Where we live
Bobbi: The street was named after Bill Friday. The original owners of this house were friends of his. I believe it really was the intent of the house to take advantage of the beauty of the outdoors and take it in, hence all the glass.
The original owner threw famous parties, so this is still known as the Alice Welch house. Iíll run into people and theyíll say, "I went to a party at your house!" Her parties would be written up in the gossip columns. He was a professor at UNC.
When we started remodeling, we found thousands of New York Times newspapers from 1971, Hunt for Governor signs and the husbandís textbooks. That was the insulation. The foundation is a mixture of, I guess, concrete and wine bottles. That whole structure down there (the circular, brick-topped patio), if you look at it from the side, itís wine bottles.
When we started realizing there was a big insulation problem, we started putting in insulation everywhere. We put in a lot of low-watt lights. But given that the space is somewhat large, we find what weíre doing most to conserve energy is not to turn on the air conditioner.Why we chose our home
Bobbi: We originally chose this house because it really gave us the sense of bringing the outdoors in. Really the best feature of the house is the view and the feeling that you are in the treetops ó a forest, yet we are just off Franklin and in walking distance to downtown. Both my husband and I are environmentalists. This gives us an opportunity to walk or bike downtown, which my husband does daily when he goes to lunch. When itís bad weather, we also take the bus.
One thing that also attracted us is weíre both very dedicated to nonprofits in the county, so we do a lot of fundraisers here. This turns out to be a very good space for that. Weíve had retreats here for nonprofits also.
To tell you the truth, I really like the address. The original owner had a sense of humor. They picked the number. There are just two houses (on Friday Lane). In fact, this was the first one. So every Friday the 13th, we have a party.Advantages
Bobbi: The biggest advantage is being able to appreciate the outdoors. Others are being able to walk downtown and being right off the bus line.
Matt: Even though weíre 100 feet from Franklin Street, at night you sort of feel youíre in the woods. Itís a secluded feeling.
Bobbi: We also have access to running trails. Thereís the Bolin Creek Trail and the Battle Branch Trail. Oh, itís wonderful. If you connect it up with the Bolin, it ends up being around a 5-mile loop.Disadvantages
Matt: There really arenít that many disadvantages for us, but for other people, there isnít that real neighborhood feel, a place for kids to play kickball in. That would be a disadvantage for people with young kids. But itís probably an advantage for people like us. [They both laugh.]
Bobbi: The one thing that maybe is a negative is the mosquitoes in the summer. Weíve put in a bat box, and Iíve tried to repopulate the frog population in our stream back there by putting in tadpoles. Unfortunately, Iím not a very good tadpole catcher. I just end up getting wet.Our neighborhood
Bobbi: Itís a mix of types of houses. We have single-family houses, student rentals, a halfway house. Thereís a range of home sizes on this street.
Weíre actually lucky in that our neighbors have even more land than we do. Itís provided sort of a habitat back here. Weíve had foxes come out here. Thereís a den down there. And I remember waking up one morning and a mother owl was literally right there in the tree.Making our house a home
Bobbi: We completely remodeled the kitchen, living room and dining area. The kitchen was tiny. This was one of the more affordable houses that we could find. It sat on the market for two years. Itís kind of modular with a flat roof, and the kitchen was the size of an apartment kitchen. It had a huge brick fireplace in the middle of it.
Matt: It felt like such a shame to remove a fireplace from a house because we both love fireplaces, but it was in a hard place.
Bobbi: The interior walls were brick, and the floors were all brick. It took about a year to remodel. We were living up there (on the split-level floor). We had our kitchen table set up in the hallway, we lived off microwaved food and people were visiting us! We were doing dishes in the bathroom sink. It was very, very cozy.
I think it takes time to make a house a home. Weíve only been here four years. We decorated and got our furniture together to where we said, "OK, this is livable." I think as we live here and build our lives together, weíll add to it to make it a home. Just having friends around adds to it.
Names: Bobbi and Matt Hapgood
Ages: 35 and 40
Occupations: Bobbi, director of the nonprofit N.C. Network of Grantmakers; Matt, starting corporate flight-training business
Address: 13 Friday Lane, Chapel Hill
Neighborhood: downtown Chapel Hill
Square footage: 4,200
Details: Two-story house with split level, built at the top of a sloping lot. Modern, modular exterior with flat roof. Ground-level floor: foyer, dining room and living room in open design with large picture windows looking into tree canopy; gourmet kitchen with breakfast bar and breakfast room; half bathroom, master bedroom and bathroom. Split level: off kitchen, with office, bedroom and bathroom. Bottom floor: recreation room with pool table, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and wine cellar. Small, circular brick patio down hill under living room. Larger patio with rectangular pool off kitchen and office.
Move-in Date: May 2003
Nearby Landmarks: UNC
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