By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
One house in Scott Borders’ neighborhood consistently caught his eye and sparked his curiosity.
When afforded the opportunity, he even stuck his head in the front door while chatting with the owner. When the house hit the market, years after he had moved across town, he felt a compulsion to walk through with a real estate agent even though he wasn’t interested in moving.
One quick tour cemented his love for the home and he immediately bid on the property.
“I just wanted to see what it looked like on the inside,” said Borders, a literature professor at Anderson University. “That one day I peeked inside while talking to the neighbor I could see lime green carpet and painted woodwork. I thought it would be a nice house if someone worked on it.”
Someone did work on it. His acquaintance sold the home to a couple who lavished the house with time, money and love. Bill Newton, who was the principal of Indiana Christian Academy at the time, and his wife, Ann, updated the home while staying true to its 1924 character.
“They poured a lot of themselves into the house and they hated to leave,” said Borders, mentioning that Newton followed a job offer in Indianapolis. “They did a top-rate job.”
Attention to detail
Restoring the home to its original state by stripping paint from the lovely trim and breathing new life into the hardwood floors, the Newtons highlighted the character that had been hidden. By adding an 8-foot section to both floors, they created a great deal of living space that wraps around the back end of the house.
While add-ons are often noticeable, this expansion was so carefully constructed that Borders could not immediately put his finger on how the home had changed since he had left the neighborhood. New siding seamlessly stretches across the old and new sections, completely unifying them.
As the first home built near Grandview Golf Course, it was not equipped with a spacious kitchen as are modern homes. The addition, however, allowed the Newtons to create an open kitchen and living area to rival new construction standards. Attention to detail is displayed on the tile floor, which boasts matching patterns at the eating area and the back door.
“He designed these kitchen cabinets himself,” said Borders, stretching out his arms. “He took the plans to Madison County Cabinets and had them made from hickory.”
Custodian of property
Glass doors on the upper cabinets and a curved set over the stove are a testimony to Newton’s creative ability. His craftsmanship is evident in the woodwork that unifies the old fashioned home to the contemporary kitchen.
“Because of the woodwork, it is not jarring to see one kind of house and then another,” said Borders, only the fourth owner of the home. “It all works together. And I get the best of both worlds.”
Not only does Borders know he belongs in the house — so do his friends.
“My friends told me I was made for this house because all my furniture looks perfect here,” he said with a smile. “And even the Newtons said they felt like I was the right person to buy this house.”
Although most of the work was already completed before he moved in, Borders has replaced a few windows and erected a wooden fence for his dogs. Mostly he concentrates on maintaining its pristine condition. Even though he is a bachelor, not one thing is out of place.
“I appreciate that the Newtons took the time and care to restore the house,” he said. “In an older house like this, I feel like I am only a custodian of the property, because it lasts. I think of the people who have lived here — they watched the Great Depression come and go. They watched World War II come and go. I want to preserve this place.”
Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.