1324 Inglewood Drive (1999)


Built in 1930 for J. T. Vitkus, this brick and stucco Tudor Revival house has a steeply pitched slate roof with mini-dormers. During the three years the current owners have lived here, they have lovingly refurbished it and added many fascinating touches. A gargoyle named Emmet greets the visitor at the front door, while a TV-and bird-watching gargoyle resides in the downstairs den. His companion in the upstairs library is - of course - reading a book.


There are a number of carved and molded shields throughout the house, including one high up on the outside chimney. The owners note that the shields in the front foyer were installed upside down, with the sharp points on the top of the portcullis where they could not do much damage to would-be intruders. Note the plaster crown moldings and leaded glass windows in many of the rooms, with a particularly beautiful and intricate window in the lavatory next to the front door. In the living room and elsewhere, the leaded casement windows feature pull-down screens. The original and beautiful wrought iron drapery hardware was discovered in the attic and re-installed.


The kitchen has been completely remodeled, with stainless steel commercial-style appliances and a blue and white French country-kitchen look. The enunciator is still operative, but as is usually the case these days, "one can ring and ring but no one ever comes." In the adjoining breakfast room, the blue and white porcelain chandelier was a real find, coordinating closely with the broad tile window sill. Another "archeological find" was the second set of stairs leading to the basement. At one time a floor had been built out over the steps and the space converted to a large closet. It is now once again a convenient stairway leading down to the laundry room. The game room in the basement features a billiard table whose style and wood was chosen to coordinate with the wall paneling and with the pews that came from an old church in Chicago. A 1951 one-armed bandit adds entertainment.


Upstairs in the library a leaded glass window provides light for the hallway. The fixtures in the guest bathroom, plus the black and white tile floor and the lower part of the wall tile, are all original. In one corner of the master bedroom, a faux fireplace with mantel actually hides a radiator. One of the two large dressing rooms here has been made into an exercise room with a view.


On the first floor, the den looks out onto a stone patio and a magnificent English garden. Here a very deep round stone pool had been completely buried for many years, but is now uncovered. An herb garden around the corner to the left adds unusual fragrances, such as scented geraniums, including apple and lime. In the garden the owners note that the wind whistling through the pines has a mysterious quality, perhaps because it is near the lake and on the rising of the Appalachian foothills.