The real estate agent selling the home at 6528 North National Drive in Parkville describes it as being modeled after Chateau de Balleroy in Normandy, France, and as “arguably the most prominent exterior in Kansas City.”
With its cupola, mansard roofs and four skinny towers that resemble chimneys, the 7,100-square-foot, $1.095 million Parkville mansion does bear a resemblance to the 17th-century castle, designed by Francois Mansart and once owned by billionaire Michael Forbes.
But rather than stately brick covering its exterior, like on the original, the Parkville home is clad in ivory stucco with yellow accents. And while the home’s facade is quite prominent — thanks to large twin garages that face each other — it would be a stretch to say it’s the most prominent in Kansas City. (Uh, hello, Ward Parkway? The Country Club District?)
Essentially, it’s a four-bedroom home with four full and two half baths for suburbanites who want to feel as if they’re living in a piece of history.
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Andy Homoly, owner of Homoly Signature Homes, built the first part of the home for himself and his family 14 years ago.
The idea, he said, was to make 4,200 square feet look like 10,000 square feet. One way he did this was by creating various levels. After selling it to the current owners in 2005, Homoly was called on to add an additional 2,900 square feet.
“The idea was to make the home look like a castle on a hill, which is why we set the garages lower,” Homoly says, adding that the roofs on the garages can be lifted off in one piece if future owners decide to add second stories to create carriage houses.
“I am an engineer by trade, so I did some fun engineering things with this house,” Homoly says. “The cupola was not part of the original design. I was standing up on the roof one day as it was being framed, looked at the view and thought it would be a great crime not to make this accessible.”
The cupola is topped by a custom copper dome and a large copper eagle. The home was being erected on Sept. 11, 2001, so Homoly named the eagle Sam.
You can see the rolling greens of the National Golf Course and Weatherby Lake dam from the cupola. At Halloween, Homoly would string fishing wire from the cupola to a fountain in front of the home and scare approaching trick-or-treaters by zip-lining ghosts down it.
He estimates that 35,000 people walked through the home during the 2002 Parade of Homes.
Just inside the front door, striking custom wrought iron railings by Austin Ironworks embellished with curlicues frame a staircase that runs to the second floor.
The interior has yards and yards of period-specific wood trim and paneling with a custom antique finish. The living room, at the rear of the home, has a wood-burning fireplace and an elliptical dome ceiling with recessed lighting.
“It was very difficult to build,” Homoly says.
A small, cozy wood-paneled library sits just to the left of the foyer, and the master suite is just beyond it. The master suite has a coffered ceiling with inset lighting, French doors leading to a backyard patio and a large master bath with double vanities, a walk-in shower with dual shower heads and a sunken jet tub all lined with travertine. There’s also a 16-by-14-foot walk-in closet/dressing room.
To the right of the foyer, a large, state-of-the-art, eat-in kitchen opens to a hearth room at the rear of the home.
A 11-by-10-foot L-shaped island could seat a small army and has wood supports custom carved in the shape of cherubs beneath the countertop.
Just outside the master bedroom, a staircase leads to the basement, which contains a billiards area, large wet/bar kitchenette, home theater and walk-in, temperature controlled wine cellar.
The common areas of the home have Brazilian cherry floors, while the bedrooms and loft have plush carpeting and the bathrooms have travertine floors.
Homoly and his family now live a few blocks away in a custom Southern Colonial style home he also built.
“We like the classics,” he says.