Tri-Village News

2013 Tour of Homes

Staircase not the only wonder hidden in house

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Chris Parker/ThisWeekNEWS
This house at 1430 Cambridge Blvd. is on the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society's 2013 Tour of Homes.

One of the most interesting features of the home at 1430 Cambridge Blvd. was hidden and unknown for several decades from the residence's various owners.

"There's a staircase that was hidden by a wall, and no one knew about it until after Daniel and Mary Clare Evans, the current owners, purchased the house," said Tracy Liberatore.

Liberatore will serve as house captain when the residence is open for tours on Mother's Day for the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society's 2013 Tour of Homes.

"The Evans' son was playing one day and accidentally bumped into the wall, and when they were fixing it, they discovered there was a staircase there," Liberatore said.

The most likely reason for the staircase is that the home was converted into four apartments during the Great Depression, she said.

The house had been sold at a sheriff's sale to the Homeowners Loan Corp., a government agency that helped people having mortgage problems during the Depression, Liberatore said.

The house was built around 1918 by William Jackson, a real-estate agent and contractor who owned several properties during the 1920s in the Grandview area, including a gas station at 157 W. Fifth Ave., she said.

After its stint as an apartment building, the home was purchased and reconverted into a single-family dwelling in 1942 by Herbert and Laura Toops.

Herbert Toops was a well-known Ohio State University professor, Liberatore said.

"The Toopses lived in the house for a long, long time," she said. "They sold it to the Alban family in 1986."

The Albans then sold the house to the Evans family in 1995.

"The Evanses have done some amazing things to this house," Liberatore said. "They are very connected to their house. They love their home."

There are two gabled windows upstairs, "and before I went in the house, I just assumed they were windows to two separate rooms," she said, "but they are both in one large beautiful room. When you're sitting up there and looking out the windows at the trees, you feel like you're sitting in the clouds."

Daniel Evans enjoys woodworking and made the wooden mantels for the fireplaces that sit opposite each other in the living room, Liberatore said.

"One of the most unique things about this property is that it has two addresses," she said. "There's a separate address for the garage, which has an apartment built above it."

The apartment is not used as a residence, but as a studio for Mary Clare Evans, who is a children's book writer and illustrator, Liberatore said.

"Her next book will be published soon, and she will have the prototype of the book and paintings used as illustrations on display," she said.

The home is one of three Marble Cliff residences open to visitors from 1 to 4 p.m. Mother's Day, May 12. The historical society presents its Tour of Homes every three years.

Other homes included on the tour are at 2041 W. Third Ave. and 1449 Arlington Ave.

The other two homes included in the tour have connections to renowned artist George Bellows.

This year's tour stops also includes the atrium of Trinity United Methodist Church, 1581 Cambridge Blvd., where the historical society and the Columbus Museum of Art will present an exhibit and program on the artist.

The cost of the tour is $10 and tickets can be purchased at any of the four sites.

This story is the second in a three-part series on the houses of the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society's 2013 Tour of Homes.