With its multi-acre lots and sprawling stone-trimmed estates, Mt. Washington’s Watch Hill is one of Cincinnati’s more picturesque pockets; built in 1941, this charming home, like its fellow neighborhood originals, exemplifies why. Watch Hill was one of three developments that Kopf and Kopf, Inc. builders—founded by brothers Larry, Willard, and Walter Kopf—created in the late 1930s (the others were Glen Acres in Amberley Village and Signal Hill in Anderson Township). Architect Luigi Marioni, a UC grad and native Italian, designed this and hundreds more homes for the brothers; those in Watch Hill were often described by The Cincinnati Enquirer as “colonial,” and frequently featured “whitewashed brick,” bay-style windows, and arched doorways inside and out.
Joe Hayden (former Midland Company CEO and founder of the Midland Redskins amateur baseball team) and his wife Lois surely found these things appealing when they bought the place in 1957. The couple raised four boys—Tom, Jay, Bill, and John—in the home; they also built a nautilus-shaped pool house in the 1960s and extensively renovated the original master suite along the way. In 2014, they hired architect Steven Ginter and builder Bob Arlinghaus to renovate the kitchen and seamlessly add on a 2,000-square-foot ADA-accessible wing, so they could age in place. That space features its own great room, a kitchenette, and a second master suite with glamour bath, walk-in closets, and bay windows overlooking the backyard.
With both parents and brother Bill now deceased, the remaining Hayden sons are selling their childhood home—a tough decision, given the memories that come with 60-plus years of family life in one place: makeshift football fields and wiffle-ball games in the yard; hikes to Salem Road through creek-scattered woods; frequent visits from football legend Bo Schembechler (a college friend of Joe’s); and generation-spanning family events on holidays and in summers. “Dad loved to throw a party,” say Jay and Tom, “and there was no one more accommodating than Mom.” Here’s hoping the next owners carry on the tradition of utilizing this property to its fullest.