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Issue Date: June 2007 Issue


Enclaves: Chagrin Falls

1,268 single-family homes | Median home value: $252,100
By Colleen Mytnick, Photograph by Tim Harrison
Crocker Park and Legacy Village are nice, but they can’t compare to this “lifestyle center.”
 
Indeed, developers from across the state have come to Chagrin Falls, cameras in hand, to capture just what makes this village click as a place to live, shop, work and dine. “So many are trying to re-create this feeling,” says Nancy Haag, director of Downtown Chagrin Falls.
 
So you’ve got the old Victorians, dozens of stores and restaurants to walk to — and then you’ve got the falls themselves. Today, they draw tourists and serve as a backdrop for countless wedding photos. But, nearly 200 years ago, they drew settlers from New England looking to harness their power. Soon, there were paper, flour, wool and saw mills, as well as foundries and factories for making tools. By the 1870s, “the village had all the hallmarks of a mill town, including muddy, rutted streets, smoke-filled air and noisy saloons,” according to the village’s Web site.
 
The village still bustles today. But Beemers have replaced the horses and the former saloons have given way to some of the top restaurants in town.
 
The Treasure
 
Judy Wright always wanted to live in an old Victorian. She got her wish about eight years ago when she and her husband moved into a century home on Belle Street. What they didn’t know is that the home, built in 1890, had a mind of its own.
 
So when Judy thought she wanted to add a kitchen and maybe a porch, she envisioned a relatively simple project that would be quick. Turns out, they were out of their house for a full year. But don’t mistake this for one of those renovation horror stories. They spent the year visiting 5,000 antique dealers on the East Coast and in the Midwest. They found treasures, got ideas and had a wonderful time.
 
“It really felt like the house drove the project,” Judy says. “Everything just kind of came together and worked.” One example is that Judy didn’t know what they were going to use the old kitchen for once the new one was added. When they began working in the area, they discovered a staircase hidden behind a wall. An old bottle of port country wine was on it, left there by the family who had covered the staircase. Wine room, the house was telling her.
 
Other reasons the renovation took so long: As the project began, Judy and her husband realized it would be nice to have a great room/study, so they converted the old garage into one. The room has floorto- ceiling bookcases and vaulted ceilings. They also added a master bedroom above the kitchen and built a new garage.
 
The oldest part of the house … Is actually in the new part of the house. The reclaimed heart pine floors were made from wood in an old barn in North Carolina. The wood is at least 150 years old.
 
The music room: In the front of the house is a room with windows on three sides, marble floors and a Swarovski crystal chandelier. In it is a smaller, telephone booth–sized room designed for practicing an instrument without bothering the rest of the house.
 
In bloom: The yard is full of old-fashioned flowers, including more than 30 hydrangea bushes, peonies, magnolias and lilacs.
 
A huge deck, porch and courtyard are all nice places to enjoy the view.
 
Relocated: The family has already moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., for business. Realty One agent Adam Kaufman has the house listed for $1.395 million.
 
Insiders who live here:
Not as many well-known names as Gates Mills, but plenty of supporting players from big-name firms in Cleveland, as well as smaller businesses such as Peppertree Partners and American Spring Wire Corp. Then, there’s the usual cast of developers, lawyers and doctors.
 
Appraised Value Street Square Feet # of Bedrooms # of Baths Year Built
$1.6 million Waterfall Trail 6,660 5 7 1984
$882,000 Waterfall Trail 5,178 5 4 1985
$862,000 Timber Ridge Drive 4,542 5 4 1996
$852,000 Timber Ridge Drive 5,527 5 5 1996
$827,000 North Rear Street n/a 3 5 2001
$815,200 East Summit Street 2,844 5 2 1854
$791,800 South Main Street 2,996 6 2 1855
$753,200 Walnut Street 3,419 5 3 1856
$733,500 Waterfall Trail 4,641 4 4 1980
$719,400 West Washington Street 2,992 3 2 1870

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