Names of family members: Matt, Caitlin, a son, William, and daughter, Elizabeth. They welcomed their third child, Lila, in 2020.
Occupation(s): Matt is a Springfield firefighter and Caitlin is the Artistic Director of the Springfield Youth Ballet Company which makes its home at the Grant Conservatory of Music and Dance.
When did you move to Enos Park? September of 2015
What drew you to the neighborhood? We have lived in larger cities previously (LA, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis), and we craved that urban feel here in Springfield. Enos Park is within walking distance of downtown, which makes it ideal for people seeking something that feels more metropolitan than the west side of town. Additionally, Caitlin grew up living in older homes, and the rich history of this neighborhood was particularly alluring.
What kind of activities have you gotten involved in around the neighborhood? A few months after we moved in, Matt started a new job and our first child was born, so we have not yet gotten as involved as we would like! We have helped with cleanup and demo of EPNIA houses, volunteered at the Art Fair, and are excited to be a part of the community garden.
Was your house move in ready? If not, what did you have to do before you moved in? While our house was move-in ready, we quickly realized that many things were not in as great of shape as they appeared upon first glance! There are things that make you wonder (why would you cover up gorgeous wood with greige carpet?), and things that make you cringe (the foundation of the addition is not level and all the tile in the kitchen is cracking), but we honestly love everything about this home. The bones are the important part, and it’s true what they say: they just don’t make them like they used to!
What projects have you completed since moving in, or have planned for the near future? Since moving in we have removed carpeting upstairs and refinished the hardwood floors. We have stripped a dark finish from the maple bannister leading upstairs and plan to do the same with the flooring. We have repainted the dining room, and turned the back room into a functional mud room, complete with a washer, dryer, and plenty of storage space for Will’s school stuff when he gets older. We have so many projects planned for this place (we intend to be here a very long time). Right now, we are focusing on landscaping. We have such a spacious back yard that was virtually a blank canvas when we moved in. Last year we added a small vegetable and herb garden, and planted some ornamental flowering trees and flowers. We want to expand more on that this year. A patio and pergola are next on our agenda!
Did you do any of the work yourself? We have done all of the work ourselves, with help from Caitlin’s parents, both of whom have experience renovating older homes.
Any advice for someone contemplating a move to the neighborhood and/or a renovation project? Take your time. We actually looked at the house we moved into twice over a year-and-a-half period. The first time, we were on the EPNIA home tour and were in awe after we walked through it. We weren’t in the market at all, and just gushed over how we’d love to own an old historic home exactly like it some day. A year later when we were on the hunt, it was on the market, and we knew it was meant to be! Take your time with construction and renovation as well. It might be frustrating that your house isn’t as picture perfect or “finished” as friends who live in newer homes, but if you rush to finish a project, you might regret the results. Taking your time means you can do everything with love and intention, and restore your home to its former greatness. These houses are classics- treat them as such! Each one is unique and a wealth of history and memories.
What’s your favorite thing about living in Enos Park? Besides the beautiful homes and our wonderful neighbors, what we love about Enos Park is simple: location, location, location! We are able to walk downtown and get nearly everything we need: groceries, entertainment, yoga classes, amazing restaurants. It’s great during parade and festival season because we don’t have to worry about parking, and we can bring our dog along. We are close to great parks with playgrounds and the Art Association, as well as being within walking distance of the elementary school. Not to mention the fact that both hospitals are incredibly close should we ever need them. We both grew up in Springfield, a city that is traditionally very reliant upon driving, and were used to the way that many people commute from the suburbs to jobs downtown. You see very few people walk or bike to work compared to other cities. As soon as we moved to Enos Park, our whole perspective of our hometown changed. It feels new and vibrant, and we get to enjoy everything in a way we never have before. In fact, we already feel that we can’t envision ourselves living anywhere else in this city!