Air Force veteran tackles MidTown renovation project

Tech. Sgt. Robert Lewis turns a two-story brick deli at the corner of Hudson and NW 6 into an urban retreat.
BY TIM FALL trfall@gmail.com Published: June 15, 2013

Lewis' home office continues the home's minimalist intentions: an antique metal desk, metal storage cabinet, a simple, sturdy bookcase.

The office adjoins a luxurious guest bathroom.

The master bedroom features exposed brick walls and spare, functional-yet-beautiful furnishings — like the sleek platform bed and a wall-mounted antique chalkboard.

The chalkboard works as a piece of art on its own or as a functional surface for chalk art — often the doodles of visiting friends' children.

An expansive walk-in closet and master bathroom that would be the envy of the world-class hotels that inspired it complete the owner's quarters.

Lewis, a Houston native, was stationed in Germany, Korea and Japan, but “Oklahoma City is the first place I knew I wanted to stay,” he said.

After a training stint here in 2009, it was two years before he returned as a full-time resident in his position as an inspection pilot with the Federal Aviation Administration's Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.

Above Lewis' ground-floor home he has renovated the upstairs into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

That unit, also 1,500 square feet, features hardwood floors and exposed brick walls throughout, with a private entrance and private patio on the ground floor.

After the May 20 tornado struck Moore, Lewis was never so glad to have the extra space upstairs. He was able to house his colleague Tech. Sgt. Dan Dashiell and his family when they lost their home that day.

“The philosophy of this place is to be connected to urban life,” Lewis said, explaining the bike in the living room and the fishbowl feel of the home's street-facing picture windows.

The fenced-in patio on the south side of the building is private according to Lewis, yet it feels open to traffic and passers-by on the street.

From the patio, Lewis surveyed his undeveloped property, a lot which extends south to NW 6.

“It was a fun process,” he said. “I'd definitely like to do it again.”



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