Remarkable renaissance Condominium offers owner a window on dow

Sunday, September 29, 2002

The quiet life isn't for everyone. Sometimes the best place to be is in the middle of it all.

The property at 10 South Spanish was right in the middle of it all when it was built in 1880. Even now the property is still in the middle of it all as Cape Girardeau's downtown undergoes a renaissance.

This condominium has a window seat on the renovations with its location across from an area where new restaurants, antique stores and art galleries emerge yearly.

And as if location wasn't enough, this house has fascinating history. It was once owned by the Juden family of Cape Girardeau and then went through its own renaissance when architect John Boardman bought it, adding his own remarkable touches.

Those undeniable imprints remain. The house has the fascinating ability to both be in the middle of it all, and yet blend into the atmosphere. That's because Boardman designed the house with a two-car garage that may look typical from the street when the garage door is closed, but when opened, a Spanish-style courtyard emerges.

Inside, the Boardman touch continues to show itself. The entire main level of the condo is consistent with its modern, clean lines. Boardman had an affinity for geometric shapes, which shows up in this house. Throughout the main level is a black and white tiled floor, giving the effect of a whimsical and huge checkerboard. Also found throughout the house are windows that resemble sculptures more than windows, each made of glass block.

The kitchen is large, with sleek lines and unique cabinetry that has an almost leathery appearance with stainless steel pulls that echo the modern, sleek, no frills feel. The geometric theme is continued throughout the house, with walls done in geometric design. Near the kitchen is a utility room with a large pantry space and a pull-down ironing board -- an indication of Boardman's love of efficient design.

The dining room and living room areas are the perfect backdrops for modern furniture. The walls are artistic with geometric lines in a soft, satin finish. The ceilings, which reach over 9 feet, invite the use of large pieces of modern art for the room. Displays in this setting could rival the finest modern art museums.

Though the geometric theme gives the house a crisp, artsy, and almost detached feel, Boardman integrated warmth into the room with a modern woodburning fireplace that in itself is a work of art. It is framed on each side with inset glass blocks so the effect is artistic and intriguing.

The house's bathroom also has a window done with the glass blocks, again giving the window the effect of being a piece of art. The sparse, clean lines are repeated in the bathroom that has a large mirrored vanity and chrome fixtures.

The master bedroom is large enough to accommodate large furniture, and its walk-in closet is large enough to double as a mini-gym. Nearby is a second bedroom, which is currently being used as a study and guest room. The room has interesting lines with part of the room inset below a stairwell.

The main area of the house also has a large unfinished area, which is currently used as storage. However, a little work could turn the area into a media room, hobby room or virtually any other use an owner could want.

Though the main level of the house measures about 1,900 square feet, there is also an upper floor that is currently not finished but would add an extra 1,710 square feet to the living space.

This property, though currently a beautiful house, also could be turned into a prime business location. It is zoned C-3, and therefore could be used for residential or commercial use.

This property is currently priced at $181,500 and is available for viewing through Owens Realty, 335-9111.

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