Real Estate

 

Today we are beginning a new installment of Historic Real Estate called “Preservation Personals.” Instead of our usual For Sale-style ads, we're letting the historic properties speak for themselves. First up ...

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The Old Jail Museum

Gothic Revival Gem Seeks to Lock Down a Daring, Savvy Investor

The Old Jail Museum -- Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Seeking a bold and unusual venture? Like a little bit of the strange and spooky? Then you and I will make the perfect team.

I’m not like the other quaint little shops and houses in Jim Thorpe. To the contrary, I sit on a hill above the town, telling it like it is since 1871. If I seem a little rough around the edges, it’s because I have a hand-hewed stone exterior. (That's how Gothic Revival architecture rolls.)

I’m as exciting on the inside as I am tough on the outside. The tours that I host take guests into the two-level cell block, guided by the oak railing on the cast-iron staircase. Here, I tell them about the scandalous Molly Maguire trials during Jim Thorpe’s coal mining days. And I’ve been known to send chills up more than a few spines during the after-hours ghost tours.

But don’t limit my charms to my Shawshank Redemption-meets-Green Mile flair. I also have a sweet spot in the Warden’s Quarters. Picture this: After a long day of running the museum -- leading tour groups, selling informational booklets at the gift shop, keeping spouses from locking their partners in the cells -- you can kick back in the living room’s recliner, sip on a glass of wine in front of the fireplace, and soak in the success of the day. Sounds cozy, doesn’t it?

See yourself here? Find out more about me.

Curious about buying a historic property, but not sure where to start? Read our toolkit series The Buyer’s Guide to Historic Homes and The ‘New Old House Starter Kit’ for Older and Historic Homes.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

Historic Real Estate: Humble Beginnings Edition

Posted on: April 13th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson No Comments

 

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The house at 2 Swifts Alley was originally a tobacco warehouse.

2 Swifts Alley -- Alexandria, Virginia

The house at 2 Swifts Alley was originally built in 1780 as a tobacco warehouse. Some 160 years later, the Waggaman brothers acquired it. Though the warehouse was in a dilapidated condition, the brothers saw it through an extensive renovation into a residential dwelling. They added the current stucco-like material to the exterior to protect the brick mortar from the humid Virginia summer weather. One of the Waggaman brothers, who was a clerk for the United States Supreme Court, placed two plaster medallions from the first Supreme Court chamber above the living room and library fireplaces.

Today the four-bedroom house proudly displays its tobacco warehouse origins through the exposed 200-year-old wooden beams, open staircases with pipe railings, and tobacco-flower detail wood on the door frame at the original loading dock. The modern amenities are plentiful as well. There is a glass gazebo-style addition which holds a kitchen and breakfast room. The house also features a spacious family room with vaulted ceilings and French doors. Price: $3,350,000... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

Historic Real Estate: Historic Inns and Hotels Edition

Posted on: March 26th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson

 

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The Mountain View Inn is within the vicinity of Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Yale School of Music.

Mountain View Inn -- Norfolk, Connecticut

Mountain View Inn is a charming country hideaway that offers the perfect retreat for guests, and a promising commercial venture for any potential entrepreneur. Located in Litchfield Hills region of the Berkshires, this Victorian mansion, built in 1880, offers nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a Grand Hall, and a formal living and dining room, all perfect for hosting wedding parties, business and conference guests, and tourists to the quaint town of Norfolk. When business is booming and extra space is needed, there is a guesthouse behind the Inn with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and living room. The Mountain View Inn always has potential for business due to its vicinity to Norfolk’s Infinity Hall and Bistro and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s concerts, recitals, and classes. Price: $895,000

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One luminary that visited the Wheat Growers Hotel was Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Wheat Growers Hotel -- Kimball, Nebraska

Built in 1918 by Frank Cunningham, one of the most successful wheat growers in Nebraska at the time, the Wheat Growers Hotel was considered the best hotel between Omaha and Denver during the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Its 86 rooms had hot and cold running water and electricity, a novelty for the times. The stylish basement ballroom and restaurant were the venue for some of Kimball’s most elegant parties during the post-World War I era.

The Wheat Growers Hotel was built adjacent to a train depot and, as a result, was a melting pot for people from all regions and walks of life. (One luminary to visit was Dwight D. Eisenhower.) However, as automobile travel became more popular, passenger railway travel declined and the Wheat Growers Hotel’s business dwindled. In 1988 the hotel permanently closed its doors, but now it is looking for a business- and preservation-savvy owner to restore it to its former elegance and glory. Price: $51,000

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The Graystone Inn has been recognized by American Historic Inns, Inc. as one of the "Top 10 Most Romantic Inns in the U.S."

Graystone Inn -- Wilmington, North Carolina

Built in 1905 and located in North Carolina’s largest historic district, the Graystone Inn boasts not only Southern charm, but also modern elegance. Already recognized by American Historic Inns, Inc. as one of the “Top 10 Most Romantic Inns in the U.S.,” and as a Four Diamond hotel by AAA, the Graystone has a reputation that any potential proprietor can be proud of -- and profit from. With nine guest suites and a large first floor that holds 100 or more guests, the Inn is the perfect venue for any special event. The Graystone also has a two-bedroom owner’s quarters and a one-bedroom apartment suitable for use as a long term rental space or as an office. Price: $2,850,000

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

 

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Julia Morgan combined the Swiss Chalet and the Beaux-Arts styles to design the George W. Wilson House in the First Bay Tradition.

George W. Wilson House -- Vallejo, California

In 1907, Julia Morgan designed the George W. Wilson House. Blending elements of the Swiss Chalet style and neoclassical Beaux-Arts style, Morgan created a house that, after its completion in 1909, became one of her finest examples of a residence designed in the First Bay Tradition. Morgan’s design prowess is demonstrated in the expansive butterfly floor plan of the house, the Arts and Crafts-style finishes, and the tiled-faced fireplaces handcrafted by the Grueby Faience Company. But the unique architectural details aren’t the only remarkable views this house has to offer. There is an upper balcony that provides bay views as well as views of the famous Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Price: $1,200,000

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In 1978, the Frank Applegate House received a sunroom addition designed by noted architect William Lumpkins.

The Frank Applegate House -- Santa Fe, New Mexico

Designed in 1921 by Frank Applegate as a private residence, the Frank Applegate House meshes both the Spanish Colonial style and the Pueblo style to create among the first of many Pueblo Revival, or Santa Fe style, houses. The house, built with adobe brick, has two stories with two bedrooms on each level. It is situated in a private, park-like setting that can be enjoyed by owners and guests through a spacious sunroom, which was added to the house in 1978 by legendary architect and historic preservationist William Lumpkins. Price: $950,000

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The property surrounding the Penfield House contains the construction site of Wright's last residential commission named Riverrock.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Penfield House -- Willoughby, Ohio

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955, the Louis Penfield House is nestled on 30 acres of heavily wooded property, creating an atmosphere of solace and solitude. The house features three bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, and a 12-foot floor-to-ceiling glass walled living room that offers a panoramic view of the bluffs on the Chagrin River. Included on the Penfield House property is a historic century home with two rental units, a cottage, and the construction site for Frank Lloyd Wright’s last residential commission, dubbed Riverrock, which was designed by Wright for the Penfield family in 1959. The Penfield House has operated as a vacation spot for the last 12 years and can continue to be used as a tourist destination or as a residential home. Price: $2,100,000

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

Historic Real Estate: Dutch Style Edition

Posted on: February 27th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson 1 Comment

 

The Marquis de Lafayette established his headquarters in the Samuel Van Saun House during the Revolutionary War.
The Marquis de Lafayette established his headquarters in the Samuel Van Saun House during the Revolutionary War.

The Samuel Van Saun House -- Wayne, New Jersey

In 1780 the Marquis de Lafayette established his headquarters in the house of Samuel Van Saun in what is now Wayne, New Jersey. Van Saun built this Dutch Style house in the Preakness Valley near the Singac Brook 11 years before Lafayette’s fateful visit. Today, the Samuel Van Saun house not only sustains its significance as a New Jersey Historical Landmark, but it also retains its original Dutch-Style architecture, all while offering modern conveniences. The house has a media room, five bedrooms -- including a master bedroom suite with walk in closets and “his” and “hers” master bathrooms -- and a spacious basement addition also constructed in Dutch Style. Price: $1,999,999... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

Historic Real Estate: Cozy Cottage Edition

Posted on: February 13th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson

 

Santarella is known as Tyringham’s gingerbread house.
Santarella is known as Tyringham’s gingerbread house.

Santarella -- Tyringham, Massachusetts

Santarella is located in western Massachusetts’ Berkshires. Built in the Storybook Style by sculptor Sir Henry Hudson Kitson in the 1920s, Santarella is known today as Tyringham’s gingerbread house. This cottage sits on four acres of land that includes gardens, brooks, a lily pond, and woodlands. Two rustic towers that feature guest suites, a Colonial-style farm house, and a two-bedroom owner’s cottage are also included on the property. The towers, farm house, and Santarella itself can be used as destination event and wedding venues. Price: $1,995,000... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.