3900 5th Avenue South

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3900 5th Avenue South is a private residence, built c. 1890, on the northeast corner of 5th Avenue South and 39th Street South, near Avondale Park in Forest Park-South Avondale. It is a contributing structure to the Avondale Park Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places.

The 3,000 square foot pyramidal cottage has a partial second floor and a five-bay facade with a full-width front porch with a central gable and a large dormer above.

The home was purchased in late 1978 by Larry Pitts and Richard Robinson. They replaced the roof with diamond-pattern gray-blue shingles and painted the siding and brick piers blue to contrast with cream-colored trim. They added a study to the rear of the house, and built a scroll-pattern wood railing across the porch to a design sketched out by "a young lady who worked with HUD," who stopped by.

On the interior, Pitts and Robinson created a large opening above the the living room by cutting the floor out of an upper room. In addition to the visual effect of a two-story gallery space, they intended the opening to allow light from a new skylight to penetrate into the house, and for an upstairs fan to keep warm or cool air circulating throughout the house. Openings to the attic and roof turbines were installed to pull out hot air in the summers. They removed a wall with an arched opening between the living and dining rooms and built out the fireplace with river rock, nudging it out into a more central location in the combined space. They planned to lower part of the floor around the fireplace and carpet it to create a conversation pit. They also planned to replace the lower sashes of the three double-hung windows in the living room with mirrors to serve as a background for a large aquarium.

The house, then owned by PFM Holdings of Nashville, Tennessee, was completely refurbished in 2015-2016 with all-new wiring and air conditioning and extensive repairs to the exterior siding and trim.

References