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Historic gem reflects character, charm of Westside neighborhood

Walk down the tree-lined thoroughfare of Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood, Summit Street, and you’ll soon find yourself in front of 1649 Summit, a carefully refurbished home that blends the history of the area with the flourishing modern character of the neighborhood.

Brian Collins and his wife, Sarah, purchased the home in 2003 after being drawn by the activities and up-and-coming development of the Westside area. The house not only presented an ideal opportunity to live in the heart of the neighborhood, but also a chance for a full-scale renovation that took the original shotgun structure, which dates back to the mid-1800s, down to the frame so that Brian and Sarah could rebuild the home of their dreams.

The renovation proved to be a family affair, with Brian, his father and brother taking the lead on the demolition. The home’s addition, designed in late 2005 by local architect Jeff Schutzler, added a spacious airiness to the floor plan with a large eat-in kitchen and a loft-style master bedroom complete with his and hers walk-in closets, a large master bathroom and an adjoining deck that offers picturesque views of the nearby downtown skyline.

Stroll through the home and it’s easy to see that the renovation was carefully and thoughtfully planned. A mix of materials like wide-plank pine floors, natural stone, wood and metal create warmth and visual interest. And more importantly? They kept the project on budget, too.

“We tried to use less conventional materials that we still liked the aesthetic of in an attempt to save where we could,” Brian said. “My brother showed me how to pour a concrete counter top, so we did three. Wrapping wooden counter tops in copper was more affordable than tiling them or using stone or engineered stone. Using materials like these let us splurge on other finishes.”

Features like an epoxy kitchen floor, ample built-ins and shelf-filled closets ensure functionality, while finishes like copper kitchen counters, a glass garage door that opens to a main-floor deck and a beautiful walk-in shower with Kohler water tiles add a luxurious aesthetic to the home. During the renovation the house was completely rewired and now offers Ethernet and cable to every room.

Although the home was completely rebuilt, original features were preserved in the new design. A sliding door that leads to a main-floor office, for example, was built from the home’s original doors. The concrete kitchen island is sprinkled with glass bottle remnants that were discovered during the demolition, likely left behind from an old pharmacy that once existed in the area.

For Brian and Sarah, these opportunities to incorporate found and original materials were a way to pay homage to the home’s history while adding modern elements that blend seamlessly with the home’s forward-thinking architecture.

Outside, the home includes a yard filled with lush landscaping that has a dual purpose.

“The landscape was intentional to offer a bit of privacy,” Sarah said. Trees were planted to the side of each window to help obscure views from the street while also offering a glimpse of green from anywhere in the house.

The home’s redevelopment mimics the transformation that’s taken place in the Westside. The eclectic, family-filled neighborhood is home to local hot spots like The Westside Local, Chez Elle Creperie, blue bird bistro, YJ’s, Fud, Lil’ Freshie, Fervere Bakery and more. Downtown Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District is a short stroll away, as is the impressive architecture of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and Brian said new pedicabs are a convenient way for First Friday attendees to quickly traverse from the Crossroads to the Westside.

A palpable sense of community exudes from the area, solidified by frequent neighborhood-wide events like the annual Fourth of July celebration, a kids’ parade on Fat Tuesday, Cinco De Mayo festivities and more.

“The neighborhood is so tight-knit,” Sarah said. “There’s always parties and gatherings throughout the year, especially in the summer.”

If you’ve been searching for an opportunity to live in one of Kansas City’s best up-and-coming neighborhoods, now’s your chance. Contact Christina Boveri of Boveri Realty Group for a chance to see 1649 Summit in person and make this blend of past and present your own.

The 1649 Summit home is just one example of Boveri Realty Group’s urban listings. For nearly a decade, Boveri Realty has invested its knowledge, passion and expertise into finding clients their ideal residences within Kansas City’s bustling urban core. In addition to residential and commercial listings, Boveri Realty also has a leasing division and a property management division.

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