This vernacular 1890 Queen Anne at 110 North Street is painted in historically accurate shades of green. The details on the front gable of the house clearly suggest that its builder had an awareness of what was fashionable in the late nineteenth century. The bright color scheme and modern version of a steel roof lend the house distinction in the twentyfirst century.
Christine Neufeld, a professor in the EMU English department, was living in an Ann Arbor apartment. Her parents were bugging her to buy something but she knew she would never invest in a house unless it was her idea of perfect. Her colleague Abby Coykendall had just bought a house on North Street. “You should check out the house across the street,” Coykendall told Neufeld. She arranged to see the house, which was for sale. “It catapulted me into the market,” says Neufeld. “It was the perfect house.”
Neufeld moved in early last fall and with a few subtle changes has made the house her own. Tourgoers are going to like what she has done. “The front of the house is sedate and sophisticated,” she says, “and the back of the house more playful.” The only bathroom, which is at the back on the main floor, is hot pink to the max. At first Neufeld was taken aback. But, ever resourceful, she hung a black-patterned shower curtain and painted the floor black. This turned “a Barbie’s camper moment into a 1950s Parisian boudoir,” Neufeld says. The large, light-filled kitchen is terrific for cooking and entertaining. By painting the lime-green floor black the kitchen was transformed, she says, into an “American version of a French country house kitchen.” Just outside the kitchen window are 100-year-old lilac, jasmine, and honeysuckle bushes.
Like her friend across the street, Neufeld is thrilled to be living on North Street in Ypsilanti. “I like the sense of community,” she says. “I like living in a nonsuburban way.” She recently bought an antique bike to ride to work.