118 years young

Cres­cent­wood gem breaks the mould on what 1890s-era houses look like

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

THINK of a two-and-a-half storey home built in 1897, and sev­eral im­ages form in your mind. Fore­most among them would be the im­age of a tra­di­tional-look­ing home, per­haps with a pil­lared/cov­ered front en­trance, a front porch and tri­an­gu­lar, peaked roof. And that’s ex­actly what you see when you gaze at 606 Jessie Av­enue, a 1,691 sq. ft., two-and-a-half storey home built just be­fore the turn of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. Or, so it seems. RE/MAX Pro­fes­sion­als’ David De Leeuw said in this case, it’s nec­es­sary to pon­der the no­tion that per­cep­tion isn’t nec­es­sar­ily re­al­ity. “As the say­ing goes, you can’t nec­es­sar­ily judge a book by its cover,” he said. “From the front, it looks like a tra­di­tional Cres­cent­wood home. Go around to the back, and it’s an en­tirely dif­fer­ent story. The same goes for the home’s in­te­rior. The home was re­done sev­eral years ago by a young ar­chi­tect (Mark Bobyn), who wanted to show how an older home could be re­mod­elled, and re­vi­tal­ized. I’ve been in this busi­ness a long time, and this is a house un­like any I’ve seen be­fore.” Turns out, even the home’s front ex­te­rior isn’t tra­di­tional ei­ther. In­stead of us­ing wood, it’s fronted by Hardi­board, a very durable ma­te­rial. “Even the two front col­umns have been re­done, and, of course, there’s a beau­ti­ful screened-in porch, a fea­ture that the out­go­ing own­ers added (the area used to be a clas­sic open porch). The side­walk lead­ing up to the front en­trance is newer, as well, as are the roof and (tri-pane) win­dows.” Me­an­der around to the back­side of the home, and it un­der­goes a seam­less meta­mor­pho­sis from clas­sic 20th cen­tury to mod­ern 21st cen­tury. “The rear ex­te­rior wall of the home is clad in gal­va­nized steel,” said De Leeuw. “And the low-main­te­nance theme con­tin­ues with a pri­vate, fenced back yard with three-tiered deck, slate pa­tio and a fence that looks like ce­ment, but that’s ac­tu­ally grey acrylic stucco. Be­hind the fence, there’s a three-car, paving stone park­ing pad – and area where there’s plenty of room to easily put up a garage if that’s what you re­quire.” Step in­side through slid­ing pa­tio doors, and you quickly re­al­ize that the home’s in­te­rior bears lit­tle re­sem­blance to many Cres­cent­wood clas­sics. In­stead of a dark, chopped-up in­te­rior, 606 Jessie’s great room is bright, open and invit­ing thanks to a rear wall in­fused with glass, and an open-con­cept floor plan. “With­out ques­tion, the rear of the home has an atrium-like feel. The sun­room to the right of the en­trance is ab­so­lutely filled with large win­dows, and there are more win­dows above the pa­tio doors, so you not only have tons of nat­u­ral light stream­ing in all day, but you also get pas­sive heat in the win­ter,” he said. “And the floor in the sun­room and back en­trance is beau­ti­ful Penn­syl­va­nia blue­stone, a fea­ture you rarely see in homes here in the city.” Another fea­ture rarely seen in turn-of­cen­tury homes is a mod­ern, open-con­cept great room with is­land kitchen, spa­cious din­ing room and per­fectly-pro­por­tioned liv­ing room. Ad­di­tional light en­ters from win­dows on both side walls (one over the dou­ble, un­der-mounted sink, and another to the side of the din­ing room), and thanks to the open­con­cept floor plan, flow from space to space is ex­cel­lent. “The ceil­ing is al­most nine feet high, another de­sir­able fea­ture,” said De Leeuw. “And the fin­ish­ing qual­ity — nat­u­ral maple cab­i­nets, nat­u­ral maple hard­woods, Penn­syl­va­nia blue­stone coun­ter­tops and glue lam beams and base­boards — is ex­cep­tional. The kitchen also comes equipped with a high-end Gag­i­naw gas and elec­tric range, Sub-Zero fridge with two re­frig­er­a­tor doors and two freezer draw­ers, a handy, an­gled pantry, and tons of stor­age. The din­ing room now has a ta­ble for four, but you could put in a much larger ta­ble.” Mod­ern, ex­tra-wide maple stairs then lead up­wards to the home’s sec­ond and third floor. The sec­ond floor is home to a flex room and of­fice, while the third floor is home to the master suite. “The flex room – which has large win­dows that let in all kinds of nat­u­ral light – is presently be­ing used as a media room,” he said. “On the other side of a mov­able stor­age unit/ divider is an of­fice. You can move the unit back and forth to make the spa­ces big­ger and smaller, as your needs dic­tate. There’s also a three-piece bath with three huge cor­ner win­dows and jet­ted soaker at the rear; it also houses the washer and dryer.” As­cend another set of stairs, and you ar­rive at the thresh­old of the bright, ex­pan­sive master suite. “Be­cause it has four sky­lights and large win­dows at ei­ther end, there’s lots of nat­u­ral light. There’s a peaked, beamed ceil­ing, door that leads to a pri­vate bal­cony that over­looks the back yard, tons of nat­u­ral maple stor­age space and a cool, step-down, walk-in shower. It’s just a won­der­ful, invit­ing and calm­ing space,” De Leeuw said. The home is then com­pleted with a lower level that con­tains a large sec­ond bed­room and three-piece bath with cor­ner shower. “This is a home that’s ideal for a young pro­fes­sional cou­ple or child­less cou­ple,” he added. “It’s a beau­ti­fully-de­signed home that’s ur­ban yet peace­ful, and that pro­vides you with a host of mod­ern fea­tures in a clas­sic lo­ca­tion that’s close to all kinds of mod­ern ameni­ties.”

The mod­ern kitchen of­fers all the ameni­ties.

Sec­ond-floor bath fea­tures a jet­ted, soaker tub.

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