T&S Home Cover Stories

Keeping the Past Alive: The Warner Hall Group

Homeowner Rebecca Waltman says a specific feature of the home at 14 Princeton Ave. in University City first caught her eye years ago, and she and her husband Kevin felt it was serendipity when the century-old property later came up for sale.

“The first time I drove by, I noticed a large, west-facing sunroom on the ground floor with three walls of windows,” Rebecca recalls. “I could just picture our family enjoying it through the changing seasons. We kept our eye on the home and were excited when it came on the market in 2001.” The Waltmans, both architects, have enjoyed raising a family there and are ready to downsize, but they feel so connected to the neighborhood that they don’t plan to venture far.

Both are deeply interested in the historic details of a home, and Kevin says they uncovered some interesting ones at this property during their recent top-to-bottom renovation. “Years ago, the house was owned by a paint chemist who had a lab in the basement,” he says. “We had heard interesting stories about that, and we wanted to keep some of the home’s history visible as a conversation piece.”

While putting in a new HVAC system, they found some of the chemist’s unusual paint treatments behind old radiators. “He really had an imagination,” Kevin says. “There was a base paint, a metallic gloss on top of that, and a pinstripe contrast treatment to finish it off. We left some 2-foot squares of the paint on view as an artifact of the past.” There is even evidence that the home’s basement hid a Prohibition-era speakeasy, including a door with a sliding notch for the bouncer to identify guests. “We also kept a section of an old mural that was uncovered during the renovation,” Kevin notes.

According to Rebecca, the house is a delight because every space is uniquely beautiful and comfortable. “We have loved living in this home and made careful changes that only strengthened its character,” she says. The couple reconfigured some rooms, including the kitchen, to make it perfect for entertaining, and they especially love how natural light flows through every part of the house. “Its windows and sunrooms on both levels make everything feel warm, gracious and calm any time of the year,” Rebecca notes.

Agent Jeffrey Warner of The Warner Hall Group says he is confident the home’s next owner will find it as charming as the Waltmans have, and his agency is committed to showing this house and others in a way that is sensitive to current concerns. “We are following recommendations for safe viewings, inspections, closings and other appointments,” he says. “Our primary focus is on communicating effectively and respecting each person’s individual comfort level.” He adds that the agency can help sellers access special sanitizing services, and many are using high-quality virtual tours to showcase their homes online.

“We want everyone to feel comfortable with the process and know that we are always working to keep things safe,” he notes. “These are unusual times, but we have a great team of dedicated professionals ready to assist buyers and sellers with whatever they need.”

Agents Jeffrey Warner and Sam Hall of The Warner Hall Group offer residential real estate services as part of Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty. Pictured on the cover: 14 Princeton Ave. For more information, call 314.764.5238 | 314.725.0009 or visit warnerhallgroup.com | dielmannsothebysrealty.com

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Square One Media

Pictured at top: The home features inviting spaces for entertaining.
Photo: Square One Media