Standing tall next to East Nashville’s East Park, this home has lived through the fire of 1916 and the tornadoes of 1933 and 1998 — not to mention urban renewal and tasteless renovations. “The home is one of the few examples of Victorian architecture in Nashville,” Tyler LeMarinel of Allard Ward Architects explains. As the story goes, the Dutch Renaissance home was built in 1876 by the Bush family, who owned one of Nashville’s major brickyards. “It has more ornate brick and stonework than any other example in the neighborhood,” Tyler points out.
Dave Haverkamp has a passion for renovating historic homes and saw the potential in this brick fortress, as he describes it. “The architecture is quite unique for Nashville,” he says, echoing Tyler’s claim. Dave and his partner purchased the home and enlisted the help of Allard Ward Architects for the renovation. Tyler, who has an eye for authenticity, restored the estate by unearthing and preserving many of its original architectural details. “Dave wanted to maintain as much historic character as he could,” Tyler explains. “We were able to marry contemporary and traditional/historical.”
Dave tells more tales of the home, one of which explains why it wasn’t destroyed during Nashville urban renewal in the ’60s and ’70s: “When the city came through, they would tag your house with a list of repairs — or it had to be demolished. This was the only house left on the block because — it is said — that the wife sat on the porch with her shotgun and said, ‘You aren’t taking my house.'”
The home was later owned by former Nashville mayor Bill Boner, in the ’80s and ’90s, and as rumor has it, his wife threw his clothes out the window after one of his indiscretions. Most recently, the home was owned and occupied by a local judge and his wife, the local postmaster.
“The history of it interested me,” Dave tells us. “I like to find significant, historic homes that are under-loved or badly renovated — or that haven’t been touched in several decades. If restored, the homes are a contribution back to the city and the neighborhood.”
The layout of the first floor was reworked to expand the kitchen. Modern in design, the open kitchen is lined on two sides with oversized cabinetry painted a soft gray. At the center of the kitchen, a spacious island is topped with Carrara Statuario marble. The new space puts the former 7-by-15-foot kitchen to shame.
Not only are the exterior walls three-bricks thick, but the interior support structure is as well. “It was delicate work,” Tyler says.
The new layout offers an open concept, with the kitchen opening to the family room, which overlooks the backyard through arched windows, and the dining space, where the most notable features are the bay windows on the south side of the home with curved glass windows. The dining room and living room are connected by original pocket doors, and another set of pocket doors is found between the living room and the foyer.
Oak floors run through the main level, some of which are original. New herringbone floors were added to the foyer, which is interestingly one of the biggest rooms in the home. From the moment you enter the home, you are introduced to the neutral and modern color scheme that replaced dated design details such as heavy curtains and faux marble finishes.
The master bedroom is one of four bedrooms in the main home. The large, original windows, showcase the home’s surroundings, including East Park. The bathroom is the most notable space in the master suite. Carpet was removed and tasteful tile was added. A spacious shower is surrounded by marble and glass. And the views and natural light weren’t compromised thanks to the thoughtful placement of mirrors above the dual vanities.
The attic received a major renovation. The formerly unused space was transformed into a bonus family room and guest suite. Reclaimed lumber from Eastern Tennessee was used for the beams and flooring; the walnut, maple and pine were chosen to mimic the original flooring. “The attic is one of the more romantic, fun spaces while the rest of the home is more formal,” Tyler tells us.
In the attic, you will find a y-shaped split chimney that corresponds to the downstairs fireplace. “With this standout brick detailing, it makes sense that the family owned a local brickyard,” Tyler tells us. “I have worked on many, many old homes, but this is the first time I have seen a chimney done this way. It is pretty special.”
The property also features a carriage house, which sits above a three-car garage. The space was outfitted for a one-bedroom apartment. “We went clean and mid-century modern,” Dave says of the carriage house’s design.
Though the original plan was to renovate the home and move in, Dave’s plans changed and he sold the property to a young couple, who has plans to start and raise a family in the home. “Our goal was to preserve it as a home, and we accomplished that,” he explains.
- Renovation architect: Allard Ward Architects, LLC
- Contractor: Lee Restoration
- Framer & construction manager: Joe Riley
- Staging: 12th Table
- Photography: Jeff Graham Photography / TNHometour
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