This month, we feature Gary and Beth Ellsworth of 14 Furches Street:
“We have been residents of University Park for just over and year and could not be any happier with our decision. We chose the area for the proximity to everything, the amazing elementary school and the character of all the older homes. We have become fast friends with many neighbors and love that our kids can walk to school together and there is always someone up for an impromptu weekend cookout. We love the history in our home, the Raleigh stone fireplace, original hardwoods, beautiful trim work and crystal doorknobs are just a few features that had us hooked from the moment we walked in. We were fortunate to find a home situated on a double lot and we are enjoying transforming the yard into a cottage garden where our children love to play.”
Jonathan and Michelle McWhinney of 2713 Bedford Ave. are featured for June’s Home of the Month! Michelle tells why she loves living in University Park:
Jonathan and I moved to Raleigh from San Francisco in 2013 as we were beginning our family. We actually bought our first house in this neighborhood sight unseen while we were still living in San Francisco. Proximity to good schools, Cameron Village, and all the great parks nearby made University Park the perfect choice for us. We loved it so much that when we were ready for a little more space, we didn’t move far. We bought the house directly across the street! We already knew we loved the location and our neighbors. The house at 2713 Bedford Ave. had exactly what we were looking for. It offered more square footage, an amazing lot, a beautiful backyard, and the character of an older established home we love.
The home was built in 1937. In fact, at one time, the Raleigh city limits ran right through the front yard. The previous owners, whose family had the home for approximately 48 years, added on to the original house in 2002. They put in a lovely screen porch, master suite and expanded the kitchen. The lot is nearly a half an acre, and we love our little oasis inside the beltline. The backyard is protected by mature oak trees and lush landscape. There is a beautiful fish pond in the back yard that has been here so long, we were told Fred Olds himself donated some of the first fish.
University Park is such a great place to live, providing many of the big city amenities we enjoy while offering a serene, peaceful environment. We love living in Raleigh, especially University Park, and it would be difficult to imagine living anywhere else.
Radu and I are both NCSU graduates and have always loved the University Park area of Raleigh. When I was still in school, we were living in a townhouse in Durham and I would be one of those annoying college students that would drive down Brooks, park off Clark and walk to my classes. I remember driving by the three homes right off of Brooks and Wade as they were being built and thinking “one day I want to live in a place like that in a neighborhood like this”; something that seemed quite out of reach for a poor student in her 9th year of college/graduate school!
Fast forward several years, Radu and I were living in Cary in a small ranch with our 2 year old daughter and were ready to expand and find what we hope to be our forever home. There was no doubt about the location, University Park! We found this beautiful lot, surrounded with trees on a gravel road and were SOLD.
The builder had plans for a 3 level larger home, but we wanted to build a craftsman-style home that was smaller and fit the historic area. Luckily we were able to take on a completely custom design build, which is a blessing and curse when you are faced with all the decisions! In my excitement, before breaking ground, I bought the first item for our home: a free-standing bath tub (our builder thought I was crazy)!
We designed our floorplan to fit a growing family and to maximize all space as daily usable area. Our downstairs was designed as a shotgun style living, kitchen, and open dining area to keep the family and guests together and to make entertaining easy.
Some of the finishing touches I love the most are the built-ins in the living, dining and mudroom areas and also the open reclaimed wood shelving in the kitchen and living areas. Wood ceiling fans, crown moulding, large baseboards and wainscoting were additional features that we HAD to have to give this house the Arts and Crafts feel that we were looking for.
We have now been in our home for a year and a half, grown to a family of four and could not enjoy our home and the neighborhood it resides in more than we do! We love to sit on our porch (when the kids allow it) and say hi to the people that walk down the gravel road, take walks to Isabella Park and the Rose Garden and also I am continually working on more gardening (can’t wait for more winged visitors on my butterfly bushes this spring), including my continued attempt to chart the seasonal sun positions for my vegetable gardens. I love all the green that surrounds our home and I love living in such a unique neighborhood filled with wonderful people!