We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week we're looking at a lovely selection of Victorians.
I grew up with house envy. Don't get me wrong, the house I grew up in was perfectly nice, but I lived on the newer south side of town, where the houses all dated from the 1930s and 40s, rather than on the west side, where the Victorian houses were. Of course, I didn't know at the time that they were Victorians - I just knew they had towers, and bright paint colors, and huge wrap-around porches, and they looked to me like castles. I wanted one, specifically one with a turret, because I knew a tower bedroom was clearly what I meant to have, being a a girl with princess ambitions - decades before Disney made it a marketing concept.
As I grew up and realized the my name meaning "princess" was as close as I was ever going to get to the royal life, I developed an appreciation for the house - and neighborhood - I grew up in. This week's new listings, however, reminded me how much I used to covet the Victorians on Riverside Drive.
Take this gem in Henderson, Kentucky - shown above - for example. Tower? Check. Massive front porch? Check. Added bonus? It was featured in the movie A League of their Own. (Fun fact: "There's no crying in baseball!" may be the movie line I quote more than any other.)
The Perkins House also sports a turret and a spiffy porch, but this Charles Town, West Virginia, house has a claim to fame that's more historic than cinematic - it's on the property where abolitionist hero John Brown was executed. (Being much geekier about Civil War history than I am about baseball, I find this to be even cooler than the house above.)
Of course, these are just a couple of the options that appear when you search "Victorian" on the Historic Real Estate. Others include a house in Lewes, Delaware that's just minutes from the beach, the Greenhills Farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and a charming greystone on Chicago's Gold Coast.
Oh, now... there is is again. My old friend house envy.
Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. Every week when she writes this post she wonders anew why it is that she lives in a 600-square-foot apartment.