Moving to a New (Old) House!

August 6, 2018

Lots of news in our family! We’re moving! I still can’t believe it! It’s a been a wild few months!

A little background first! I LOVE our current house! It’s so my style and fun and has the perfect outdoor/indoor vibe with a front and back covered patio that I will miss so much! I really didn’t think I would ever move. On the other hand! My husband owns a construction business, John Koch Construction, and he is suuuuuuuuper passionate about old homes and renovating them back to their original glory! He even won the Mayor’s Award for Historic Preservation last year on this home (also featured here and a different home here) – so awesome! He has been bugging me for the last year to move back to his roots, the McKennan Park area (I grew up near 69th and Minnesota, south sider!), so he’s brought up a few to me, which I have heavily declined because I do not possess his superior quality of what we call “a vision” with these old homes.

John has always had his eyes on this one house, a 1912 prairie style Mediterranean inspired home on the historic registry, and has even told the owners, his friends, that if they ever sell, they need to call him. Well, this past May, they actually called him!!! I basically knew that was it! We were going to move! I couldn’t say no to his dream home! We toured it the following day, made our offer the next day, and signed papers just a few days later! EEEEK! I had a whiplash of emotions from crying because I love our current home to excited to live in something so spectacular and historic. And now after the dust has settled, I can say that I’m 100% excited! Well okay, maybe 99% excited and 1% scared! :)

Although, I’m a total modern lover, John and his love for old homes has definitely rubbed off on me over the last couple of years. This home is FULL OF CHARACTER and has wood floors that are to die for. I walked in and actually felt all the warm fuzzies!! It will be such a fun home to raise our family in. Not to mention the walkability to downtown and McKennan park! We’re just 5 blocks away from downtown! There are so many neat features to this home and John is so excited to bring its original character back. It has so much rich interior detailing!

Home history: It was built in 1912 to Roger and Lillian Dennis. Dennis was with Dennis and Dennis, real estate and loans. In 1918 until the 1930s, William H. T. Foster, general manager of John Morrell and Company, and his wife, Jeanette, lived there. The house then became a tea room for a few years, and then in the late 1930’s (we think) after WWII, it became a triplex. The owners lived on the first floor and basement and the upstairs was two separate units. We are SO EXCITED to bring this house back to a SINGLE FAMILY HOME!!!! The entire upstairs will be transformed from a duplex into our 4 bedrooms, a laundry room, and a small playroom.

Here is a photo of it from 1927:

And one from 1950:

Here is it is now!

Here are some interior shots:

THE BEAMS – all the heart eyes! We will keep them as is!

Dining room has the most amazing built in original buffet that we will keep as is!

This is the kitchen – it’s so funky. Apparently it was an original covered patio that was converted to the kitchen, so that’s what the lattice work ceiling came from! The ceiling had a drop ceiling and the lattice work had been covered up for decades, and then the previous owners discovered it in 2001 when they were changing a light fixture! It’s pretty amazing! They were featured in This Old House magazine for the incredible find! We will keep it and just paint it a bright white!

THAT CEILING! We will just paint it brighter white to make it gooooorg! There is a fabulous built in window bench to the right with three large windows. 

This is the upstairs – this will be Ivy’s room. CHECK OUT THOSE LARGE WINDOWS! And baseboards so huge, obsessed. 

This will be part of our master suite – with french doors out to our own private patio. GAH! :)

We are currently in the demo phase and it’s so sad to see the house so destroyed right now! But it will be sooooo incredible when we are finished! I will definitely share inspiration and progress pics as we go!

Can’t wait to share more!!! Follow along on Instagram at @kayleemaykoch

13 thoughts on “Moving to a New (Old) House!

  1. Karen Gage

    Fantastic! I know that it will be a jewel when finished. Congrats for being so brave. We know what a challenge and older house can be but you have the crew to pull it off.

    1. Kaylee Post author

      Yes, you find something new every day that could be fixed I’m sure! Ha! Thankfully the entire upstairs will be all new since turning it from a duplex back to single family. So we have that going for us! :) Ha! And John is taking a lot of pride in his house! He loves it!

  2. Tracy Vik

    It is beautiful already and cannot wait to see how you and your fam make it your own!!
    SO happy for all of you!

  3. Dick Kelly

    Ii loved there during WWII , my mom and I on one side and my grandma and two aunts on the other. Both dad and grandpa Miner were overseas in Italy and England. It’s a priceless memory.

    1. Kaylee Post author

      Hello! John said you had lived there! So neat! Would love to see any old photos if you have them! I wonder if it changed any upstairs since you lived there.

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  7. Jeaneth larsen

    I Like to study the history of various locations and the John morrell home is one of them. As I was just looking it up, I have found out that the home had apartments and other things that I didn’t know about.

  8. Buy Sand in Orleans

    Thank you for sharing your journey of moving to a new (old) house! It’s always exciting to hear about new beginnings in a cherished old space. Your article was relatable and enjoyable to read. Best wishes for your new home adventure!


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