Feeling At Home In The Country
The word �home� evokes so much emotion. Depending on where you grew up, an apartment in the city or a modest home in the suburbs, home is a place where everyday life unfolded amidst familiar faces and against the backdrop of nearby landmarks, schoolyards, playgrounds and neighborhood businesses.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, home is defined as �a place where one lives; a residence.� A further description confirms that a home is �an environment offering security and happiness.�
The Village of River Hills is an idyllic place to find that dream home for a growing family. A unique community, it�s where residents and community leaders have been steadfast in their commitment to preserve a picturesque country setting so close to a major city. In 1930, the Village founders made the decision to impose a five-acre minimum restriction on all properties and to outlaw commercial development forever. The nature-loving residents even went so far as to ban sidewalks, curbs, street lights, and lane lines painted on the pavement.
Expansive lots include luxury homes that are often encircled by a heavily wooded landscape. The architecture ranges from understated residences to lavish homes of some of the city�s more prominent citizens. Wherever one calls home in River Hills, it�s guaranteed to be a place that is peaceful and private. And that�s what drew the current owners to the historic Irving Seaman estate at 800 W. Bradley Road. �We were privileged to buy this home from the Seaman family in 1998�, said the homeowner. �It was the beauty of the home and the beauty of the landscape that stood out for us.� While built in the late 1920s, the home retains its rich history and benefits from modern updates. The property boasts a swimming pool, tennis court and four-hole golf course.
�On many Saturdays and Sundays, we sit on the patio. There�s nothing like having breakfast in your own Central Park,� said the homeowner. With a home less than 10 minutes from downtown Milwaukee, it�s the best of both worlds for a busy executive. �A property like this doesn�t exist anyplace else in America�, said the homeowner, who travels extensively for business.
The approach to this distinctive home is typical of most properties in the area, a private drive gently curves toward the main entrance. Lush foliage and serene views of nature demark the transition from the fast-paced city vibe to a more relaxed state of mind. As one crosses the threshold of this stately manor, the worries of the day simply give way to the beautiful vistas outside each window. Architect Fitzhugh Scott envisioned a very formal English Georgian design rendered in red brick with a green slate roof. Like most English manor houses, this one has two �fronts�, the entrance front and the garden front. Perched on the highest ground, on the north slope of Indian Creek Valley, the house�s garden front commands a view of its own grassy terrace, a formal garden complete with a vibrant display of peonies and, in the distance, a huge artificial lake which was created with its own sandy beach for swimming. According to the homeowner, their children especially loved the beach. The historic home received many updates since 1998, when they bought the property. �About 95 percent of the house has been rebuilt or replaced in the last 15 years. In 2003, the plumbing, heating and electrical systems were updated, including the addition of a commercial boiler�, said the homeowner, adding that this old home has been lovingly restored and is now move-in ready. In addition to mechanical updates, every detail in this house has been brought back to the 1930s. The original swimming pool has been restored and features a unique granite diving board transported and installed from Eden, Wisconsin.
The most significant enhancement features an informal living space that includes a modern, but relaxed entertainment area. �It�s open-concept and casual, but cozy. This is a critical amenity for today�s busy families�, said the homeowner, who hired the best designers from Chicago to create this modern kitchen, family room, butler�s pantry and laundry room. With incredible attention to detail, the space includes molding and millwork that is not found even in the finest new homes today.
The home provides spacious rooms in which to entertain, including a dining room and living room restored to their 1930s grandeur. A large, heated porch faces west and its expansive windows provide an uninterrupted view of the four seasons. Fives bedrooms and multiple full and half bathrooms on three floors comfortably accommodate a growing family and guests. The master suite includes a spacious bedroom and sitting room, complete with natural fireplace. Simple his and her bathrooms and dressing rooms complete the space, while retaining an old-world charm.
A third floor entertainment space appeals to teenagers and includes a billiard room and dedicated home theater.
In addition to the main residence, there is an updated caretaker�s home on the property. In 2007, a complete tear down made way for a new, more modern version. Now, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, this home can be used as a guesthouse, mother-in-law living quarters or single family home that could eventually be carved out as its own five-acre parcel and sold. With four fireplaces on the main floor, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. And it�s unique in that it�s legally permissible to run horses on the property. According to the homeowner, this truly is a country estate in close proximity to the city.
�It�s a fun, family home�, he said. �What we found, as a family, is that it�s one of those properties that combine comfort with elegance.�
�An historic, country estate in the lovely community of River Hills, it�s been a privilege to call this �home��, said the homeowner.
For more information about this historic property contact Mo and Mike Quinlevan of Shorewest Realtors at 414-807-6453 or email@example.com.