Story by Frances Figart | Photos by Tim Barnwell
What happens when a couple of artistically inclined musicians team up to design their own dream home? A musical work of art, which is what Daniel L. Angerstein and Gerald J. Schultz have created on top of a mountain in Henderson County.
“Stoney Mountain is a little over three miles north of Hendersonville center and up 1.8 miles to the top, where we have panoramic views, a natural wooded surrounding and no traffic,” says Schultz. “There are three acres and we have our own well, one thousand feet deep. We enjoy the solitude.”
Angerstein is a pipe organ builder by trade and plays both piano and organ. Schultz is an artist, horticulturist and singer. The couple met in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1989 and before long began seeking a warmer climate and natural beauty. Three of their friends independently suggested Hendersonville, so they checked it out.
They found the property in 1995, bought one lot on Valentine’s Day in 1996 and an adjoining lot on Valentine’s Day in 1998, and had the house under roof by September of that year. Coincidentally, their address is 1998 Randy Drive.
Born and raised in south central Texas, Angerstein built organs in the Boston area, was tonal director of Moller Organ Company in Hagerstown, Maryland, and founded Angerstein Organ Works in Grand Rapids. Along the way, he became an art collector.
Schultz was born in Dearborn, Michigan, and worked as an artist, designer and illustrator for Meijer, Inc. of Grand Rapids. Active in fine arts, painting, woodcuts, pen and ink, and sculpture, he also performed choreography, sang in theater musicals and was a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus.
Once in their new home, it took the couple about three years to finish the interior painting designs. They had the help of John Arnett, who designed and built the sets for the (then) Hendersonville Little Theater (now Hendersonville Community Theatre). Christopher Barron created an airbrushed ceiling of the sunset over the loft and foyer.
Their artistic tastes are reflected in Erte serigraphs, a collection of work by J.C. Robertson and paintings by Ian Cage as well as the River Arts District’s Jonas Gerard. “We have the interior walls of the great room painted with Art Deco designs and the foyer is done in Art Nouveau,” says Angerstein. “The interior doors of the house, also painted by John Arnett, provide more color and make them a part of the room design.”
The great room and foyer space—about 25 by 37 feet with an 18-foot ceiling—was designed to accommodate the sound of the pipe organ. “The harpsichord, which I commissioned Peter Tkach of St. Louis to build, is also decorated with both Deco and Nouveau motifs,” says Angerstein. Featuring gold and silver leaf, it depicts the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Prometheus flying with an orb of light and an Art Deco lightning storm!
Forming the centerpiece of the home are twin nine-foot rosewood Knabe grand pianos from 1883 and 1892. A German-American piano building firm in Baltimore, Knabe provided the registered piano of the Metropolitan Opera for decades. These historic instruments with deep, rich tones are featured in regular house concerts.
“After the long process of finishing the interior details, we discovered Daniel Weiser and AmiciMusic,” says Angerstein. “We also realized what a great party space we had created. So instead of your typical living room furniture, we keep it simple and allow easy preparation of the musical salon space with our comfy folding chairs.” AmiciMusic will hold two performances at the house this month, on November 18 and 19.
“We also host the Asheville Area Piano Forum and AmiciMusic features the music of Claude Bolling in a Jazzical each year with five instruments including percussion,” says Schultz, who prepares a homemade buffet for each concert’s intermission. “We also occasionally feature singers and have done Broadway tunes and parts of musicals.”
To welcome their musical guests, the couple recently completed a concrete-and-stone walkway and porch covering, which showcases Art Nouveau handrail sculptures by Zack Noble, who studied at Penland School of Crafts and owns Noble Forge in the River Arts District. Schultz designed and created the landscaping around the new sidewalk, collecting and placing hundreds of rocks from around the property and planting daylilies, ferns and ornamental grasses, as well as cultivating native mosses.
When not entertaining, the couple enjoys the great variety of birds that frequent their feeders as well as a flock of wild turkeys and the occasional fox or bear. Schultz says he loves being in the flight path of the Asheville Airport. “We get the views of the planes but not the noise. We even see Air Force One come in at times.”