When is a house not just a house? When it used to be a stable! Such is the case with this fantastic Indian Hill property—once the barn for the Hulbert Taft Estate.
Hulbert was the son of Peter R. Taft, nephew of former President William Howard Taft; his estate once included a 32-room home set on 116 acres with horses, sheep and pigs aplenty; in 1941, this barn was built on the property as well (no doubt to house some of that livestock).
The property was subdivided into dozens of smaller properties in the mid-1980s, says listing agent Kelly Sheakley Hensley, but the barn stayed with the house until 2002, when it, too, was sold off with three acres of land; that’s when Hensley’s parents bought it.
Turns out, Hensley’s stepdad has been living on the estate property since he was eight; first in the main house, then in a different house on the extended acreage (with his wife / Hensley’s mom and co-listing agent, Robin Sheakley). When the barn came up for sale, the Hensleys bought it, intent on converting the structure into a house.
“They tried to keep a lot of the original features,” says Hensley, who notes that the wood-paneled dining room was once the barn’s tack room. The couple repurposed stable doors and kept the original saddle rack and iron gates on site, too, but our favorite salvage of all is the powder room sink, which used to be a water trough in one of the horse stalls.
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