This comfortable brick home presents a warm and inviting face, sitting snugly on its tree-lined street. It is a Vernacular Style home with popular architectural elements such as two shed dormers and a jerkinhead roof. This type of roof was very popular in smaller residences of the 1920s and 30s, creating a less soaring, more humble effect. Before the later addition, the home was symmetrical with its centered door and large windows on either side.
This Ridge Street neighborhood west of Arlington is in the Rio Vista Addition, part of the Newlands neighborhood. This block of Ridge Street is timeless and lovely, and this home has many impressive neighbors. Across the street are two beautiful brick Frederic DeLongchamps designs and two doors down to the east is the Stadtmuller home, one of the very first homes in Rio Vista.
The home was originally purchased by Fred Wightman, a wealthy Fallon rancher. In 1926, Wightman sold the home to Benjamin and Frances Chappelle. Chappelle was a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and later was named head of the foreign languages department. Mrs. Chappelle passed away in 1936, following the birth of her daughter, Caroline. Professor
Chappelle's sister Laura Christman came to live with them. An avid gardener, Mrs. Christman purchased an adjoining lot in 1945 and planted a large vegetable garden where she spent much of her time when Caroline was in school. The Professor passed away in 1948; the home passed to Mrs. Christman. In the 1950s she began renting rooms at the residence. A newspaperad for a room to let requested a "refined gentleman." Laura remained there until her death in 1961. Caroline inherited the home, with her husband David, whom she married in 1959. For the next fifteen years, the home passed through several different ownerships until local insurance man Mike Dolan and his wife Dourene purchased the house in the 1970s. The Dolans occupied the home for quite a few years, did some remodeling and then rented out the home when they purchased a new residence just a few doors down.
This home, as most that are nearing 100 years old, has undergone many remodels and additions over the years. In May of 1948, Chappelle received a permit to add two rooms and a bath at a cost of $2750. There is also a small addition to
the rear. A carriage house/garage behind the home opening onto the alley was also remodeled to create an apartment, which then became its neighbor, 572 Ridge.
The current owners of the home are Damien "Dom" Sinnott and Zeina Barkawi who first rented the home and then purchased it in 2013. Since that time, Dom, an attorney, has been spending most of his spare time renovating the home. He describes it as a work in progress, but home tour participants will get to see the fruits of his labor thus far, which include ripping up carpet and pad, refinishing the wood floors, removing layers of wallpaper and painting. Dom created a fun time-lapse video of his work which can be found on YouTube, called Wood Floors and Painting.
The living room is now lovely, with gleaming floors and attractive paint. There is an ornate fireplace surround, installed by the Dolans who also created a beautiful textured plaster ceiling in a roseate pattern. Due to the arrival of a first child this summer, the creation of a nursery became a part of the Sinnott/Barkawis' upstairs renovation plan. The master bedroom has received a facelift but still has its walk-in cedar closet.
Dom and Zeina this year took advantage of HRPS' Neighborhood Preservation program, offering owners of historic homes matching funds for exterior improvements. The couple was awarded a grant for painting of the exterior non-brick areas of the home. Prior to this, Dom and Zeina added a front patio area constructed from pavers. As the home had no porch, this area now gives the family a lovely place to sit on summer evenings and enjoy their historic and charming neighborhood.