Observatory Hill


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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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3645 Perrysville Avenue

3645 Perrysville Avenue

This house has a long and interesting history. The solid mahogany woodwork throughout and the quarter-sawn oak floors—even on the third floor—tell us that the doctor who built it was a man of means. The house later served as a convent; look for the fading marker on the front that says "Sisters of St. Basil." The Byzantine Catholic Church eventually acquired the house and made it the home of their bishop. Their renovations included the installation of an elevator and a wet bar—and, the entire house was decorated in pink. The Plazeks, a family of nine, bought the house in 1999.

The living room's built-in, solid mahogany bookcases and large mantel frame the wood-burning fireplace and its pink marble surround. The Plazeks spend a lot of time in the bright, sunny dining room, with its big double window and antique chandelier. In the family room, the Plazeks removed the wallpaper and carpeting and refinished the hardwood floors. Pickled oak cabinets and a commercial stainless steel Viking stove as well as a Sub-Zero refrigerator make the kitchen perfect for entertaining.

Upstairs, the Plazeks have just re-done the room over the portico. They refinished the woodwork, stripped the wallpaper, painted the walls, and refinished the floor. They're lucky the portico room is even there: When Daniel replaced the columns, he found that they had nearly rotted into oblivion. "We are not sure what exactly was holding up the portico room,” says Luisa.

The master bedroom features crown molding and an antique oak bedroom set. The second bedroom was once used as a chapel; the church took the two stained glass windows with them, but the ceiling still has its decorative painting. Luisa's mother's doll collection lends a touch of charm.

The Plazeks were surprised to find that such a large house could also be affordable. They enjoy being close to both the city and the suburbs, and they love their big, unusual house and its welcoming backyard.