On the Market: A Denniston Park Treasure

by Lynne Rostochil.  Photos by Lynne Rostochil and Rebecca Avey.

Almost everyone who knows OKC well and loves mid-century modern architecture has discovered this hilltop beauty overlooking Denniston Park near NW 23rd and Drexel.

Jack Byrd House front of house

Jack Byrd House denniston park

For years, the home has been somewhat obscured by overgrowth, but it’s looking great today thanks to Rebecca and Kenneth Avey, who bought the house in February and have just completed a very thoughtful and fun remodel.  The home, which was designed by Jack Byrd in 1948 as his personal residence, is one of the earliest examples of residential modernism in the area.  Jack, who was the brother of architect Norman Byrd, and his family lived there for a short three years before his untimely death in 1951.  After that, the home went through several owners and quite a bit of neglect before Rebecca and Kenneth got their hands on the place.

When they bought the home, it was in pretty sad shape with a gutted kitchen, bad flooring, poorly renovated bathrooms, etc.  But many original elements remained, including the gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows that stretch the entire length of the south side of the house to make the 2,100 sf home seem much larger than it really is — check out these windows in the living room:

Jack Byrd House - windows

They also open at the top and bottom to let the air in — something that was critically important in the days before air conditioning.

You will not find another home anywhere like this one, in which all of the common areas — formal living, kitchen, dining, and den — are creatively connected via the entry walkway and large cutouts in the walls:

Jack Byrd House entry kitchen

Jack Byrd House cutouts

The formal living room is anchored at one end by a giant red brick fireplace:

Jack Byrd House fireplace living

Just outside the living room is an outdoor space that includes an original sunroom/greenhouse that has been completely restored:

Jack Byrd House porch sunroom

Ever the heart of the house, the kitchen is placed in the middle of the living/dining areas for easy gathering:

Jack Byrd House kitchen

Jack Byrd House kitchen

How great is that countertop overhang?!

The kitchen shares space with the ample and oh-so-bright dining room — love that orange wall!

Jack Byrd House dining

Down a couple of stairs is the very loungy den with a huge picture window overlooking the park.  Can you say paradise?

Jack Byrd House den

With walls of windows and built-ins, the two smaller bedrooms in the Byrd House aren’t too shabby, either:

Jack Byrd House bedroom

And check out the totally remodeled bathroom they share:

Jack Byrd House bathroom

Not too shabby, indeed!

One of the biggest surprises in this great house is the giant master suite.  The bedroom is huge and also contains tons of storage space and giant windows overlooking a small patio and water feature:

Jack Byrd House master

Jack Byrd House master windows

Jack Byrd House water feature

Definitely a good lounge-with-your-morning-coffee spot!  The master bathroom is surprisingly large and contains one of the best showers I’ve ever seen:

Jack Byrd House shower

I’m not normally in love with a lot of remodels because, so often, character is forfeited and replaced with a lot of bland, pseudo-mod blah, but the Byrd House is the exception.  Rebecca and Kenneth have maintained all of the character of the home while updating it for modern living.  They’ve even enhanced the character with their expert selection of cool doors, mod paint colors, and custom light fixtures that look like they could be original to the house:

Jack Byrd House light fixture

They’ve done an outstanding job of resurrecting this gem of a home and bringing it into the 21st century for a new buyer to enjoy and love.  If you’re looking for such a gem, go here for more information.