As far as mysteries go, Dr. David Allen and Rosanna Tran's home in the Gatewood neighborhood has all the high points:
Sex (alleged, maybe), violence (gunplay), intrigue (who got shot exactly?) and a bullet hole that will never disappear for good.
It's called the Bullet Hole House, 2100 Carey Place.
Perfect for a house on “Scary” Carey — and perfect timing for the Gatewood Historic District's 17th annual home and garden tour. The tour is from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with four homes and one garden. It's Gatewood's largest fundraiser, with proceeds going toward improvements of the area bounded by NW 16, NW 23, Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Advance sale tickets are $10 at 23rd Street Antique Mall, 3023 NW 23; Antique Avenue, 5219 N Western; RetroOKC, 1708 NW 19, Innovative Spaces, 1751 NW 16; Feathered Nest, 6353 MacArthur Blvd.; Broadway Antique Mall, 114 S Broadway in Edmond; or online using PayPal at www.gatewoodokc.com. Tickets are $12 on tour day at each tour home.
The Bullet Hole House has one of those stories that puts the “scary” in Carey Place — and has helped make it an irresistible draw for trick-or-treaters. Thousands descend on the short, narrow street, which runs between NW 17 and NW 21, on Halloween night.
“There's a few variations of it, but there was a man and his young bride who had built the house and moved in, and one day he came home from work and saw her in a compromising position with another man, and he looked at them and took out his gun and shot at them,” Allen said. “I don't know if one was shot or both were shot or whatever — but ever since then in the front window there's a panel that has a hole in it. And legend has it that if you ever try to replace that pane, the hole will come back — it will crack.”
Allen and Tran, who are dentists, said they've added their own twist to the tale.
“The previous owner said, ‘Well, I just put a little Plexiglas sheet there.' I actually had somebody out, and I was going to replace some of the panes, and the day before that was (a) hailstorm and it cracked some of the other panes. I was standing looking out the window at the storm and it cracked — and I said, ‘I'm not going to replace it! I'm just going to replace some of these other ones!'”
Even without the bullet hole in the front window, Allen and Tran's two-story home, built in 1938, would be a draw for the tour, said organizer Janet Seefeldt.
“It's a Minimalist Traditional home. It's built in a small way but with grand elements, and we're very, very happy to have it on the tour this year.”
Original features include the working wood-burning native-stone fireplace in the basement, the working fuse box panel at the top of the basement landing, faux wood logs in the main-floor gas fireplace, and the built-in vanity in the upstairs bathroom.
Visitors will notice grand appointments, on a diminutive scale, “in the beautiful staircase and balcony landing with its iron handrail and balustrade, the living-room chandelier with colored crystal drops, and the vaulted wood ceiling,” Seefeldt said.
Also on the tour
• Innovative Spaces/Keri White, 1751 NW 16.
Part of the early Plaza District commercial area, this space was once the home of Pettee's Hardware Store in 1941.
“We searched long and hard for just the right place to plant our labor of love,” owner Keri White said. “We are excited to be a part of the revitalization of the Plaza District and urban community efforts as bringing fresh inviting energy to tired neglected spaces is what we are all about. Certainly we felt a common thread when selecting our home here. Innovative Spaces is a design studio celebrating both passion for renovation and preservation.”
• Philip and Patricia “Trish” Scott, 1205 NW 20.
An example of Prairie Schoolhouse architecture, built in 1922.
• Chris and Traci Boren, 2020 N Indiana Ave.
A Tudor Revival built in 1926.
• A Spanish Mission/Colonial Revival at 2008 NW 21, built in 1927.
Most of residential Gatewood was built starting just before statehood and continuing through the 1940s. The renaissance of downtown Oklahoma City has caused an influx of people wanting to return to urban living and Gatewood is seeing a tremendous revitalization, Seefeldt said.
“Historic home tours are a wonderful way to see into the heart of a neighborhood. Lots of people come just for entertainment, but there are an increasing number of those who come to check out the atmosphere because they are considering purchasing a home in the inner city,” she said.
“Home tours are a marvelous way to do this, because you get to see homes as they are lived in.”