Haunts & Jaunts: Iconic home for sale

Iconic home for sale on the Southside

“The front exterior of the home.” (Photo by Marla Clemens)

   Real estate agents journey through many houses as a part of their job. Each is unique, with a flavor of personality suited to a particular owner. However, on occasion, there is the home that takes the breath away. RE/MAX broker Marla Clemens represents one such—the iconic estate located at 6902 S. Meridian St.

   On a Saturday Laura and I pulled into the curving driveway and parked. Marla soon followed. We made our way up the sidewalk to the front door. Owner Louis Gillieron was working just outside, clearing brush. He wiped his hands, shook ours, and we entered the house for an extended private tour. It became quite the history lesson.

   The home at the intersection of Southport Rd. and 135 has been a fixture for many years, far before the current flow of traffic that passes daily. In its inception, it was out in the middle of nowhere. Built in three stages, beginning with 40 some acres, Indianapolis builder Charles Braughton, owning the Schuster Block Company (currently known as Schuster Building Products on Troy Ave.) transformed the property into a home.

“The master staircase.” (Photo by Marla Clemens)

   It started simple—the first stage in the late 1930s, encompassing a garage with upper apartment (with a curtain track separating the living room from the living room). Charles and his wife lived there. It advanced from there. The second section included the main body of the present day residence. By 1949 the third section on the Southside was completed, adding more girth to the expanded home.The tenure of the Braughtons came to an end.

   Larry Lunn, the second owner, took the property to the next level. He lived there for 25 years, selling 10 plots from the original acreage (the stately homes seen today due west and north) and constructed a 1800 ft patio that’s still a showcase for entertainment. He erected the wrought iron fence which still exists (with the unfortunate aftermath of three car mishaps that have taken out sections).

“Backyard view off of patio.” (Photo by Marla Clemens)

   Twelve years ago Louis Gillieron bought the property at a 2005 auction. Former owner Larry Lunn, an attorney/engineer, had decided a life change was in order. He sold and left the area, currently running for the office of mayor in Clearwater, Fla. Yet, he continues to be a continual resource for information about the house. His number is programmed into Louis’ cell phone.The patio is a focal point for Louis, he hosted a 25th wedding anniversary party there. I asked  why he was selling. “Life changes,” he said. I get that!

   Laura and I were fascinated by our tour. I told Laura we needed to win the lottery to buy the home. Marla Clemens concurred. Louis Gillieron was in total agreement! Things that made an impression on us: 75 feet of heated driveway—sweet God!; the kitchen built-ins (wax paper, towel dispenser, and stove exhaust systems; chandeliers, hanging as testament to windows of the souls of those that came before;the amazing bathrooms with intricate tile work; the massive oak trees on the property (and with  independent electrical outlets for holiday displays during Lunn’s period; the two-story laundry shoot to the basement; the basement, with the original water heater

“Laura gazing out upon the stone patio.” (Photo by R. Hinton)

(1940s) still purring and a control panel with individual heat controls to each room of the house; and  my favorite, Braughton’s personal photography darkroom!

   Two Sundays ago, Braughton’s next generation paid a visit to the property. A good time was held by all! Many remembered playing on the property as children. It was a day of fond memories. It’s a slice of south side history. The 9,862 square foot home on five acres is available for its next chapter of history. The listing is $760,000. Contact Marla Clemens at Marla@marlaclemons.com.