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David Munger and his wife, Mary Heather Munger, just finished a labor of love mixed with two passions, preserving historical homes in downtown Perrysburg and being architects.
In June, 2013, the couple bought a beaten-down 1849 home that was later deemed structurally unsafe. A year later the house was gutted, restructured, and painted. Nearly 20 windows were installed to enhance natural light in the living room. The front door’s location was shifted. The changes resulted in Mr. Munger winning an American Institute of Architects Ohio award for renovation of an old structure.
The jury’s comments from New York City architects said the project is more transformation than a renovation, and the renovations created a soaring interior without compromising the cozy scale of the home.
PHOTO GALLERY: Renovated 1849 Perrysburg home
“It’s always nice to have favorable comments from your peers,” said Mr. Munger, a Toledo business and school architect. “I love being an architect, having a vision of how something could look and function then working with others and watching it become reality.”
An important aspect to Mr. Munger and the Perrysburg Historic Landmark Commission is that the home fit in with the neighborhood. Approval from the commission and city of Perrysburg planning and zoning administrator help show he did just that.
“The home was severely neglected and he restored it to glory,” said Brody Walters, planning and zoning administrator. “It was a quality design, and he got it right.”41.5575 -83.63617
There are several ways to redo a home, Mr. Walters said. The extreme method would be to tear it down and rebuild it, without considering how it fits inwith the neighborhood. It could be made modern and grand. Or it could be improved in a way that it blends in with the surrounding area. Mr. Walters said the latter is what Mr. Munger did.
The 1,300-square-foot home had included a one-bedroom apartment in the back. Now it has three bedrooms, two baths, and a single-car garage. The upstairs was taken out, making the living room wide open, with 42 light fixtures and 17 windows. Robert Seyfang of the historic landmark commission doesn’t know about the lime-green door, but does appreciate the concept.
“People here care about the historic district,” he said. “The characteristics of [Mr. Munger’s home] are still there.”
It isn’t the first time the Munger family has done this. On Front Street around the block they renovated a home in 2008 that also received an AIA award. The Perrysburg residents rent out the two homes.
“I love the way this fits in this neighborhood, and the lighting in [the living room] is fantastic,” Mr. Munger said last week while walking through the home. “It needed a little love and attention, and we had the fun opportunity to do it.”