|Brought back to its full grandeur, the Commadant's House in Alexander Circle is for sale. |
(photo: Phil Armstrong)
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by Robin Gee
The last, and perhaps most grand, of all the historic homes that are part of the Alexander Circle project in Fort Thomas will go up for sale this week.
The Commandant’s House, known as Number One, is listed at $1,995,000. It was the first of the houses built on the property that would become Fort Thomas. The project to build the U.S. Army post broke ground on February 29, 1888. The house was built for the first leader of the post, Colonel Melville Cochran, who was intimately involved in selecting the site and overseeing the construction of the entire post.
Bringing the Commandant’s House to market marks the completion of an extensive renovation project for the entire site that began in 2017 after more than a decade of negotiation between the city of Fort Thomas and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, official owners of the property.
|The covered porch of the Commandant's House offers access to sweeping views. The house features 1,500 square feet of outdoor terraces. (photo: Phil Armstrong)|
A long road to get here
Despite years of deterioration and emptiness, city officials, as well as many residents, saw the potential in the group of homes built for high-ranking officers. By the time the army post was deactivated in 1970, the homes stood empty. Discussions began in 2002 to transfer ownership of the property, but the breakthrough came in 2017 when the V.A. finally was ready to sell the property to the city. Soon after, the city found a developer, Bloomfield/Schon, to refurbish and restore the properties and surrounding area and bring the homes back to life.
"The city is excited to see these homes brought back to highlight their unique character. We are grateful to the developer Bloomfield/Schon for taking on this project and are happy to see families enjoying living in Tower Park. It was an extremely long process with so many folks involved to make this finally happen," said Mayor Eric Haas.
Sales have been brisk and interest high in the project’s 16 homes, most ranging in price from $500,000 to more than $1 million. By November 2018, 12 of the homes were already under contract. As work on the properties was completed, residents began to move in starting with the first family in fall of 2020.
|The five-bedroom home known as the Commandant's House in Alexander Circle offers 5,200 square feet interior space set on 1.6 acres. (photo: Phil Armstrong)|
The Commandant’s House
The site Cochran selected for his home remains one of the very best spots in the city of Fort Thomas and the region to take in the expansive and panoramic views of the Ohio River and surrounding hills. The home is 5,200 square feet inside and has 1,500 square feet of outdoor terraces. The extensive modern upgrade still retains much of the original grandeur, including a sweeping staircase with original millwork and built-in seating.
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The Commandant’s House sits on 1.6 acres at the northern most tip of Tower Park overlooking the river. A few of the features of the five-bedroom home listed in the brochure include:
- Impressive reception foyer suitable for entertaining.
- Grand sweeping staircase with original newel posts, turned spindles, custom millwork, soaring windows and built-in seating.
- Pocket doors that lead into the dining and living room.
- Exterior verandas offering expansive outdoor living and entertainment spaces.
- Well equipped kitchen featuring a breakfast area, fifteen-foot island and direct access outside.
- Site finished oak floors throughout.
|The Commandant's House offers one of the best views in the region. (photo: Phil Armstrong)|
The home and its neighbors are surrounded by the 86-acre Tower Park, itself on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of the fort’s original buildings, including the Armory and the Mess Hall have been restored and serve as public buildings in the park. The park also includes three shelters; walking and biking trails; tennis, volleyball and basketball courts; a baseball/softball field, a museum and amphitheater – all just steps from Alexander Circle.
Realtors Joy Amann and Rebecca Weber are the exclusive agents for the Alexander Circle development. They said they are excited to present the house and bring the project home.
"Joy and I are so excited to bring the Alexander Circle project to the finish line with this masterpiece of a home!" said Weber. "We have been working with Bloomfield and Schon for almost nine years on this project, and it really is a great, distinctive honor to bring No. 1 to market. All the homes at Alexander Circle are what we deem to be ‘Legacy’ homes meaning they are so coveted they will likely be passed down through families rather than any of them be ever listed for sale. No. 1 is no exception. We can’t wait to meet the new owners!"
For more, including realtor contact information, visit alexandercircle.com.
More photos of the Commandant's House
They say a picture's worth a thousand words. Here's some, taken by photographer Phil Armstrong, that tell the story: