An Open Door – The Practical and Symbolic Door

An open door has long symbolized transparency, honesty, welcomes, transitions, and new beginnings. As Realtors, we are experts on opening doors for our clients.

In pages of literature, throughout the ages, the common door has represented an opportunity for transition from one experience to another. In a less mystical reference, doors can be compared to a tie on a man’s suit or a lovely scarf on a woman’s neck. They convey a style unique to each home. At Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty, we have opened thousands upon thousands of doors. From the header to the sill, we appreciate the incredible variety, texture, and beauty of each.

Doors have been integral to homes for at least 5,000 years.  While doing excavation in Zurich, Switzerland, a plank-style door made of poplar was dated to 3,063 BC. The oldest carved wooden doors date to 430 AD and can be seen at the Basilica of Saint Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, Italy and depict scenes from the Bible. The oldest door in the UK is dated circa 1050 and graces Westminster Abbey. It was carved from a single tree and still has one of the original iron straps.

All of our agents agree that discussing door appearance is a regular part of helping homeowners prepare their home for sale. There’s no doubt that a sturdy, quality door helps sell a home for the asking price. In addition to conveying the personality of a home, did you know that the design of a door can go a long way in helping estimate the age of a home?

In our area, you can often give a rough estimate of an area home’s age just by the door. For instance, stained glass often decorated the doors of finely crafted homes built before 1910. These can be found in many of our older, historic neighborhoods. The two doors below are located in the East Row Historic. Door at left is pinned to the home at 410 East 8th and was built in 1895. The door below right is located at 641 Overton Street, a home built in 1888.

Beginning around 1900, doors with leaded and beveled plate glass began to supplant stained glass as an enhancement. Beveled glass doors became so popular that you’re unlikely to see a stained glass doorway presentation after 1910. All was not lost for stained glass. They continued to be found elsewhere in the home. You’ll find them as a transom above living room windows, a foyer window, or along a stairway for many years afterward.

Beveled glass doors have never lost their appeal. The two photos below exemplify that point. The doorway below left is located at 646 Oak Street in Newport. It was built in 1910 and shows a fantastic display of beveled glass in the main door, the sidelights, and the transoms. The photo below right shows a doorway to a home located at 10 Queens View Lane in Wilder, Kentucky. It was built nearly a century later in 2006 and employs the same leaded, beveled glass format.

There is an architectural style that doesn’t follow the above template. That architectural style is Tudor. Tudor style doors follow a completely different style. These doors almost always have rounded or arched tops, often displaying a heavy board and batten style.

The Tudor style came into popularity in the United States around 1900 and flourished up to around 1930. Many area Tudor homes fit right in that era and can be found in neighborhoods where homes were built up to 1930 or so. However; this style has transcended the century and you’ll often find doors that evoke the Tudor style to this day.

For instance, the door below left belongs to a home that was built in 1915 and is located at 2229 Bedford Terrace in Hyde Park. At right is a double-door presentation of a home at 8545 Ivy Trails Drive, in Anderson Township that was built 90 years later in 2005 and incorporates the features of a Tudor door.

Not shown on the doors above is the often featured embellishment of horizontal iron straps on the exterior, sometimes with a hammered, textured finish.

Aside from the Tudor style, the basic template of door design has carried forward for generations and changed very little over time. It’s common for contemporary doors to follow the template of door with sidelight(s) while the transom is not as commonly integrated.

This wooden door, located on Hampton Lane in Hyde Park, exemplifies that contemporary look. This is a frame and raised panel door, (sometimes referred to as rail and stile).  It displays the two sidelights and transom.

As Realtors, we open hundreds of doors in a given year and we recognize that each door hinges on a tradition that is thousands of years in the making. Like the references in literature through the ages, opening each and every door is an opportunity to work with a new home owner, to help them step into a new beginning.

Five Fantastic National Parks Less than 300 Miles from Downtown Cincinnati

Travelers of all stripes have developed a new appreciation for nature-focused getaways—the kind of adventures that facilitate social distancing as well as a break from busy modern life. But the world’s best and most popular national parks bring in the sort of crowds many are trying to avoid, not to mention the fact that many are inconveniently from home.

Below is an impressive list of five national parks that are less than 300 miles from downtown Cincinnati. Safe travels!

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world’s longest cave system, with more than 365 miles explored.
Distance from downtown Cincinnati: 192 miles

Rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the worlds longest known cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park is home to thousands of years of human history and a rich diversity of plant and animal life, earning it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Cuyahoga Valley

Upper tier of Blue Hen Falls in summer. Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Ohio. USA
Distance from Cincinnati: 236 miles

Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.

New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

The New River is approximately 320 miles long and flows through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Much of the river’s course through West Virginia is designated as the New River Gorge National River. The New River is one of the American Heritage Rivers of the United States.
282 miles from downtown Cincinnati

A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. The park encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.

Indiana Dunes National Park

This lucky dog is enjoying pet-friendly Indiana Dunes National Park where pets are permitted everywhere except for the lifeguard swim area, which is maintained from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend.
Distance from downtown Cincinnati: 283 miles

Indiana Dunes National Park hugs 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan and has much to offer. Whether you enjoy scouting for rare species of birds or flying kites on the sandy beach, the national park’s 15,000 acres will continually enchant you.  Hikers will enjoy 50 miles of trails over rugged dunes, mysterious wetlands, sunny prairies, meandering rivers and peaceful forests.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Established June 15, 1934, Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee and is a sprawling landscape encompassing 522,419 acres of lush forests.
Distance from downtown Cincinnati: 286 miles

Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.

For national parks that are quite a bit father from Cincinnati, but still worth the trek, Sotheby’s International Realty recently published this story in their RESIDE magazine. Read it here >>

February 2021: The Home Front Real Estate Market Report

Neighborhoods with the best percentage of sales to active listings (only neighborhoods with at least 20 combined actives and solds are included):
  1. NORWOOD  //  17 sold with 7 active // 243%
  2. MASON  //  39 sold with 21 active //  186%
  3. SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP  //  13 sold with 7 active //  185%

Compiled from information from the Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for the period 1/1/2021 through 1/31/2021.

SuburbSoldActiveAvg $ ListAvg $ SaleDays on Mkt.
Amberly Village15602,483570,00019
Blue Ash1530492,130302,000119
Columbia Tusculum418586,032284,37589
Crestview Hills310467,540280,0006
Dayton, KY712281,559149,42824
Deer Park113196,992203,75523
Deerfield Twp2336713,527464,25393
East End134854,693134,900223
Fort Mitchell57546,942350,98049
Fort Thomas829598,235358,61212
Fort Wright54326,450230,90013
Hyde Park1817491,066382,38440
Indian Hill8152,074,8911,395,25092
Kennedy Heights45226,467211,72554
Lakeside Park24472,400187,70042
Liberty Township3340471,983383,29673
Madison Place10249,000240,00034
Miami Township3537498,126267,259117
Mt. Adams414833,294323,225166
Mt. Auburn610374,125355,06776
Mt. Lookout913658,564608,54460
Mt. Washington134238,318188,38512
Park Hills25358,160323,75038
Pierce Township611386,547238,08944
Pleasant Ridge33236,450247,16728
South Lebanon64421,326289,09344
Sycamore Twshp.137331,385311,96224
Symmes Twshp.1114560,856430,30057
Terrace Park33881,150580,000101
Villa Hills713867,319400,42827
Walnut Hills1431358,161225,33659
West Chester4526366,677299,84334
Western Hills2217255,589217,66033

Sotheby’s International Realty Expands Its Presence In Ohio

Sotheby’s International Realty recently announced that it is expanding its presence in Ohio with the opening of Elite Sotheby’s International Realty. The addition marks the brand’s continued growth in the state and its third affiliated company in Ohio.

Elite Sotheby’s International Realty is owned by Ken Schmidt and Mike Schmidt and will be led by Managing Broker Joanne Zettl who together bring more than a century of combined real estate experience to the company. Elite Sotheby’s International Realty is located in the city of Pepper Pike and will serve the residential and luxury real estate markets in the Greater Cleveland area.

“The North Coast of Lake Erie has a long history of luxury neighborhoods and grand properties,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Luxury real estate represents the top 10% of the market and the area is seeing increased interest from local buyers migrating back to Ohio from other Midwest cities and east metropolitan markets. Our affiliation with Elite Sotheby’s International Realty marks the brand’s expanding presence in the region and we are pleased to welcome them to our network.”

“The Greater Cleveland area is home to a number of attractions including the second-largest performing arts center in the country and the Lake Erie shoreline,” said Mike Schmidt. “We are seeing increased interest in our market from buyers looking to capitalize on space while still having access to arts and culture. Our affiliation with Sotheby’s International Realty enables us to reach a broader international audience and further enhances our existing marketing efforts thanks to the brand’s innovative virtual reality tools and marketing platforms.”

Elite Sotheby’s International Realty has one office in the area with plans for continued growth. The company is actively involved in the local community, previously supporting the Cleveland Clinic Children’s hospital and various community efforts.

The Sotheby’s International Realty® network currently has more than 23,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in approximately 1,000 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. Elite Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients will benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Laissez les bons temps rouler in New Orleans

We partner with over 1000 Sotheby’s real estate offices in 72 countries. Each month we showcase a home from one of these partners. Our feature home this month is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Eclectic. Vibrant. Spirited. Enchanting. No matter what words are used to describe New Orleans, none of them fully capture the true essence of this city. Simply put, there is no other place like New Orleans and New Orleanians celebrate like no other. Its distinctive mix of European, Caribbean, and African influences can be experienced through all the senses. Its food, music, art, and architecture are unforgettably unique to this city.

The French Quarter usually comes to mind first when thinking of New Orleans. But the Garden District, beloved for its streetcars, parks, showy gardens, and famous cemetery, is also one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city and is a short ride from the French Quarter. That is where you will find this spectacular Greek Revival home located at 1216 Camp Street.

Built in 1870, this grand home is as spectacular today as it was two centuries ago. Authentic architectural details and abundant charm can be found throughout the entirety of this home’s impressive 5,500 sq. ft.

Unmistakable New Orleans style is beautifully reflected in the gorgeous original wood floors, grand rooms, original fireplaces, soaring ceilings, crown moldings and ceiling medallions.

An enchanting courtyard offers a peaceful and private respite from the lively neighborhood. Within a short walk to the city’s best museums and Magazine Street’s fun, trendy restaurants and shopping. This property is currently listed for $1,150,000.

For additional information and to see all the property photographs, click here. You may also contact us by email at or phone at 513.321.6000. We will be glad to guide you.

Six Must-See House Museums Where Important Figures in African-American History Lived

February is Black History Month and a time to reflect on the profound impact that African-Americans have had on this nation’s history. Consider the many triumphs that African-Americans have championed for our nation, despite incredible odds and extreme racial prejudice. Their immeasurable contributions have enriched our culture and strengthened our stature in the world. For a greater appreciation of six of the most influential African-Americans, take a look inside their homes. Imagine the extraordinary lives they lived. Listen to their stories. Learn about their families, their struggles, and their extraordinary achievements. The historic home tours listed below offer a unique perspective on the lives of these individuals and provide an intimate opportunity for deeper understanding.

Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum in Louisville, KY

Photo courtesy Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum

It may be hard to believe that a giant in the world of sports and heavyweight champion of the world would have been raised in a petite, pink house. Yet, this modest home located at 3302 Grand Ave. in Louisville, Kentucky is where Muhammad Ali – born Cassius Clay, Jr. – grew up. Ali lived in the 2 bedroom, 1 bath home with his mother, father, and brother from 1947 to 1961. In 1960 Ali won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics and quickly rose to international fame. Beloved and respected for his athletic prowess, social activism, and larger than life personality, Muhammad Ali is a worldwide legend. Shortly before Ali’s death in 2016, his childhood home was restored to its original and is now the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum. The Ali Center is also located in Louisville and certainly worth a visit.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Walter Smalling for the Historic American Buildings Survey (public domain)

Frederick Douglass spent his life fighting for justice and equality. Born into slavery in 1818, he escaped as a young man and became a leading voice in the abolitionist movement. People everywhere still find inspiration today in his tireless struggle, brilliant words, and inclusive vision of humanity. Douglass’s legacy is preserved here at Cedar Hill, where he lived his last 17 years. According to the National Parks Service website, Cedar Hill was built between 1855 and 1859 in Anacostia, a historic neighborhood om Washington, D.C. On September 1, 1877, Douglass purchased the house for $6,700. He lived in the home until his death on February 20, 1895.

Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, NY

Photo courtesy Louis Armstrong House Museum

Louis Armstrong—the world’s most famous jazz musician—was an international celebrity who could have lived anywhere. Yet in 1943, he and his wife, Lucille, settled in a modest house in Corona, Queens, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. No one has lived in the house since the Armstrongs, and the house and its furnishings remain very much as they were during Louis and Lucille’s lifetime. Today, the Louis Armstrong House Museum & Archives is open to the public, offering guided tours of Louis’s longtime home. On the tour, audio clips from Louis’s homemade recordings are played, and visitors hear Louis practicing his trumpet, enjoying a meal, or talking with his friends. Visitors also get to enjoy an exhibit on Louis’s life and legacy, and the Armstrongs’ beautiful Japanese-inspired garden.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birth Home in Atlanta, GA

Photo courtesy National Parks Service Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in a two-story Queen Anne-style home in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood of Atlanta, GA. Also located in the same neighborhood, just one block from the King’s home, is the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where King was a pastor and emerged as arguably the greatest civil rights leader of modern history. Both sites are part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park which also includes The King Center, the tomb and burial site of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, and a Visitor Center. Tours of the home’s interior are led by park rangers from the National Parks Service and are incredibly popular among with visitors. Often described as immersive, engaging, and moving, the tour allows visitors to imagine how the King family spend several formative years of their lives as it was inside the walls of this home.

Harriet Tubman Residence in Auburn, NY

Photo courtesy The Harriet Tubman National Historic Park

Harriet Tubman led a courageous life as an American abolitionist, political activist, and a lesser-known occupation as a Union Spy. She was born into slavery in Maryland, but escape to freedom in 1849. She worked tirelessly to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad, putting her own life at risk. Tubman was also a spy during the Civil War. Using the skills and connections she gained from her work on the Underground Railroad, Tubman was able to gather intelligence on the locations of Confederate mines located in the Combahee River which resulted in the safe passage of Union boats. The Harriet Tubman Residence, where she lived during much of the time from 1859 through 1913, is part of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, NY.

Coming Soon: Nina Simone House in Tryon, NC

Photo by Nancy Pierce, courtesy National Trust for Historic Preservation

Nina Simone’s music is worldly, spanning a broad range of musical styles. She fused gospel and pop with classical music, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing to create a timeless sound. Regarded as one of the most influential recording artists of the 20th century, the musicians who cite her as an influence are as varied as Simone’s own musical styles. Elton John (who named one of his pianos after her), Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and David Bowie are just a few. Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933 in this three-room clapboard house in Tryon, NC. Currently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is working to restore and preserve Simone’s Tryon home.


Cincinnati Magazine Profiles Listing at 5079 Signal Hill, Anderson Township

Lee Robinson’s listing in Anderson Township is a wonderful example of Tudor architecture. This includes the interior carved oak details and beamed ceiling that reflect an old world craftsmanship. The Cincinnati Magazine author took note of that and penned an intriguing article that evokes a life in the time of the Tudors of England. This is a very creative take on a home that does, in fact, appear historic but is actually quite modern. A huge rear deck and fabulous pool that includes an outdoor kitchen attests to that! Click on the image to read the article.


Lunar New Year Celebrations from Around the World

Over 1.5 billion people (1/6 of the world’s population) celebrate the Lunar New Year. It is also known as Spring Festival. Because this holiday is based on the cycle of the moon, the date changes from year to year. This year it falls on Friday, February 12 and 2021 is the year of the Ox. According to the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is said to represent physical strength, hard work, positivity, and honesty. Many different traditions are celebrated around the world. Below are some colorful highlights.


Hanoi’s beautiful Hoan Keim Lake is usually a peaceful and quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the historic city center. However, at midnight on the morning of the Lunar New Year, known as Tet in Vietnam, the lake is crowded with tens of thousands of revelers. They gather around the lake every year to celebrate the arrival of the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display that can be seen from all over the city.


Los Angeles and New York City have been hosting spectacular Lunar New Year parades for decades. While each city has its own unique traditions, the tens to hundreds of thousands of spectators who attend each year can expect to see marching bands, colorful costumes, impressive floats, dancers (including lion and dragon dances), dynamic performers, and even some celebrity participants.


Asian-Canadians make up almost half of Vancouver’s population. Needless to say, celebrating Lunar New Year is a big deal here. There are a number of events that take place all over the city, but Vancouver’s Chinatown is the location of the annual Spring Festival. It’s a cultural extravaganza that is not to be missed and includes a parade, special performances, martial arts demonstrations, and a Chinese New Year banquet.


Singapore’s residents represent many different ethnicities – Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and many others. The Chingay Parade, which is held during the second week of the Lunar New Year features vibrant performers in elaborates costumes from different ethnicity, cultures and backgrounds; dazzling display of floats; and huge intricate props and structures and cultural performances from all around the world. Chingay is one of Asia’s largest street performances and float parades.


Known as Seollal in Korea, the Lunar New Year is one of the most significant holidays of the year. It is a time for families to come together to honor their ancestors by holding memorial ceremonies. Many of these ceremonies are focused on celebrating traditional customs involving food, clothing, and games. One popular game is called Neolttwigi. It is similar to a game of seesaw, except that participants stand on each end of the neol and jump, propelling the opposite person into the air. Over the years it has evolved into a dazzling acrobatic performance, delighting many spectators.


Organized by the Chinese Embassy in Buenos Aires and the local government, rowing teams compete on the Rio de la Plata River in colorful, wooden dragon boats. Dragon boats are traditional row boats that originated from the Pearl River Delta region of China’s southern Guangdong Province. Each boat holds a team of 22.


Usually marking the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebration is the Lantern Festival. During the festival, people decorate their homes with colorful paper lanterns, some of which have riddles written on them or attached to the lantern. People, especially children, gather around the lanterns and try to solve the riddles. When they have an answer, the lantern owner typically rewards them with a small prize.



Connecting You to Our Global Referral Network

Sotheby’s International Realty has a comprehensive Referral Network that includes over 1000 offices and 23,000 sales associates worldwide. More than just points on a map, the Sotheby’s International Realty network of connected offices work closely with one another on a daily basis, uniting buyers with properties our brand represents in the world’s most desired locations.

Situated in the first-class Minorca community in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, this 2 bedroom/2 bath home is fully furnished with an updated kitchen and excellent amenities. All you need to bring is your suitcase.

When Cincinnati-area clients asked their local Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty agent, Connie Greene, to assist in selling their lovely Florida condominium home, Connie didn’t hesitate to refer them to an associate with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in New Smyrna Beach, Florida who listed the property for them. By utilizing the Sotheby’s International Realty Referral Network, Connie knew that she could help her clients get the same excellent representation in Florida that they are accustomed to getting from her in the Cincinnati area.

When a home is represented by the Sotheby’s® International Realty brand, it is presented to a highly-qualified global clientele through exclusive channels and relationships. The white glove experience each office in our network delivers makes us a globally sought resource for luxury real estate services. Worldwide dedication to a high set of standards lets our customers know they can expect the same extraordinary experience, whether they’re working with us in Greater Cincinnati, or with one of our Sotheby’s International Realty agents in Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, Colorado, or beyond.

Aseriaru, Estonia: A Modern Marvel Shines in the Baltics

This stunning architectural original is surrounded by Estonia’s untouched beauty.

We partner with over 1000 Sotheby’s real estate offices in 71 countries. Each month we showcase a home from one of these partners. Our feature home this month is located in Aseriaru, Estonia.

Estonia ranks among the world’s greenest countries and is a dreamland for nature lovers. Many species of birds and other animals that are virtually extinct in other parts of Europe can be seen in Estonia, including in the village of Aseriaru. Located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, Aseriaru’s pristine forests, marshlands, and shoreline have left spacious natural habitats to support wildlife. Urban adventure and exploration is surprisingly close to Aseriaru; Helsinki can be reached by car and ferry in 5 hours and St. Pertersburg, Russia is only a 3-hour drive to the east.

This seafront architectural wonder in Aseriaru is a contemporary statement on Estonia’s eco-consciousness. Built in accordance with the surrounding land in a natural setting, this spectacular home also features an eco-friendly, maintenance-free green roof.

Inside and out, this home impresses with dramatic sea-views. Stunning floor to ceiling glass walls provide dynamic views from literally every room.

The spacious four-bedroom home was custom-designed by renowned Estonian architectural group SALTO AB and offers abundant natural daylight, straight access to the Gulf of Finland, and unparalleled privacy.

Magnificent outdoors spaces are well-designed to take full advantage of the blissful waterfront setting. The entrance to the house is on a gated, private road for added serenity. Connection with Estonian capital, Tallinn, is provided by well-maintained large roads and is only a 1-1/2 hour drive.

This is the ideal retreat for those seeking a tranquil, yet sophisticated escape with the added convenience of two world-class cities within a few hours’ reach. Listed for $830,990.

For additional information and to see all the property photographs, click here. You may also contact us by email at or phone at 513.321.6000. We will be glad to guide you.