages buried deep in the backyard).
But today the scale and size of the home help it blend in almost seamlessly to the rest of the established neighborhood.
Lauren, who’d been working and saving money by living at home since her 2009 college graduation, had been scouring the Hyde Park and Oakley areas for years in search of an affordable home with a garage; she’d had no luck. Meanwhile, her aunt was rehabbing a home on Marsh when the multi-family that originally occupied this 50′ x 150′ lot caught fire in 2016. When the previous owners’ insurance company tore down the burned home, Steve Rueve urged Lauren to buy the lot, saying he’d build a new house on it to meet her needs. Since Lauren’s mother, Nancy, is a mortgage loan officer, the project was a no-brainer.
The build took eight months, says Steve. When it came to the home’s overall design and construction, Lauren “trusted my 40 years’ experience,” he notes, adding that Lauren, her mom, and her two aunts, Mary Sue Guetle and Patti Mitchell, were charged with decorating and furnishing the place.
The result resembles something out of a magazine, with sophisticated gray wood and marbled tile floors, plus wall colors with names like blue bonnet and ballet slippers. Our favorite space is the neon yellow laundry room with a patterned tile floor. Coolest of all? In August, the city of Norwood acknowledged the project’s significance with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on site. Not a bad welcome to the neighborhood.