English Country Cottage

The Beginning

Glen Edyth Drive was a peculiar street in the sense that it was not considered upscale at one time.  And we really could not fathom why it was overlooked because it was such a beautiful street nestled inside the Nordheimer Ravine. The property that we were looking at was a small bunker-like structure built into the side of the ravine and could not be seen from the street. One had to get out of the car and peer down the cliff to see the roof top of the bunker.  It was a small hideaway for an engineer who had a studio/study built inside the bunker and not much else. From there on, Glen Edyth Drive, a cul-de-sac going uphill and ending in a turnaround was a steep slope up. In 1997, the street was underdeveloped because while it was close to the affluent South Hill neighborhood, it was near the industrial area along Davenport Rd. to the south.  It was truly an amazing street. Midway up the hill was a lovely rough stone house with a rotunda in the front owned by the Roman Catholic church.  Further up the street was a collection of suburban houses with very little character.

It was a risky venture because the lot with the little brick bunker was put up for sale at a huge price. The lot was very wide but shallow and it had the potential of being subdivided into four lots.  We eventually bought the property and managed to find another builder to buy the two lower lots from us. The two higher lots were, in our opinion, the more valuable in the long run because of the nearness of the ravine that would make living in the houses virtually like living in the woods. The cost of construction would be higher than that of the two lower lots and the houses’ floor plates would be smaller but we could build taller. The cost of construction was high also because the houses were built down into the ravine and tons of concrete had to be poured to raise the main floor up to the street level.  The view in the back was ravishing.  A Canadian celebrity rock star lived in one of the houses for a few years and turned the concrete bridge bunker into a recording studio.  Glen Edyth today is home to business moguls and company CEOs.

A Tall House

The second phase of our Glen Edyth Project was built in the Gothic Arts and Craft style that resembled an English Country Cottage.  The lower part of the front elevation was rough hewn limestone blocks and upper part was stucco with wood trimming.  The house had five levels.  There was a basement and a sub-basement.  The basement was below grade in front and had a walk-out patio in the back.  The sub-basement was totally below grade.  The foyer was six steps up from the finished grade.  The front entrance was a lovely carved-stone Gothic pointed-arch surrounding a leaded glass door.  From the foyer, half a flight of stair up was the living room and family room.  The kitchen was four steps above the family room.  The dining room was on the same level as the kitchen.  Another level up was the master bedroom and another four steps up was the guest bedroom.  All bedrooms had ensuite bathrooms. The back of the house was the ravine.  Full height window walls covered the back of the house on all levels, except the sub-basement.  The view was spectacular.  From the foyer, half a flight of stair down were two more bedrooms with walkouts to the back patio.  The sub-basement contained a den and a storage room.  It sounded like a whole lot of stairs but the experience was quite pleasant.  There was a large skylight at the top of the stairwell.  The stairs and foyer were designed in the 1940s film-noir retro style.  From the top of the stair the view all the way down was awesome.