List Price: $2.45 million
The Property: When Dr. Srinivas Reddy bought this 1893 greystone on Drexel Boulevard in 2002, it was empty and recently foreclosed. Its exterior urgently needed maintenance, and its three-story interior had been chopped up into six apartments that might charitably be described as shabby.
Reddy spent four years renovating the place, turning it back into a single-family home. It was an enormous job—“we cleared out 28 giant Dumpsters of waste,” he says—but once the old interior was gone, he was free to create something entirely new. On the main floor, he laid out a series of four main rooms (which can be used in various ways) and a kitchen with a big oval soffit overhead and openings to a rear family room and a side-yard deck. He installed five bedrooms, four-plus baths, and five fireplaces, each with a different contemporary mantel. The second-floor movie room has an enclosed porch overlooking the boulevard, while the master suite on the third floor has an open-air porch at treetop level.
“I wanted to make the inside a modern piece that no one would expect when they were standing outside looking [at the house],” Reddy says. “I didn’t want it to be boring.” As you will see in the video, boredom is not a problem in this house.
Reddy lavished that same attention on the home’s exterior. He kept the original wooden newel posts and handrails on part of the front stairs, but there and elsewhere he deployed a modern steel-and-cable design. For the front entrance, he used a pair of antique cedar doors that once hung on an Italian castle, and the arched wrought-iron fence, salvaged from a 19th-century cemetery in New Orleans, echoes some interior doorways. “It was a lot of work, but I was meticulous because this was going to be my place,” Reddy says.
But along the way, he fell in love with and married a woman who has two kids in south suburban schools where she wants them to stay. Reddy moved down there, putting the home on the market for about a year before renting it out last summer. Those tenants have now moved, so Reddy has the place back on the market.
The home, which stands on a nearly quarter-acre lot, also has a rentable apartment over its coach house, and there is secure parking both inside and outside that small building. The elevator and the gigantic basement hot tub that were part of the original plans have not been completed; they will be part of the negotiations with a buyer.
Price Points: Reddy bought the property for $375,000 in 2002. He would not disclose how much he invested in renovations, but it was clearly a significant amount. Along with the interior design work, he restored and tuck-pointed the greystone’s exterior and completely restored the1913 clay tile roof. He initially had the property on the market for $2.595 million, but reduced it to $2.45 million two weeks ago. The property is also available for rent, at $6,500 a month.
Listing Agent: Venetia Johnson; 773-451-1200