Real Estate

Historic Properties for Sale: Woodsy Modernism Edition

Posted on: July 29th, 2011 by David Garber

 

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. " Sometimes even fast enough to shatter a curtain wall...

"The place is like a museum. It's very beautiful and very cold, and you're not allowed to touch anything."

If you've seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" you probably remember the scene where Ferris and his buddy Cameron return the rare 1961 Ferrari GT California that they "borrowed" from Cameron's dad. Cameron is freaking out. Ferris, characteristically, is trying to keep things cool. But it's the location that truly makes the scene: the glassy garage of the 1953 modernist Highland Park home designed by A. James Speyer and David Haid. (That, incidentally, was up for sale earlier this year.)

Now before we let this scene take over the entire post (believe me, if I could, I would), the reason I bring this up is because the house and garage fit perfectly into today's Historic Properties for Sale category: woodsy modernism. Fortunately, we've got a couple listings that bring young Mr. Frye's house to mind.

The Round House - Worthington, Ohio

Situated among mature trees in the mid-century neighborhood of Rush Creek Village just outside Columbus, the Round House is a crisp specimen of the style's affinity for natural materials, simple shapes, and a yielding presence on the landscape. I mean, who doesn't want banquette seating lining their curved living room wall? (See more great photos on the listing.)

18 Twin Pond Lane - Lincoln, Massachusetts

If the above photo doesn't prove the whole woodsy modernism thing, the description of this 1962 home seals it: "The house is a modest wood-framed contemporary; secluded in a wooded neighborhood with proximity to walking trails and permanently protected conservation land." Appears to be a fixer-upper, but who isn't up for a little (or a lot of) DIY?

Where do woodsy modern houses fit on your own list of most-desired house styles? Is Ferris Bueller right about them feeling cold and museum-like?

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. You know, although the style probably wouldn't top his list of all-time most wanted homes (there's a creepiness factor to them), he certainly wouldn't turn one down.

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Ski Vacation, Please Edition

Posted on: July 22nd, 2011 by David Garber

 

In this ultra heatwave (we're at a 119 degree heat index here in DC) a post dedicated to "houses near skiing" was all I could do to survive. *gasps for air* Not a skier? Never fear, all these houses work just as well for those that enjoy glorious vistas, good country and small town livin'.

Asa Burton Farmhouse - Thetford, Vermont

Behind this Cape Cod exterior sits one of the most charming and authentic 18th-century houses in Vermont, originally built by one of Thetford’s first ministers.  A former dairy farm, it sits on 12 acres, with two barns and a two-story workshop, and an attached two-car garage perfect for storing your snowplow. Ahh, the practical side of ski-home homeownership. Hey, on a day like today, bring it on.

The Wells House - Newbury, Vermont

Built in 1830, this beautiful cape sits on an almost 2-acre lot in the heart of the Newbury Village Historic District. Fun fact: during the mid 1800s the Wells House served as a boarding house for the first Methodist theological school in America, out of which Boston University and Vermont College were later formed.

Greystone Lodge - Mount Jackson, Virginia

Nestled on over 22 acres overlooking Bryce Ski Resort, Greystone Lodge is a Manor-style Cape Cod built in or around 1929 and used as a hunting lodge. Loose rumors have it that ranking government officials, including the likes of Roosevelt and Churchill, met here during World War II.

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Seeing as people pay good money for hot yoga, he is considering organizing a flash session on the sidewalks of DC later this afternoon. BYOM (bring your own mat).

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Heyyoo California (!) Edition

Posted on: July 15th, 2011 by David Garber 1 Comment

 

Yes, folks, we officially have some California listings on our Historic Properties for Sale site!

The Wheeler House - Redlands, California

If you're not already drooling over the above front porch, just wait until you see the Disney-quaint neighborhood. This 1907 farmhouse was moved to its present location in 1997, and boasts antique light fixtures, hand-screened period wallpaper, antique hardware, original clawfoot tubs and Oak and Douglas Fir floors, as well as a master suite with sunporch and walk-in closet.

Art Deco Classic - Yreka, California

Big house in a little town. And it's pink, so it definitely has that going for it. This 1932 art deco home was designed by a New York architect for a California senator. Inside there's a grand circular staircase, three bedrooms - one a master bedroom with fireplace, formal dining room, and a library with an entire wall of bookcases.

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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.

 

Aspen Hill in Martinsburg, West Virginia. (Click photo for the listing.)

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains
Shenandoah River
Life is old there
Older than the trees
Younger than the mountains
Growin' like a breeze.

You'll be interested to know that today's real estate round-up of West Virginia homes was inspired by the above classic John Denver song. That I was listening to on repeat. On the ultra-patriotic "Sing America!" CD from 1999 that was produced to benefit the Save Americas Treasures endowment here at the National Trust. Hey, it's 4th of July weekend - allow me some proud red, white, and blue Americana.

First in line is a house with - as is common with historic properties - an amazing name: Olive Boy Farm. Located on 16 rolling hilltop acres outside of Charles Town, this brick Italianate home pretty much has it all: stream and mountain views, tree-lined drive, gardens, pool, pool house, tennis courts, three-stall barn, 11 fireplaces, high ceilings, original wood floors, two kitchens, finished lower level, and amazing double porches.

Just around the corner in Martinsburg is a house that has been called one of the finest period Georgian homes in the United States. Built around 1750, Aspen Hill is a grand limestone home - currently being used as a bed and breakfast - that sits on 5 acres and is only four short blocks to the closest Marc commuter train.

Last is the Halfway House in Ansted, West Virginia.

The "Halfway House," also widely known as the Tyree Tavern, is an early 19th-century timber vernacular residence-the original portion of which is a circa-1764 pioneer blockhouse-standing on the path of an early travel route to the West. It became a stage coach stop when in 1827 a toll road, the James River and Kanawha Turnpike, offered its first weekly stage line service between Lewisburg and Charleston. As a tavern and hostelry the Halfway House witnessed the comings and goings of many of the West's greatest politicians, travelers, and adventurers who sought the shortest East-West route across the great barrier formed by the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John Breckenridge were known to have registered at the Halfway House.

Kinda makes me want to just hop in an old red Chevy and drive out there now...

Country roads, take me Home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads.

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He'd jump in that chevy now if it weren't for the fact that he (proudly) only has a bike. Looks like he'll just be West Virginia dreamin' for now...

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Shameless Plugging Edition

Posted on: June 24th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

The Historic Properties for Sale website.

The Historic Properties for Sale website.

I've noticed recently that my colleague who has been writing the weekly real estate post has mentioned a few times that he wants to do a post all about listings on the West Coast. I thought this seemed like a splendid idea, so when it fell to me to pull together today's post, I immediately picked up on that topic. And then I began perusing the Historic Properties for Sale site and discovered why he'd been avoiding the left coast...  he had already covered nearly all the listings we had.

Thinking there simply had to be more options, I expanded my search beyond the lower 48, since Alaska and Hawaii have coastline too, and as such could be stretched to fit the theme, but there were no listings for our non-contiguous friends, either. Feeling increasingly desperate, I looked at the other three states served by our Western Office (Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona) and again found nothing. I'm not gonna lie: This left me staring at my computer in confusion.

Now, I have as much East Coast bias as any person raised in the great state of New York and currently living in Washington, DC can have (which is, um, a lot) but you can't tell me there are no fabulous historic properties out West.  I know there are!

And then I remembered the site is still fairly new and we're in growth mode, so I thought I'd switch things up and aim today's post not at buyers, but at sellers - and their realtors. We truly want the Historic Properties for Sale website to be a great resource for people who love living and working in historic buildings, but we can't do it without having listings that span the entire country. If you're selling your house, please encourage your realtor to list it on the site, and if you're in the business of selling property yourself, well, please consider including all the historic properties you're representing. Oh, and if you've been putting it off because George Washington didn't sleep there or because the listing is not on the National Register, there's no need to worry - those are not our criteria. The building just needs to be 50 years or older.

I'm told by those who know such things that our online advertising rates (starting at $60 for two months) are really quite reasonable. Also, unlike other property listing sites, this one benefits preservation. That's right - revenue from the site helps support our work here at the National Trust. You can sell houses and help save places at the same time - not a bad deal at all!

If you've read this far, thank you for putting up with a pitch for more listings in the spot where your weekly dose of lovely houses usually lives. I'm doing this for you, I swear. More listings = more pretty places for us all to drool over.

Sarah Heffern is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. If she had a house to sell you can bet that a) it would be historic and b) she'd list it on the Historic Properties for Sale site. For reals.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.