||The Grever garden was on the TP Garden Club's 3 August
2010 Garden Walk.
The Grever home was on the 17 October 2010 TP
Historical Society House Tour, "The White House Tour." "Lanie and Joe Grever - 609 Miami
Avenue. This circa 1910 home has the unique distinction of having
served as both the summer home for a noted Cincinnati industrialist and
later as the summer clubhouse for the Cincinnati Business Woman's Club.
Although it has been extensively renovated, the present owners have taken
great care to reinstate its original riverside cottage character. The
garage, once used as a kindergarten classroom, will also be open to the
The following information
concerning the house is from Lanie Grever, the present owner.
Many of you might
remember this house. It was last on the house tour presented by the Terrace
Park Garden Club in 1992 when the Scott Starks lived at 609 Miami Ave. Wait
until you see the changes.
In August of 2006 Elaine and Joseph Grever
purchased 609 Miami Avenue. Their goal- to return the property to “A
Cottage” as it was originally built. Beadboard was added in places, electric
and plumbing updated, ceiling fans, spray foam insulation added to floors,
walls, and ceilings, light and cheerful decorating. The biggest change made-
the basement steps were moved, allowing the original kitchen and dining room
to swap places. The hillside was selectively cleared to reopen the view. The
roof was replaced.
Notice the grandness of
the front door. The original lock and key are still there.
Living Room - With the
Grever’s removal of the white paint the massive river rock fireplace became
the focal point of the living room. A display bookcase/cabinet on the den
wall and bookcases at the far end under the windows as well as shoring up
the second floor exposed floor joist completed the updating in this room.
Den - The handsome knotty
pine den overlooks the Scenic Little Miami River and the Terrace Park
Country Club Golf Course. The Grever’s added the media center and the
fireplace with the antique wooden mantel and spectacular
heron tile surround. Note also the magazine rack built into the porch wall-
This was featured by Better Homes and Garden Magazine in the early 1950’s.
Porch - Walk out onto the
3 season room which the previous owners The Scott Starks enclosed with floor
to ceiling windows so as not to impede the view of the river, the view of
the large brick terrace and the fish fountain (recently added by the
Grever’s). They also installed the wonderful window box. The Fred Dowd
Family (1950’s) did all the major brickwork surrounding the outside of the
With the main goal of
bringing “The Cottage” into the 21st century, the Grever’s
swapped location of the kitchen and the dining room. In order to accomplish
this the staircase to the basement and the guest bathroom were moved to some
of the original dining room space. The side door was moved into the hall and
2 closets and radiator cover were added. Remember this cottage was
originally staffed by 2 live-in servants. The kitchen was in the front and
small and the dining room was overlooking the view and much larger. From the
outside the only changes observed were the door movement and 2 smaller
windows becoming one larger double hung window in the dining room, which
matched the front of the house windows. It was imperative not to change the
footprint of this wonderful Cottage. The dining room wainscoting panels and
hall beadboard were also added to complement a country cottage feel.
The new kitchen was
designed with the open whimsy feel. Notice the lizard, frog, dragonfly,
river rock pulls that were used on the cabinets. Also notice the hole in
the floor where the buzzer rang for the server to bring the next course.
On the second floor
landing hangs a 8 panel needlepoint tapestry showcasing scenes of
Cincinnati. The tapestry has been in Lanie’s family. Original light fixtures
The Current Master
Bedroom/Bathroom - To better take advantage of the
fabulous sunrises, the Grever’s divided the large bedroom. With the addition
of a partial wall they created a space for their bed to face outward with
bookcases above. The master bath was brought back in time with the addition
of pedestal sinks, radiant heated tile floor, subway tiled steam shower and
a linen closet built into the eves. During construction a hallway door was
discovered which entered the bath where the current shower is. This would
have allowed all bedrooms bath access.
- Of note in this bedroom is the original linen closet with pull down
doors. Can’t you just hear Mrs. LeBlond
asking her maid to climb on the ladder to get the warmer blanket out of the top cabinet. (These servants
lived in quarters in the basement much cooler than spaces their friends
occupied on third floors).
Khaki Bedroom – Of note
here are the built in dresser and desk with marble tops. In the closet is a
secret cubby built into the eves. This room was
originally the nursery/child's room as it
connected to the original master bedroom by way of a Jack and Jill bath. (It
was still used this way in the 1950’s). Note going up a step to the
bathroom-due to the exposed floor joist in the living room.
Yellow Bedroom or the
current Office - This room is being used by the
Grever’s as an office- a great work space to get distracted by all the
beauty and nature offered. It was originally the master bedroom and had a
second closet, which was converted to an upstairs laundry and small linen
closet in the recent renovation. Note that all the doors still match, as the
contractor milled what was necessary.
Thru the Courtyard and
out to Garage apartment - This room at one time
was the Terrace Park Kindergarten looking much different as the “Man Cave”
with a deck, now. One large space was created by removing the kitchen wall
and the closets.
609 Miami was built by Richard K.
In 1887 he started LeBlond Machine Tools
In 1895 Married Loretto Heekin
In 1918 RK expanded LeBlond Tools to the location at Madison and Edwards
(currently Rookwood Pavillion.
4 children: Harold (Hop)
LeBlond – married Mary Stephenson
Rita Fuller-(Maug Lillard’s mother and
Rita Picton’s grandmother who used to live in Terrace Park
After the children were fully grown Loretto and RK built the Manor House
(St Ursula Villa) in 1925 traveling all over the world to find items.
Later in 1936 the LeBlonds built Cottage #19 at Harbor
Point, Michigan, and traveled there by train.
This information is from Rita Picton 513-231-8260
The Ryan’s sold the next door lot in 1975 which originally held the
badminton court. This “A” frame house built in 1976 was renovated and is
currently 615 Miami Avenue
This information from Ellen Miller 513-321-2176
Changes by the Rodger Millers – Ellen Miller
In the 1970’s Ellen and Rodger Miller air-conditioned the Cottage by
sacrificing closet space for flexible ductwork. They updated the kitchen-
these cabinets were relocated to the basement by the Grever’s for Joe’s
workbench. They added 3 feet to the front of the garage, added the dormer to
the garage roof and updated the garage apartment. Driveway pavers were used
to control the drainage as the street had risen almost a foot. They also
updated the current master bath replacing the tub with a shower. They also
painted the house white. (Before that it had been cream
or green, as the Grevers found evidence of in their reconstruction..)
The Scott Starks enclosed the porch and replaced the
windows at the ends of the house.
Major Players in the Grever’s renovation of 609 Miami
Avenue in 2006-2007
Laura Deal-Stankorb – Historical House Architect
Michaelson Homes - Marc Michaelson – General Contractor’
Energytite Spray Foam Insulation – Vince Bick
Lowes Kitchen of Norwood – Steve Smith Kitchen Designer
Bromwell’s Fireplace Store, Kemper Design Tile
Cincinnati Urban Landscaping- Rick Eckbert –Tree removal
Shawnee Tree – Jeff Schoeny – Tree Removal
Smith’s Camargo Landscape – Steve Smith
Renaissance Garden Ornament – Gabe Rice