by Liza Roberts
photographs by Catherine Nguyen
Lyn and Chip Andrews have loved Raleigh for a long time. Chip graduated from N.C. State in 1966, they raised their children here, and today the couple is deeply involved in the cultural life of the city. Chip is on the N.C. State board of trustees, the couple recently made a $1 million gift to the university to accelerate student startup companies, and Chip has served as chair of the Friends of the Gregg Museum, among many other leadership roles.
So it made sense that when the Andrewses decided to downsize, they would want to be at the center of things. Their move from a spacious 5-bedroom house they built 30 years ago on Vance Street in Hayes Barton to a condominium in Five Points was a big one. But not in the usual ways.
For one thing, the move only took them 250 feet away, around the corner to Fairview Road. For another, it didn’t require them to change the way they live, or to jettison the art and objects they’ve spent decades collecting. With 10-foot ceilings and plenty of room, their new condominium accommodates it all. Windows on three sides, an enormous central skylight, and outdoor space on a roof deck and back balcony also make it feel more like a house than an apartment.
It all works so well in part because the couple helped design it from the beginning. In 2010, when the developer, Beacon Street, bought the property for the three buildings that would make up the Fairview Row development, Chip Andrews – then the backdoor neighbor – saw an opportunity. “The timing was right,” Andrews says, “and we said: why not?” The retired former chairman and CEO of FMI Corporation knew what he wanted, and he worked with Beacon’s Jim Wiley and Scott Dixon to create it. Williams Realty and Building Company, the builder, also got in on the collaboration.
A custom floorplan, home offices for each of them, guest bedrooms, a spacious master suite with two master bathrooms, a true cook’s kitchen, ample storage, and a custom wine cellar for Chip’s wine collection (hidden discretely behind a hallway door, above) were just a few of the items on their wish list.
As soon as it was complete, the Andrewses say they felt right at home, surrounded by art they’ve collected in North Carolina and all over the world. Ranging from landscapes to seascapes, still lifes to portraits and sculpture, the collection is deeply personal. They choose the things they like, Lyn Andrews says, and often those pieces reflect their interests: travel, family, Raleigh.
An unexpected consequence of the move is that they’ve changed the way they live day to day, walking around Five Points for errands and dinner. “Strangely, we do that more than we did when we lived just a street away,” Chip says. They walk to Hayes Barton Pharmacy, Bloomsbury Bistro, to Five Points Service Center (“a real service station – they actually serve,” Chip says).
All in all, their new city living is “exceptional,” Chip says. “We’ve got the best of both worlds.”