Historically, New Albany is bursting with homes that tell an abundance of stories. Laced with transformations through the years, many are coming back to life through the efforts of some committed and passionate individuals. People who labor to honor the integrity of the original creation sprinkled with a vision. On Sept. 9, the New Albany Historic Home Tour will treat visitors to some of the revitalized houses – including the home of Max Guenther.
Being a first-time homebuyer, Guenther was looking for something turnkey. “I originally toured the home next door which I really liked. When I was told that this home was going on the market, I decided to take a look, and that is all it took.” The attention to detail and the proximity to downtown New Albany was a definite plus when making his decision.
The home was originally constructed as a one-story shotgun around 1875 with a second floor
likely added around the 1890s and Craftsman-style embellishments transpiring in the 1920s. But then the liveliness of the home was compromised with neglect and being turned into a duplex. Hope was restored when Jane Shine purchased the home in 2014. With her vision, the home had a rebirth. The Victorian-era pine banister is a reminder of stories that the house holds along with an array of architectural detail that pays homage to the style of the home. A three-color scheme on the home’s facade creates a cheery demeanor as it greets visitors.“If I am not on my front porch, then my favorite place to be is definitely my reading room,” Guenther said.
Defined by tapered posts, Guenther’s reading room is decorated with comfortable easy chairs layered with family pieces. It is a room that easily accesses the kitchen and the living room. While Shine’s vision was careful to not overly-modernize the kitchen, she was sure to add those amenities that make living easier.
The dark, floating cabinetry brightened by the subway tile backsplash gives the airy space a stylish twist. The natural light is abundant throughout the home, which was a delightful discovery. “I was very surprised how bright the space is with its close proximity to the other homes on each side,” Guenther said.
The neutral palette also allows him to use his accessories to make a statement. The black and white photographs of various
New Albany landmarks decorate the walls in the living room, adding an element of deep-seeded Southern Indiana roots. “I took the photographs with my phone and really love the black and white element.”
Guenther has a deep appreciation for the work that went into revitalizing this home. “In my opinion, the quality of work put into this home from top to bottom is the most distinctive element. You must see it up close to truly appreciate what this 100-plus-year-old home has been turned into.”