On the Market: A Lakeside Oasis in the Heart of OKC

text and photos by Lynne Rostochil

There are so many things to love about this 1958 home that sits on a peninsula overlooking peaceful Parker’s Lake near Dolese Park.  I mean, for one, it sits on a PENINSULA – duh – which means that every room of the home has a gorgeous view of the lake beyond.

Yes, this view is in the heart of OKC!  And, don’t worry, you’ll be seeing plenty more of the lake as we tour the house, which sits at the end of a cul-de-sac and is completely hidden from public view by a long privacy fence:

A small corridor leads to a charming courtyard and the front door:

The original home was a tiny fishing cabin that was likely built in the 1920s or ’30s.  As the city crept further north, the once-distant lakes in the area, including Twin Lakes, the lake at Lansbrook, Silver Lake, and the lakes at Ski Island and Blue Stem, became less remote and open for development of suburban homes.  Many of the old fishing cabins along the banks were either demolished or incorporated into the new homes, as was the case with this one.  But, even though this place once started life as a modest cabin filled with fishing tackle and maybe a bunk or two, it is now a stunning mod ranch house that is excitedly awaiting its new owner.

Before we move on with the tour, there’s one more intriguing bit of information about this house.  In the early 1960s, Jack Rodgers and his family lived here.  Who was Jack Rodgers?  Well, he was the brother of our favorite storybook home builder, Luke Rodgers, and his designer wife Dorothy.  Jack was responsible for a lot of the woodworking in these homes, and he was a home builder himself.  If you’ve been inside a Luke and Dorothy Rodgers creation, you know that there’s enormous attention paid to every little detail, and you’ll see a lot of that attention in this house, too, which leads me to believe that this may be a very rare modern Rodgers creation.  I’ve still got some research to do to prove this, but I have a hunch that this is the case.  If so, that would make this home even more special than it already is.  So, with that in mind, let’s get on with the tour.

Through the front door, the first thing that greets you is a crazy rock floor that runs the length of the entry:

I know!  How great is that?!  To the right is the main living room with a turreted bank of windows overlooking the lake and a giant fireplace faced with the same rock that is in the entry and on the exterior of the home:

There are so many amazing details in this room that would make you want to camp out here forever and never leave.  First, check out the spoked beam ceiling above the windows — it’s wondrous:

And just look at the panoramic view from this vantage point:

Spectacular!  There’s a sliding glass door in this room that provides an opportunity for some great cross ventilation:

Almost every room in this house has a door you can open to let in the breeze.  The day I visited the home, the a/c was off, several doors were open, and it was extremely comfortable inside, so I imagine that you could get away with no a/c most of the spring and even into the summer months on milder days.

Oh, and did you notice the super cool light fixture above the card table?

I’ve honestly never seen anything like it.  The lucky new owner will receive it and the other furnishings in the room that the current owners purchased just three years after moving into the home in 1965.   Their 1968 shopping spree at Suburban Contemporary must have been so much fun, and the furniture they bought is still in great shape today and fits the room perfectly.  Those furnishings include the card table and this incredibly fun sofa, table, and ottoman pair:

Next to the turret of windows is the gorgeously curved rock fireplace:

I can see reading a good book and enjoying many a winter fire in this space with the warm glow of the fire and the Spanish-style fixture hanging from the rock:

Yes, I’d definitely spend a ton of time in this space enjoying the scenery and watching the light change as daylight turns into night.  As much as I want to sit here and do that right now, it’s time to move on and continue the tour.  Just off of the living room is a small office space:

That door leads to the two-car garage:

There’s an ample storage room in the garage…

… with another door that leads outside.  We’ll go outdoors in a bit, but right now let’s go back through the office and living room to the front door.  From there, if you turn to the left, you’ll head into the open and quite large den/kitchen area:

Like I said earlier, there’s a magnificent view from every single room of this house — from the den, you get to see an entirely different side of the lake through the dramatic wall of windows:

How much greater does life get than sitting in your mod tulip chair, enjoying a cup of steamy rich coffee, and watching families of ducks paddle by?  And, yes, the tulip set does come with the house, so the lucky buyer doesn’t have to change a thing in this view.  Sigh….

If we can pull our eyes away from that view for just a second, here’s a view of the bright den from the kitchen:

The kitchen itself was remodeled fairly recently.  It’s not at all mod, but it’s spacious and very functional:

And, yes, there’s a window and door out to the lake:

Doing dishes is drudgery, but it may not be such a terrible chore if you get this view while doing them:

Yep, maybe I’d kind of be happy to do the dishes if I could look up and see the lake … or maybe my husband, kids, and I would start fighting over who gets to do the dishes … or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.  No one in my house would ever willingly wash a dish unless I beg, plead, scream, or put dirty dishes in their beds (which I have been known to do when my kids have been less than willing to wash up at the end of a meal).  So, I guess this view would be all for me … and I think I could live with that.

Back in the den and looking toward the entry hall is a great divider that is not only very attractive but also provides a ton of storage:

And did you notice the ceiling in this room?  It runs throughout the den and kitchen and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before — it’s really special and is certainly something I’d expect Luke, Dorothy, and Jack Rodgers to do:

The den floor is pretty special, too, and is comprised of little Chiclet Gum-looking wood tiles:

I really love the floor, and you’ll be seeing more of these unusual Chiclets later on used in a very creative way.

On the other side of the divider is a long, closet-lined hallway leading to the three bedrooms.

The first two bedrooms are on the right and feature sliding glass doors that lead out to the north side of the lake:

Love the bakelite door handles:

Near these two rooms is a built-in hamper — this is the second time I’ve seen a built-in hamper in the last couple of weeks and now I really want one:

Across from these two bedrooms is a really sweet bathroom with more closets and, most unusually, a vanity surrounded by windows — yep, you even get views of the lake from the bathrooms in this house:

And, how cool are the Hollywood Regency closet doors?  You’ll find them throughout the house — such nice detailing that you won’t find in many other homes, which, once again, makes me think that this is a Rodgers design:

At the end of the hall is the enormous master suite:

I’m not in love with the yellow paint or the dated ceiling fan, but that fireplace is pretty spectacular.  Remember when I said that you’d be seeing the wood Chiclets later?  Well, here they make an appearance providing all of the drama on the fireplace:

And, speaking of drama, check out the view from the master bedroom:

Oh how I would love to wake up and see that every single day!  Here’s another view of the bedroom to give you an idea of just how large it is:

The master bathroom is also nice sized and has a very special feature I can’t wait to show you:

The vanity has mirrors that you can fold away to expose the view of the lake.  Pull the mirror to hide the view:

… and push it back to the wall to show off the view:

Such a simple idea and so ingenious at the same time!  I’ve seen so many similar innovative details like this in Luke and Dorothy Rodgers’ homes, which argues for this being one of their designs, in my opinion.

As for the master shower, it’s really big and is in great condition:

Love the scrolling light fixture plates throughout the house, too:

So, that’s it for the interior spaces.  Now for the big bonus — the yard and lake!  Let’s go out the door from the round living room.  Stepping outside, this is what you see:

I just can’t get over this place and all of its jaw dropping views.  I mean, guys, we are in the heart of Oklahoma City and it seems like we are out on a country pond somewhere:

While wandering around outside, I had the overwhelming temptation to snap up this place before it hit the market because it reminds me so much of being a kid and hanging out on long, lazy summer days at my grandparents’ house on nearby Silver Lake.  Even though we lived just a few miles away in a typical grid of modest suburban homes, going to their house was like going on a grand vacation where we could swim, sail, paddleboat, sun ourselves…

… and dig up slimy worms that our grandfather would later use as bait.  My grandfather was a pretty humorless and stern guy on land…

… but once he pulled up his waders and grabbed a fishing pole, he completely transformed:

His ever-present Germanic scowl was replaced with a gentle smile and easy going laugh that made him much less intimidating and scary and even kind of fun, especially after he caught a few:

On occasion, if we kids were really lucky, he would pull out his canoe and take us, one at a time, for a fishing spell on the lake.  I never caught one thing, but these were the best times I ever spent with my grandfather, and it was all because of that beautiful lake and the peace he got from living so close to the water.

While walking around this property, I felt the same tranquil feeling come over me that he must have felt every day living on that lovely body of water.  The breeze was whispering through the trees, birds were chirping everywhere, and there was nary a manmade sound anywhere.  It was pure bliss.

The exterior of the house doesn’t look too shabby from the lake, either.  Here’s the north side of the house with the rounded living room:

And the south side of the house with the den and kitchen at the far end:

This side of the house is where the stairs to the lake are located:

On the west side is a volleyball court and an old brick oven that could stand a little love:

This spectacular lakefront 3 bed/2 bath home is 2,160 sf and is listed for $425,000.  Go here to see the Zillow listing with some great aerial images that show just how well sited the home is, and if you’re interested in taking a tour of the place, feel free to contact Keller Williams realtor, Greg Roberts at 405/704-0221.  And, if you buy the place, please invite me over on a hot summer day for an afternoon of swimming, paddleboating, sunning, and digging for worms.