NICHOLS HILLS — When Kyle and Kate Jones first laid eyes on the home at 1120 Glenwood Ave., they didn't see much potential. In fact, they didn't see much at all.
“The front was just covered in cedar trees,” Kyle Jones said. “You could barely see the house for all the trees.”
Now, fast forward a few years. The trees are gone, revealing the Art Deco house that had stood at that corner since the late 1940s. Its clean, whitewashed lines stand out in a neighborhood better known for the ornate.
That carries through to the interior, where pale walls reflect the natural light filtering through its many windows. The kitchen flows into the living area that, when the weather warrants opening the sliding glass doors, flows into the patio with the pool offering a glittering backdrop.
“This is our favorite room in the house,” Kyle Jones said.
The home will be among the stops when the American Institute of Architects Central Oklahoma Chapter presents its 17th annual Architecture Tour from noon to 5 p.m. April 14.
The self-guided, eight-stop tour includes residences and commercial buildings. The tour is part of Architecture Week, April 9-15. Tickets are available online and at select outlets. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. For more information, go to www.aiacoc.org.
Kyle Jones, an anesthesiologist, and Kate, a hair stylist, were living downtown and loving it when their daughter, Ramsey, was born six years ago. That shifted their perspective.
“We wanted more of a yard, a little bit more of a traditional opportunity for her,” Kyle Jones said. “At that time, John Rex (Charter Elementary) was not there, so that made a difference, too. There had been a lot of talk of that, but nothing concrete, so we were looking for another opportunity.”
They bought the Glenwood Avenue home in September 2014. It offered a yard and definite potential, but a lot of challenges, as well. The interior was made up of a series of smaller rooms, beige walls and low light.
“It was dungeonlike,” Kyle Jones said.
The Joneses brought on Jeremy Gardner and Gardner Architects to help them transform the house. They and Gardner had worked together on other homes in the past, but even so, Gardner recalled his first thought upon walking into the house was, “What in the world? What in the world are you doing?”
But he sensed something there, as well. “It's hard not to see the potential in such a unique piece of architecture, things like the rounded corners,” he said. “The site is unique.”
They set out to both open up and add warmth to the space. That meant knocking down walls, sometimes literally with a sledgehammer on concrete walls, adding windows, laying down walnut flooring and reconfiguring the space left behind. Sometimes the work yielded surprises.
“We thought windows would look good by the front door,” Kate Jones said. “When we started working on that, though, we discovered two windows were already there. They'd been filled in.”
They were finally able to move in fully in December.
“It's been a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Kate Jones said. “But it's been totally worth it.”
Other tour stops, with some brief descriptions from AIA, are:
323, designed by Gardner Architects, 323 NW 9, owned by Jeremy Gardner. "323 is but a small, discrete piece of what was for the better part of a century, an eclectic mix of structures that made up the Swanson's Tire Shop in Midtown."
Classen29, designed by Common Works Architects, 1419 NW 29. Owned by Adriana Gonzalez. "A residential project developed by the Jefferson Park Neighbors Association seeking to provide an affordable for-sale housing product while improving vacant or dilapidated properties."
Squirrel Park, designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, 1226 NW 32. "Responding in a sensitive and sustainable way to Oklahoma City's imperative to increase density in existing residential neighborhoods, Squirrel Park makes innovative use of modified shipping containers to create four single-family homes."
415 E Hill St., designed by Smith Design Co. Home of Deatschwerks, a manufacturer of high-performance automotive fuel systems for the international marketplace. "Neglected distribution warehouse, formerly used by Nabisco, (made) into a highly technical custom manufacturing facility."
Saxum at The Heritage, designed by HSE Architects, 621 N Robinson Ave. Saxum occupies the fifth- and sixth-floor penthouse of The Heritage, formerly the Journal Record Building, overlooking the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
Sundial Residence, designed and built in 1919 with architect John Eberson by owners John and Katherine Sinopolous, 4000 N Kelley Ave. A "Mediterranean-style residence ... patterned after Italian villas of the turn of the century. ... Many materials from Europe were used during construction, including coral rock from the Adriatic Sea."
M. Dewayne Andrews Academic Office Tower, now home of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, designed by Bockus Payne Architecture, 800 Stanton L. Young Blvd.
"Included is a nine-story tower, a fourth-floor roof garden, parking garage and new skywalks, which connect the College of Medicine to other campus buildings. ... The 'Helping Hands' mobile anchors the atrium and welcomes, engages and inspires everyone who steps through the front door.”
Jones Residence, designed by Gardner Architects, 1120 Glenwood Ave. in Nichols Hills. Landscaping in collaboration with Brent Wall, of LAUD. Owned by Kyle and Kate Jones.
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