The Penthouse Life

Two women pose with their dogs on a downtown terrace.
The two penthouses at Three19 are spoken for, but other units are open, and there is a shared rooftop deck.

Tony Valainis

Michelle Stump-Kerry and Alissa Kerry-Stump “had become people who owned seven pairs of scissors.” With a 3,200-square-foot home, a carriage house, and a three-car garage on the Old Northside, belongings piled up. “I’m a lot tidier in a camper,” Michelle says. Spending time in their RV proved they could handle a 1,250-square-foot condo.

They preferred not to leave their neighborhood, and they wanted single-floor living and space for a dog. The size and location of Three19 were right. The terrace—almost 600 feet of it wrapping around the east and south sides, and a feature emerging downtown—made it a no-brainer. They’d get views their house hadn’t afforded and keep an outdoor oasis.

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319 E. 16th St., 317-916-1052 (Everhart Studios)
Size 26 flats and townhomes
Parking One garage spot included, $30,000 to own an extra HOA Dependent on square footage
Walk Score 78
Price $300,000 to $650,000[/sidenote]“It feels magical,” Michelle says of their perch. “It’s private yet open because you’re looking out to a view. We’ll say, ‘Let’s turn the lights off and see the city.’ We end up sitting in the dark a lot.”

Jealous? It’s not perfect. The big windows spotlight every bit of dust inside, and smaller spaces demand a level of tidiness that bigger spaces don’t. Alissa and Michelle wonder what will happen once the novelty wears off. “We’re neatniks,” Michelle says. “Will we feel like we can relax, or will we feel like we’re always putting stuff away?”

They’re all in, though, and plan to go down to one shared car. “This is a walk-and-bike-everywhere neighborhood,” Michelle says.

Do you miss your stuff? Not a thing. When you have the space we did, you don’t have to think about what you own. Now every object has to have meaning or purpose. What do friends think? The first dinner-party guests came on Saturday and left on Sunday, so we guess that went well. In 18 years of friendship, that’s the first time they stayed over. Any house habits that won’t die? Going downstairs to greet guests rather than buzzing them in. We just feel like bad hosts otherwise.