Ron Burgett grew up down the street from the estate built by the owners of the Schuster Block Co. in 1939. Like all southsiders, he knew and admired the stately home on Meridian Street and Southport Road, which originally occupied 40 acres until it was subdivided in the 1980s. But by the time Burgett bought it a couple years ago, it needed work. The hotel executive has been extensively restoring and updating the 9,800-square-foot house inside and out while respecting its original beauty and unmatched quality. By removing trees from the overgrown lawn, the public can once again appreciate the landmark’s Italian lanterns, slate roof, and copper inset windows. What they can’t see: a grand limestone terrace and a garage finally being finished as a guesthouse, as originally intended.
Thanks to the Schusters’ masonry business, the house is built like a battleship with concrete-block and plaster walls. A somewhat meandering layout gives the two-story home a castle-like charm to go along with an imposing limestone fireplace in the library, two Juliet balconies, and a full apartment up a back staircase. Handpainted glass murals inside two showers remain intact. Burgett updated the kitchen (Sharon Stone’s decorator came in from L.A. for the job) and moved the original Thermador appliances to the basement to create a catering space.