Greenville Magazine: Chris and Tom Glavine’s Little Slice of Heaven

Greenville Magazine: Chris and Tom Glavine’s Little Slice of Heaven

This article was featured in the December 2002 edition of Greenville Magazine.

Written by: Lisa R. Finley

It all began with Tom Glavine’s childhood memories of Lake Winnapasaki, New Hampshire. Pleasant memories of peaceful summer days spent at the lake. Cape Cod style homes nestled against the shores of a glistening lake and fami- lies sharing good times and laughter in a peaceful, natural setting. These are the memories that he and his wife, Chris, wanted to recreate for their four children, ranging in age from two to eight.

When longtime friends Jay and Linda Howell invited the Glavines to their new home in the Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards, the Glavines knew immediately they had discovered their own little slice of heaven. The rustic beauty of the area, coupled with a warm, friendly community, convinced the Glavines that they had

found the site for their lakeside retreat. In early 2001, the couple met with Jim Anthony of the Cliffs Communities. He set up an interview with Gabriel Builders, owned by Gus Rubio. As Tom and Gus walked the Glavine’s new lot, Tom shared his dreams and visions with Rubio, who offered some ideas of his own. Rubio’s ideas reflected exactly what the Glavines were seeking and a relationship was born. “Our relationship with Gus and Belinda Rubio went from builder and homeowner to friends,” says Tom.

In November 2001, after approving Atlanta architect Stephen Fuller’s design, the Glavines broke ground and began a jour- ney towards constructing the lakeside home they had dreamed of for many years. This Cape Cod style, 5,000 square foot home has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The master bath and bedroom are located on the second floor, along with the main kitchen, a combination dining and great room and the family’s laundry room. The first floor houses the remaining bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a guest kitchen.

Chris laughes when asked about the interior design of their new home. “We were flying by the seat of our pants!” The Glavines knew only that they wanted to re- flect the natural beauty of the land, lake and mountains surrounding their home. So, she turned to a close friend from Atlanta, Marlene Brannon. The original plans were to paint the walls of the second floor great room and Tom’s office. “Marlene has such a good eye. She suggested staining them [the walls] to further bring out the rustic feel of the home,” According to Chris, the interior continues to change at the hands of Marlene, with new pieces appearing as if by magic.

Today, the Glavines say the warm feel of the home beckons them to visit fre- quently. Now that baseball season is officially over, they find they are retreating to the Cliffs nearly every other weekend. The couple agree there are two places in the home that are quickly becoming their favorite. Chris notes
the comfort and beautiful view from the master bedroom suite on the second floor as her favorite spot. “We spend most of our time there when we are here,” she says.

Tom quickly points out the porches, one on each floor of the home, as his favorite spot. Each porch includes a large, wood burning masonry fireplace, which offers a wonderful place for the Glavines to visit with friends and family. “We enjoy relaxing on the porch, looking out over the lake. There isn’t a lot of boat traffic, especially this time of year. It’s such a nice change from Atlanta. We look forward to being here often.” Tom first discovered this architectural trend of outdoor fireplaces during visits to California and Arizona. “It’s a big thing out there. It combines the best features of indoor and outdoor living in one spot.”

The outdoor fireplaces are two of five fireplaces. The other three are located in the master bedroom, den and great room. Intricate rock work, heart pine floors, custom-made cabinets and staghorn chandeliers further enhance the mountain cabin feel of the home.

Rubio, whose company focuses on building only two or three homes a year, points out several features of particular interest in the Glavine home. Every door is custom made with unique, hand-made hinges. He also mentions the exercise room above the garage, which was built specifically for Tom.

One other notable item that Rubio proudly points out are the structural columns located both inside and outside the home. “One interesting thing most people don’t notice is that these columns line up perfectly on both floors, which is extremely complicated to accomplish. You have to be exact in your numbers.”

Of personal interest to Rubio is the back of the home, which is highlighted by interesting angles and slopes in the construction, beautiful landscaping and patios shaped like baseballs. “It’s [the back of the home] the prettiest I’ve ever done or seen. It’s what everyone wants to photograph, but it’s nearly impossible unless you want to bring a 40-foot ladder and shoot photographs from the treetops.”

Now that the home is complete, the Glavines say they are completely happy with the final result. It offers them a place to retreat from the rigors of the road and that Atlanta traffic. “The most traffic we experience up here is the occasional construction vehicle,” laughs Tom.

But it’s more than a place for the Glavines to hang their hat for a few days. They can always look forward to a quiet dinner with the Rubios or a horseback riding excursion at the home of Jay and Linda Howell.

Or, if they prefer a day at the lake, they look no further than their own backyard. With construction complete, the Glavine family is beginning to build something else, their own cache of lakeside memories. Memories they are sharing with their four children. “The children love it here. They can ride their bikes without fear of being run over,” says Chris Glavine. “We are all in tears when it comes time to return to Atlanta.”