$1.7M Birmingham house fits onto narrow 43-foot lot

This is a high-end city house — a house that packs luxury finishes and open space onto its narrow 43-foot lot.  

Walk to restaurants, shops from this $1.7M Birmingham city house

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Side to side, this house is slid onto its land like a hand into a glove — snugly. But the lot is 186 feet deep, and both front and back have been made into pleasing outdoor space. 

It has neighborly, sheltered front porch, deep enough for furniture, where the owners like to sit in the evening and watch the cars and dog walkers. It has a compact backyard set up for entertaining with stone paving, outdoor furniture and a handsome fireplace. 



a small clock tower in front of a house: A walkable distance into Birmingham, this "city house" fits 3,900 square feet, plus a finished lower level, onto a lot just 43 feet wide. Like its lot, the house is narrow and deep.


© Nev Muftari
A walkable distance into Birmingham, this “city house” fits 3,900 square feet, plus a finished lower level, onto a lot just 43 feet wide. Like its lot, the house is narrow and deep.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Loading...

Load Error

Most significant for a city house, it has a half-mile walk to the attractions of downtown Birmingham. “There’s a ton of restaurants, shops, the events in Shain Park,”  the owner said. “You can walk to town.” 

That was a deliberate choice for these owners, who came to the area about two years ago. The kids were grown, and they wanted a site with some bustle. “We wanted city-type living,” the owner said. “We’d done that house in the suburbs with a big yard.” 

On the narrow, deep lot the house also is deep. It packs 3,900 square feet into its two main floors, with rooms lined behind each other and open space between. Its finished daylight lower level adds another 1,800. 

More from Michigan House Envy:

$1M Victorian home in Canfield Historic District is one of a few to reach open market

Grosse Pointe Shores estate of late Ralph Wilson Jr. listed at $9.5M for a reason

The biggest open space on the main floor is where the large kitchen, 18 by 18 feet, flows into the large family room, 17 by 18. At the other end of the kitchen, a butler’s pantry opens into the dining room. You can see through this four-room stretch from one end to the other. 



a kitchen with a sink and a window: The big, open kitchen measures 18 by 18 and has the extensive trim that characterizes this house. Lighted glass-door cabinets overhead add dash.


© Nev Muftari
The big, open kitchen measures 18 by 18 and has the extensive trim that characterizes this house. Lighted glass-door cabinets overhead add dash.

This family room is the last room at the back of the house, and French doors open out to the paved back yard. Two sides of the room are windows.  

At the front of the house a distinctive office has the view out the front window, which has an inset of beveled, leaded glass.  

The room is painted dark chocolate brown, almost black, over lavish built-ins and woodwork. The crown molding starts at the top of the door and goes the rest of the way up the wall, then out across the ceiling till it reaches a central step-up.  



a living room filled with furniture and a large window: The lavish office is lined with layer after layer of crown molding and more trim, all painted very dark. It has a large stone fireplace and a view of the front street. Its window is topped with diamond-pattern beveled glass.


© Nev Muftari
The lavish office is lined with layer after layer of crown molding and more trim, all painted very dark. It has a large stone fireplace and a view of the front street. Its window is topped with diamond-pattern beveled glass.

Throughout the house, woodwork is unusually lavish. There are deep crown moldings, deep trim over windows, wainscoting, the flat columns called pilasters and ceiling beams with extra trim. 

That’s what hooked this couple, the owner said. “We looked at a whole lot of houses. The trim was the defining thing that separated this one out.”              

The couple bought this as a newly built spec house. Besides the lush trim and the beveled glass, the builder, Trowbridge Homes, had filled it with extras you’d expect in a pricey neighborhood.  

The staircase, for example, has a dramatic three-story railing with wrought iron balusters in three shapes.  



metal scaffolding in front of a building: The sophisticated staircase -- three stories of metal and wood -- runs from the second floor to the lower level.


© Nev Muftari
The sophisticated staircase — three stories of metal and wood — runs from the second floor to the lower level.

The front door has insets of leaded glass, similar to Frank Lloyd Wright’s wheat design.  

The kitchen cabinets are especially handsome with overhead glass insets that are lighted. Ceilings are loaded with can lights on dimmers, and major spaces have chandeliers.  

Bathrooms have good looking accents of gray and white marble tile. The soaking tub stands on metallic claw feet.  

A system of Control4 Home Automation divides the house into six zones. It can control lights, music, temperature, even opening or closing blinds. 

Finally the house has 1,800 square feet finished in the daylight basement as a party space. This has a full bar, a family room, a wine cellar, a full bath and a fifth bedroom.   

Home in the city

Where: 909 Southfield Road, Birmingham  

How much: $1,699,000 

Bedrooms: 5 including the lower level 

Baths: 4 full including the lower level, plus 1 half  

Square feet: 3,900 in the two main floors, plus 1,800 finished in the lower level.  

Key features: Handsome city house has great street appeal, 3,900 square feet, close to amenities of downtown Birmingham. Luxurious trim and built-ins, Control4 automation, private, paved back yard for parties, fine kitchen and baths. 

Contact: Dan Gutfreund, Signature Sotheby’s International, 248-497-4646.

A note about photos

In order to limit our staff’s exposure to coronavirus, the Detroit Free Press is temporarily suspending its practice of using our photographers to capture images for House Envy and is instead using photographs prepared by listing Realtors, with credit to the photographers.​​ We thank the Realtors for helping in this effort.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: $1.7M Birmingham house fits onto narrow 43-foot lot

Continue Reading