She said, “We haven’t found the downtown home we want after two years of looking. Let’s pop the top on the rental property.” He said, a little more reluctantly, “If we’re going to take on a project, it might as well be this one.” So Hannah and Bob Parsons transformed their 1920s Craftsman bungalow on North Wahsatch Avenue into their modern farmhouse family home.
CEO of Technology Accelerator
3,000 square feet, on the border of Old North End and Patty Jewett
5 bedrooms, 4 baths, room for 2 teenagers
The Parsons are no strangers to old homes or renovation. As long-time downtown dwellers and with his contracting career, they had done extensive remodeling before, but not quite to this level. She says they really didn’t want to do a major renovation again. But with their family life rooted downtown, leaving the area wasn’t an option. When tenants moved out of their rental, they came to a realization: “Since we can’t find the perfect house anyway, let’s go all in and put together all the things we’ve always wanted and build that.”
Gone are the tiny closets, drafty windows and walled-off layout. In their place are an open floor plan on the main level, living space for four upstairs and covered patio for outdoor living and entertaining. “That’s my single favorite feature: You can come in the front door and see out the back door,” Hannah says.
Still, they were able to maintain some old charm, such as the original fireplace, hardwood floors, high ceilings—and downtown walkability. The Shooks Run/Legacy Loop Trail, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Bonn Shopping Center, Lincoln Center and the heart of downtown are all accessible on foot.
“If you can’t afford $700,000-plus in the Old North End—I think this a trend you’re going to see a lot more of,” Hannah says. “People will buy something affordable, then build it up the way they want it.”
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