1936 Modernistic – Muncie, IN – $250,000

For Sale
Added to OHD on 6/5/17 - Last OHD Update: 12/18/17 - 109 Comments
3100 W University Ave, Muncie, IN 47304
  • $250,000
  • 4 Beds 
  • 4514 SqFt 
  • 0.57 Acres 
  • Map: Street View
Stately Brick Home On A Double Corner Lot Overlooking A Small Park Close To Bsu And Hospital. Elegant Two Story Entry W/Original Chandelier. Main Floor Features A Large Sun Room, Nice Sized Living Room, Den/Office, Formal Dining, Powder Room, Kitchen, And Bedroom W/Attached Bath. Second Floor Had Two Bedrooms Which Share A Bath Plus The Master W/Ensuite Bath And Access To The Rooftop Deck. The Basement Has Game Room, Large Utility Room, Half Bath And Numerous Storage Areas.
Contact Details
Annette Caldwell, Re/Max Ability Plus      (317) 843-0011
Links
OHD does not represent this home. Property details must be independently verified.

109 Comments on 1936 Modernistic – Muncie, IN – $250,000

  1. Beautiful Art Deco house….please don’t sell it to a someone that will gut it!!!!




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  2. Gorgeous example of the Art Moderne style. I love the mix of houses you’ve been posting lately.




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    • True that John. Most of these houses don’t really work functionally, but this one sure as ____ does – and with verve to spare! Wow. My only question is – w h a t is this doing in Muncie??? This is not your average Art / Hollywood Moderne house, and I would suspect either a designer / architect or designer and architect conceived it. It is very high style; nothing plain Jane here. It’s a miracle it hasn’t been drastically altered over the years. I have never seen exactly that sort of enameled steel cabinetry before, and it is SMOKIN HOT! Jeez. This house needs a devotee or it’s DOOMED!

      PERFECT place for my all-time favorite, (aesthetically), range, the 1936 Magic Chef 1400, “Mrs. Moderne”;

      https://flic.kr/p/UeoY8Y

      Sweet!




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      • Muncie was the home of the Ball Corporation and now Ball State University, Home may have been one of the movers and shakers of business from around town.




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        • I grew up in the shadow of this house. I’m 51, and always remember the house being painted bright white with no other colors. I’m not sure how such an Art Deco house SHOULD be painted, but bright white doesn’t suit it, because the brick detailing is hidden. An “old woman” lived there all during my youth. She rarely left the house, and rarely had maintenance done on it! My parents said that she had no money left. I’m glad it survived her neglect.




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          • I would paint the house in nautical hues. Aqua teal dark navy accents.
            It reminds me of an oceanliner! I just love it! I bet it once was on many acres alone. The rear steps had to of gone out to gardens I’m sure. The front entrance should be a semi-circle driveway, again with acreage and gardens. I’m glad there is a park out front at least.




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      • I wonder what the Muncie neighbors thought when they first saw this bit of 1930’s Hollywood glamour constructed among their Colonial and Tudor Revival homes. I just noticed the rare unoffensive front elevation garage door, perfect for the Delahaye 135 I’d need to go along with the style.

        I did stumble across this 1927 beauty just up the street when looking around the neighborhood… http://cms.bsu.edu/academics/centersandinstitutes/virginiaballcenter/ourhouse/historicimages




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        • I could tell you what they thought, (I live in Indiana), but the comment would get deleted ๐Ÿ˜‰




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      • the enamel cabinetry and picture windows with thin muntins remind me of Lustron homes (that came later, different style, different time, more modest size and use).




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  3. This is amazing. It looks like something from 1930’s California and deserves to be in a cocktail table book for architecture and design. Nothing too terrible has been done to the interior so I hope nobody destroys it. The curved door leading into the built-in cocktail bar in the dining room is a cool touch. When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, mid-size cities like Muncie still had the economic power to create unique/glamorous homes like these. Not anymore. It’s all about huge cities now, which is shame, because something cool has been lost.




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  4. I like it! I would have guessed the location as Hollywood, but am glad to see that good design has been used all over the country. Hope that it goes to someone who appreciates the period details.




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  5. I think of this house style as Regency Moderne.

    Totally fabulous. I would LOVE to get my hands on a house like this, reverently restore it, and fill it with Regency Moderne furnishings.




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      • I never have understood the meaning behind the term โ€œHollywood Regencyโ€. What exactly was Hollywood regent of; and who was the incapacitated monarch โ€“ Oxnard? ๐Ÿ˜‰




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        • Ha! Yes it was King Oxnard he reigned during the depression and Hollywood’s golden age.๐Ÿ˜œ




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    • I like the “Regency Moderne” call…excellent!

      Can’t you just seem William Powell and Myrna Loy drinking way too many martinis there? I’d be there right with them!

      Indeed, that Chinese-Chippendale-via-Art-Moderne stair railing treatment makes me feel as though I already am…




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  6. I would change nothing about this house. Nothing. Okay, maybe the one ceiling fan that doesn’t really fit with the rest of the decor. But kudos to the current owners for beautifully enhancing the line and sweep of the architecture.




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    • Too right. They certainly do clearly appreciate the uniqueness of their home, and have mostly, beautifully enhanced it with their personal style.




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  7. How posh! Mah-velous! *spoken in the voice of Mrs. Howell on Gilligan’s Island*

    If I owned this, I would always feel underdressed at home. It’s completely stunning.




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    • Right?!? You can’t just wear old sweatpants around this house. Fine silk loungewear and fancy robes and slippers. I’d have to buy a new wardrobe to live in this house. But I’d consider it! I like it.




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  8. Is this Joan Crawford’s house? It’s totally stunning. Not my style but it’s great!




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  9. What an amazing job of bringing a home up to current standards of comfort and livability while preserving and displaying vintage style! Impeccable!




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  10. This house is stunning! I love the art deco throughout. I hope whoever buys this gem will appreciate the style and not change a thing.
    MJ




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  11. This house belongs on the National Register. Almost none of these remain in such intact condition.




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  12. I can just see some fabulous Gatsby-esque party taking place here. Oh how I love it.




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  13. The house was designed for investor Theodore Wilkinson by architect Leslie F. Ayres (1906-1952). Ayres worked as an architectural renderer (his pencil and watercolor work is wonderful), and built a good practice in Indianapolis before his early death. The interiors of the house in 1936 are amazing!
    http://libx.bsu.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/AyresArch/id/7/rec/38
    http://ddarchive.blogspot.com/2012/01/wilkinson-house-muncie-indiana.html
    http://libx.bsu.edu/cdm/search/collection/AyresArch




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  14. You know an OHDreamer when they see a house and begin to squeal. This house had me squealing and doing the dance! Holy canoli, this house is a national treasure. Did you see that light fixture and stair railing and the front facade!!! Have you ever seen a front door like that? Y’all might think Hollywood but that steel front railing makes me see Miami.




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  15. In picture 9, is that tower thing a sculpture, or a permanent part of the house?
    Super coolest house ever! Here in Boulder County, you could add at least a million dollars to the price, and it would sell in a week.




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  16. Definitely dated in style, but truly an awesome, well kept and decorated house, move in ready. I normally not attracted to houses like this, but it is tastefully decorated. Very artsy-mod!




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  17. Hope one of OHD historians finds out the history of this home. Everything was meant to wow the guest. What a privilege to own such a home. Muncie isn’t the middle of a corn field; it’s a great town, university and area (although I might be a little partial to my home state.)




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  18. This is fabulous!

    Isn’t it interesting where Moderne homes show up? There is one, not nearly as grand, in Muskogee, OK.

    Hoping there is a buyer who “gets it”.




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    • The flicker pictures are so interesting! They obviously pre-date the most recent restoration and make you aware of just how much work has been done.




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    • Thanks for the link. I’d been wondering what the kitchen floor was originally like, but I have a feeling this floor isn’t the original, either.




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  19. Very different with some cool history I’m sure. Not for me, but I can see why you all love it.




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  20. Used to drive by this house when I lived in Muncie while getting my MS in Historic Preservation at BSU. Always loved it. Lot’s of amazing homes in Muncie although it was rather depressed when I lived there, no idea what it’s like now.




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    • HI! When did you live there? How depressed was the town? I really love the house and would not live there myself so I need to know these things. Its only one hour and 15 min from Indianapolis so that seems like a reasonable commute for someone? Or even (gasp) students?




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      • It was in the early 90’s so it was awhile ago, so I’m not that familiar with what it’s like now. I commute about over an hour and half everyday (each way) into the San Francisco Bay area which can be very tiring but the traffic is pretty bad so I guess it’s really a matter of what you can put up with. Weather would be more of a consideration in IN than here. I love the Indianapolis area and am considering retiring there someday.




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  21. Don’t forget that Ball State University has a top rated architecture program and that Borg Warner Gear, Ball Corp, and a few dozen other manufacturers had a massive presence there at one time. I’m sure a forward thinking industrialist built this home.




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  22. Reminds me of the movie “Mr & Mrs. Bridge” when they go to the party at a modernist house.

    Is Muncie depressed, or just a reasonably priced place to live? The neighborhood seems very nice, and the proximity to hospital would make it seem attractive to professional people employed there.




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  23. Truly an awesome find and at an incredible price. I’ve really never seen anything quite like it. I just wish it was located somewhere in the south. . .




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  24. This house is stunning! Hollywood heaven. All that’s missing is the white baby grand and Jean Harlow.




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    • There is a white baby grand shown in the vintage photos that someone posted a link to above! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just perfect!




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  25. I have found my dream home! It gave me heart palpitations–where’s the smelling salts?




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  26. I absolutely love this house!!! I don’t know much about Muncie, IN but if I could buy this house, it would be heaven to me!!!




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  27. I cannot believe the price for this house. This would sell for at least a million (most likely more) in my neck of the woods. What an amazing home!




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  28. David Letterman’s College Town!
    It is beautifully designed and would love to see more American Art Deco Homes.
    thank you so much for posting!




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  29. I am thoroughly in love with this house! However, in my humble opinion, the bedroom with the white bed and light walls, could be larger. I also wondered where is the mirror for the Dressing Table in the bathroom? There’s that huge circular window there instead!




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  30. This is one of the — if not THE — most fabulous houses you’ve ever provided us, Kelly! What a tour de force. I’m grateful to everyone who dug out photos & info on it too — enjoyed it all. There’s nothing about it not to love, especially as originally built & furnished — the light-as-air iron railing in front is simply perfect, as is the screening of the front door, not to mention my most favorite chandelier of my life in the front hall! It is astonishing that a house this unique has gone through 80 years and a foreclosure auction & retained as much of its originality as it has; what’s been removed could fairly easily be replaced if it is lucky enough to receive the history-loving owners it deserves. Kudos to the present occupants for loving it!




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  31. This is a house Hercule Poirot would love! Have you ever watched a Poirot mystery on Public TV or BBC? This is exactly the type of Art Deco house they show! I love it, I wish I could move to Muncie!




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    • YES! I was about to post, “Queue the Poirot theme!” There…just said it. Love the kitchen, but the vanity truly charmed me.




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  32. This house would require me to buy a vintage chiffon robe trimmed in marabou and slippers to match.




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  33. It’s absolutely gorgeous outside. My favorite room inside is the kitchen. I’m wild about the curved cabinets!




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  34. This is the most beautiful home I have ever seen, I would love to buy it exactly as it is furnished as it is.




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  35. STUNNING!! simply STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    worth moving to Indiana for.
    thank you!




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    • Hello dear Rosewater, and thank you for thinking of me!

      I have actually been in a swoon since I clicked onto OHD for my daily fix, and saw this beauty!

      My second thought (the first of course being that this is one of the most beautiful modernes ever) — was that I had seen the house before. (In photos.)

      And indeed, I had been in touch with the owner about Art Deco architecture a couple years ago. Not sure if he is still the current owner, but I received a swift, courteous and helpful reply to my email.

      This is indeed a wonderful house!




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  36. Fantastic. Though I am not a fan of modern this one is the exception. So many intriguing features. WOW!!!




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  37. Fabulous house! It makes me want a cigarette and I don’t even smoke. So sorry our Modernistic house in Lawrenceburg got torn down to make way for yet another strip mall that never got built……….Hope the new owners keep it in such fantastic shape as the current owners have.




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    • LOL, me too! Preferably in a long black lacquer cigarette holder. Calling Jay Gatsby….




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  38. I am not into modern-anything but this home blows my mind ~ and that price? can that be correct ? Beautiful piece of architecture!




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  39. Can anyone tell me what the difference is between Hollywood Regency and Streamline Moderne is please?




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    • Julles, I Googled Streamline Moderne and the short form def. was helpful. I wasn’t entirely aware of the subtle differences either. That contrasted with the specific example of “Regency / Hollywood Moderne Jim provided in reply to me above might do the trick. I’d say the house Cora posted, (also linked above), would fit the def. of “streamlined”. Cheers!




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  40. I saw this place and instantly thought of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot because 75% of the houses on that show were of this style. Just stunning!!




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    • POIROT! I just commented that and then saw your comment. Can’t you just see him in this house? Wonderful!




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  41. My wife and I seriously looked at this house when it was for sale in 2011-12. Actually, we never saw this house in person but did all our research by what was available on-line and from our realtor. I had a phone conversation with Richard Douglass who owned the home in the 80’s…don’t remember exact years but it was 10-12 years of ownership. He corresponded with Wilkinson’s daughter who was 6 when they moved in in 1936. He wrote a history of the house, in 1984, from her comments which he sent me.

    Mr. Wilkinson…originally from Richmond, VA, later worked in Chicago before moving to Muncie to be the financial adviser to the Ball Brothers…wanted a Southern Mansion. Well he did get two columns. A paper written about the house by a student at Ball State, mentioned a copy of this home was built in Richmond, VA and gave the address. In 2012, via Google maps, I found the address but the house was gone and was being replaced by a McMansion. I wonder if it was a family member who built that VA house copy?

    The Wilkinson’s called the house style “Georgian Modern”.

    One of the reasons the house has remained unchanged all these years is that it is built with concrete/or concrete block walls (I’ve been told both)…exterior and interior walls…and concrete floors, including the second floor and roof. The brick is a veneer and has been a problem from the first year the house was built due to the fact that there’s an inch space between the concrete/concrete block and the brick which was filled with insulation. The insulation would absorb water and during the winter would freeze, expand, and push out the brick. This problem is the main reason I hesitated on making an offer. I can deal with wood rot and all but not masonry problems. When we were ready to make our offer, it was sold the day before.

    The Wilkinson’s had a full-time cook/maid, a part-time maid, and a part-time gardener. The full-time cook/maid’s room with bath is off the kitchen.

    If you are a fan of old 50’s TV shows, you will notice that in Hazel and Father Knows Best, one has to go through the dining room to get to the kitchen from the entry and/or living room. That’s the way this house is. Our realtor just didn’t want us to buy this house because it needed some work…the steel windows were rusty and in need of repair, for instance…but he, being a “today’s” realtor, thought it was a terrible plan that one couldn’t go from entry to kitchen without going through the dining room, plus, and doesn’t this sound like a realtor, it didn’t have granite countertops.

    The dining room light fixture is original to the house but was not in the house when the Douglass’s bought it. However, somehow they found it and restored it to it’s place in the dining room.

    Much of the original furnishings were “Danish Modern” according to the daughter not art deco as one would think.

    The “screens” on all three sides one sees on the exterior porch off the living room are original.

    This home has a two page spread in a book titled, “99 Historic Homes of Indiana”.

    The bathrooms are not shown on this listing but, if not changed, are very art deco and really fabulous.

    If you read the second sentence above and think, “Who would buy a house sight-unseen?”, that is us as we bought a home on an on-line auction without ever seeing it…just listing photos. We found the house in one of Kelly’s Samplers in 2014 and have been in it for three years one month moving from Seattle to Texas. It’s wood and I can repair wood! However, I still wish I had made an offer two days earlier on the Muncie house. I was born in Muncie but never lived there…close by, but never there.

    Phillip




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      • Kelly, It was a 4 January 2014 sampler…which has since been removed but if you want to see the listing photos, search for 419 N. Anglin St., Cleburne, TX, click on the Zillow listing and all the photos are there. Completely different home than Muncie.

        Further investigation puts the build date at 1908 or 1909, not 1900 as listing says, nor 1915 as all local information says. On the Sanborn Insurance maps it is shown on the 1910 map. And the owner lived here at this address in 1909. From EBay, my neighbor bought a 1910 postcard that shows his house, our house, and the house across the street. I did a sanding down through the layers of paint and found what seems to be the original color…a soft green…which is the color of the house in the 1910 post card.

        I haven’t figured out, though, why on the back of the mirror on the dining room mantle has a date of 1915 unless it was replaced. When I first found the 1915 date, I thought that confirmed the local info that it was built in 1915 but the new information refutes that date. Old houses are always a mystery.

        Thanks again for uniting us and our house. Wouldn’t have happened without your blog.

        Phillip




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    • What a wealth of information on this house! Very interesting. Did you ever see a picture of the Richmond house? I grew up there but I don’t remember ever seeing anything like this house. We may not have overlapped. I’m so bummed that it was demolished!

      It strikes me that your realtor was strangely narrow-minded. Not everyone loves the latest trends. Unless a buyer says, “i want granite,” it shouldn’t be presumed! How about “It doesn’t have granite countertops. Will that be a problem?”




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      • Yes I’ve seen a photo of the Richmond house but not sure where. It may have been in the article the student wrote about the Wilkinson house. I remember it looked like the same house was but seemed to be a little larger, that is, longer. I found the article in the archives of Ball State’s on-line library.

        I agree about the narrow-minded realtor. At the time, Muncie had a Historic Preservation Officer…since let go for budget reasons…and we had met him during an earlier visit to Muncie before this house was on the market. He was very helpful and knew info about this house and other older homes in Muncie.




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  42. Good idea to paint this to bring out it true style.I might have to go and see this one myself,reminds me of my childhood homes on Miami Beach and I guess Muncie might make a good town to live in.Love that Kitchen and the bar,stairs,lighting just about everything!!




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  43. This house knocked my socks off !! Perfect !! Just needs a small swimming pool at the bottom of those back stairs !




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  44. Well. One set of neighbors wasn’t impressed. It literally is within a rock throw of the Kitselman mansion. I work at BSU. This is still a decent neighborhood for Muncie.




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  45. This house is AMAZING, need a cpl of beach towels to catch the drool. Wish i could pick it up and move it here to SLC.




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  46. Wonderful house! So playful. Like out of an Hercule Poirot mystery episode. This should be on the National Historic Register of Historic Places for its architectural uniqueness. Don’t change a thing please and hire a preservation architect for any renovations!




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