Landscape architect Ron Tisdale built the four-level house in 2005 on the second-highest point in Marion County, in the near-east side’s Holy Cross. He installed floor-to-ceiling windows on the side facing west, opening up wall-to-wall views of the skyline and sunsets on three floors. The cityscape is even visible from the bed in the master. “It’s literally the most intimate relationship you can have with the city,” says Realtor Joe Everhart. “He has had folks ask to spend the night at the house.”
Each level has an open-concept floor plan, while the overall style is more elegant than the trend in contemporary living downtown. Whoever buys the house will need an appetite for grandeur: The foyer is bedecked with backlit onyx columns, and the space opens overhead to the third level. They’ll also have to accept a higher-than-usual electric bill in the summer. Tisdale glazed the windows, but still had to beef up the air conditioning thanks to all the sunlight that streams in. “But the solar benefits in the winter are pretty amazing,” Everhart says. “Even on a gloomy day, the place is aglow.” White iron elements attached to the exterior reference Italianate and Classical window frames.
Everhart thinks the formal aesthetic will appeal to empty-nesters moving downtown from the suburbs. They might be surprised by the elaborate professional gardens—an unusual feature for urban living. Tisdale spent more than a decade perfecting manicured spaces in both the front and back. “There are so many garden rooms throughout the courtyard,” Everhart says. “There’s a room three steps down that’s like a secret garden altogether. You can’t see it from the house. At night, the windows cast a reflection of the city. You just about swallow your tongue, it’s so amazing.”
Why leave a place this palatial? “It’s a big project,” Everhart says. “He’s looking forward to the next garden.”
Want to Buy It?
Address: 402 N. Highland Ave.
List price: $1,750,000
Agent: Joe Everhart, Everhart Studio, 317-916-1052