Chatham Arch home built in 1910 offers sophisticated urban living

When Dr. Ed Eppler purchased his then-rundown Chatham Arch home in 2016, he had a big vision for its future.

Built in 1910, the brick structure at 628 N. East St. is narrow and deep. Dominated by small rooms and a little galley kitchen, it needed a lot of work.

Three original fireplaces were hidden behind walls, pocket doors and woodwork had been painted, and the basement had a dirt floor and coal room.

Eppler saw the architectural potential of the house he shares with Amanda Dorsett and led the renovation with her help. The two began by gutting the house to its studs. Flooring, stairways, low ceilings, original doorways, windows and walls were removed or changed.

The work revealed amazing bones. For instance, the house boasts American Chestnut woodwork throughout. From the gingerbread accents on the front porch to the front doors, wood railings, pocket doors and flooring, the wood has been meticulously restored.

(American Chestnut trees were decimated by a blight in the early 1900s and the species remains nearly extinct. The wood is considered valuable for its beautiful grain and durability. Since few trees are milled today, most American Chestnut in furniture or flooring is from reclaimed barnwood.)

On the house’s main level, exposed brick walls include a picture rail—an element consistent with 1900s decor—from which pictures can be hung without damaging walls. The addition of a full sunroom accessible from the expanded kitchen offers more gathering space. The sunroom wall runs parallel to Union 50 pub next door and is soundproofed to significantly reduce the noise of the busy eatery.

Doors on the west end of the sunroom open onto the back patio, which has both fire and water features and is accented with natural colors that connect with the color scheme of the dining room and sunroom.

The patio borders a two-car garage and a high privacy fence. Eppler turned the garage so that it opens onto a parking lot where he has an additional four parking spaces.

The living room fireplace’s herringbone stonework is one of many elements that bring the outdoors inside. Also, as a smart house, the home’s thermostat, blinds, fireplaces, alarm and exterior cameras can all be controlled from an iPhone.

Granite counters pull together the elements of the extended chef’s kitchen and butler’s pantry. A beverage center at one end of the kitchen offers undercounter storage for a coffee station and wine cooler. Both Eppler and Dorsett said the kitchen’s long counter framed by bar stools and its four comfortable chairs are where guests and family gravitate.

From the front door, an American Chestnut staircase leads to the four bedrooms on the second floor.

The master suite includes a fireplace, walk-in closet and master bath with heated tile floor, steam shower and Italian marble and quartz elements. Every bedroom opens onto the second-floor, fully screened porch, which features a hot tub, group seating and skyline views.

Dorsett and Eppler said they enjoy both the beauty of the home and the walkability of Chatham Arch.

“This house is perfect for family living,” Dorsett said. “We are steps away from the Center for Inquiry, blocks away from Herron High School, and there is a family with five kids next door.”

Eppler’s and Dorsett’s cars stay parked often. The couple instead uses the Monon Trail to bike to Broad Ripple, or the two walk to dinner, to musical performances and to other nearby activities.

Eppler has worked in recent years at hospitals in Ketchikan, Alaska, and is currently serving as chief of staff at PeaceHealth Medical Center there. He commutes to Alaska while Dorsett works from home.

Recently, the two have set their sights on living in the Pacific Northwest to reduce travel time. So, they’ve put their Chatham Arch home on the market for $1.2 million, listing it with @properties.

The home is Eppler’s fifth complete renovation, and he said that, whether the couple lands in Seattle or Ketchikan, he will likely consider another project of this scope.•

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