Southern Charm: A Belleair Home with a View
When Dr. Jack Gay and Andy Eidsen moved into their home at 435 Bayview Drive in Belleair nine years ago, they didn’t have to go very far — they had been living around the corner in a 1922 Spanish-style mansion they loved. But once Bayview came on the market they snapped it up — mainly, says Gay, because “one’s on the water, the other one wasn’t.
“And the other thing is, people always told us this is their favorite house in Belleair.”
It’s not hard to see why. The NeoClassical facade is majestic and welcoming, with its pillared central portico flanked by curved wrought-iron balustrades. The site — high on a bluff overlooking Hallett Park and the Intracoastal — is unmatched. And inside is a home of unexpected charm.
Southern charm, you might say. Gay and Eidsen hail from Georgia and South Carolina, respectively, and the architect, the late, great Harry “Bo” MacEwen, was originally from Georgia, too. Though the home was built in 1985, it’s reminiscent in style of older homes you might see in Savannah or Charleston.
For instance, says Gay, “The main rooms are all upstairs to get a better view of the water, and the private sleeping areas are downstairs. It’s representative of something commonly done in the Old South.”
Though the couple did not have to make many structural changes to the main house, they did add a second garage and a pool, with a gate that has “a little bit of a hidden secret garden feeling,” says Gay. “It reminds me of all those Charleston doorways.”
Photos of the home’s five-bedroom, six-bath interior suggest Downton Abbey by the Bay, thanks to the owners’ collection of antiques. But the rooms are so beautifully proportioned that you could imagine any kind of decor working here. And the light! You can see the water from just about every room (and the views from the rooftop deck are breathtaking).
The floor plan, though comprising nearly 6,000 square feet, lends itself to cozy escapes: a library off the formal living room; a guest wing; a master suite with sitting room and direct access to the gardens and pool. There’s a self-contained studio apartment with full kitchen and bath, too.
Gay, a pathologist, is retiring and moving with Eidsen to a smaller home in North Carolina. But the mix of beauty and comfort at 435 Bayview has such appeal that it’s hard to envision ever wanting to leave — a feeling that guests have apparently shared.
“It’s a fantastic place to entertain,” says Gay. “We can’t get people to go home.”
435 Bayview Drive, Belleair • $3,679,500
Realtor: Mary Ann McArthur, LLC/Coastal Properties Group International/Christie’s International Real Estate