Real Estate

Historic Properties for Sale: School's Out Edition

Posted on: March 18th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

French Broad School, Alexander, NC

French Broad School, Alexander, NC (Click photo to see the full listing.)

Here at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we're big fans of neighborhood schools, so much so that we've written two reports on their value - Why Can't Johnny Walk to School? and Helping Johnny Walk to School. We love seeing schools remain in use for educational purposes. However, we also understand that communities change, and that sometimes the kids who once made a school's halls ring with laughter grow up, move away, and raise their own children elsewhere, leaving their home neighborhoods with more school buildings than students. In those cases, as you might suspect, we love to see a building adapted for a new use. (We're walking the walk on that right now, in fact - Denver's Emerson School is in the process is being rehabbed to house our Mountains/Plains Office and other preservation organizations.)

Liberty Street School, Warren, RI

Liberty Street School, Warren, RI (Click photo to see full listing.)

Thanks to several new listings in our Historic Properties for Sale website, you can join us in giving a historic school a new life. Whether your plans, like ours, are for an office building, or you're thinking senior living, apartments/condos, a community center, or another use, we have three schools listed this week that can help you make your dream a reality.

The oldest of the three, dating from 1847, is the Liberty Street School in Warren, RI. It's the oldest high school building in the state, is located in a National Register Historic District, and is within walking distance of both the waterfront and Main Street. The other two schools date from the 1920s. One, the French Broad School in Alexander, NC, offers 13,000 square feet of available residential, studio, or corporate campus space just eight miles from Ashville, while the other - the Red Brick School House in Clarendon, TX - boasts similar square footage along with four acres of land for additional building (or perhaps an orchard or vineyard, as the listing also suggests).

If owning and restoring a school seems, perhaps, a bit more than you're feeling up to, don't worry - there are plenty of other listings on the site, one of which may be the historic home of your dreams. So, don't forget to take a look for offerings in your area before you head out on open house visits this weekend. Happy house hunting!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. She thinks her high school would make really cool condos, but given that it's the town's only public secondary school, she expects that's unlikely to come to pass.

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Moving Time

Posted on: March 11th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

Galveston, Texas: This 1891 side-hall cottage was recently moved and renovated to LEED for Homes guidelines.

Galveston, Texas: This 1891 side-hall cottage was recently moved and renovated to LEED for Homes guidelines. (Click the photo to see the listing.)

Though I know that not everyone sees our posts the moment they are published, you can be assured that this one is hitting the blogosphere at the tail end of the work week here at the PreservationNation HQ in Washington, DC. This is not (entirely) because I've been delayed in writing this, but because this blog series, featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale website (originally announced as being a Wednesday feature) is moving to a new spot on the schedule - and this is it.

"Why?" I hear you asking.

Well, with the time change back to Daylight Savings Time this weekend - and with my allergies flaring up - it occurred to me that spring is right around the corner, and with it, prime home buying season. (I don't know if this is an official thing, but I know all the "For Sale" signs pop up in my neighborhood as soon as the weather warms up a bit.) More homes for sale, means more opportunities for poking around open houses on the weekend... and we here at the National Trust want you looking at historic homes. (Preservationists, after all, make the best historic homeowners, right?) Thus, consider this first of your weekly reminders to take a peek at our Historic Properties for Sale site when you're planning your open house visits to see what's available in your area!

In the comments, take a moment to tell us if there's a listing you'll be taking a look at this weekend.

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. She's currently an apartment-dweller, but hopes to one day use the Historic Properties for Sale site to buy a home.

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Room with a (Battlefield) View

Posted on: February 11th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every week. It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week, we’re looking at homes with connections to the Civil War.

Elmhurst, c. 1871, in Fredericksburg, VA.

Elmhurst, c. 1871, in Fredericksburg, VA.

A few weeks back, while sharing a handful of listings about lovely Victorians for sale, I mentioned that I had a bit of a geeky streak for things having to do with the Civil War, and given our recent big win at Wilderness, it seems inevitable that I'd find myself trolling around our Historic Properties for Sale site for homes with a connection to the Civil War. I found a few lovely ones not too far from my perch here in Washington, DC.

The first I'll mention today technically doesn't qualify, as it dates from about five years after the war ended, but it's located in a town - Fredericksburg, VA - that is impossibly adorable and as rich in Civil War history as just about any place you can find. (Really. The town had a battle of its own, and is within a stone's throw of several others.) The home, called Elmhurst, has a whopping 49 windows, 10 foot ceilings, and "exquisite" woodwork. And dear to my Yankee heart, it also happens to have been built by a New Yorker, Washington Elms.

Also in Virginia - just north of Leesburg, in the town of Waterford - sits the Mary Dutton Steer House, which dates to 1815 and shows through its varied rooflines its growth from a two-room cottage to a four-bedroom home. It also sports hand-hewn beams, decorative mouldings - and a bullet impression left behind from a Civil War Battle at a nearby church.

Falling Spring, c.1830, in Shepherdstown, WV.

Falling Spring, c.1830, in Shepherdstown, WV.

Heading a bit further north, and a smidge to the west, lands us in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and a home with connections to both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The Morgan family, who owned the land upon which Falling Spring is built fielded soldiers in both wars, and both Union and Confederate soldiers are said to have camped in the area during the latter conflict. And as if the lovely columned house at the right were not enough, it comes with the original outbuildings: a smoke house, a carriage house, and more. Honestly, if I were at a point in my life where owning this were even remotely possible, it just might be my dream house.

So there you have it... three more amazing offerings from the always-enticing listings on the Historic Properties for Sale website. And if it just so happens that hitting open houses is on your to-do list for the rapidly-approaching weekend (some might say it arrived here about an hour ago) do take a moment to look for listings in your area. Happy house-hunting!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. She's now quite likely to spend the weekend reading "Gone with the Wind."

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Let's Eat!

Posted on: January 27th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

We’ll be featuring listings from our Historic Properties for Sale site every Wednesday. (Yes, I'm late this week. Our offices closed early yesterday as a winter storm bore down on Washington, DC.) It’s just like Preservation magazine’s well-loved homes section, but much more frequent. This week, we're looking at commercial properties.

The Bon Ton soda fountain.

The Bon Ton soda fountain.

I'm not old enough to have experienced sock hops, poodle skirts, and dates at the neighborhood soda fountain, but I did grow up watching lots and lots of Happy Days re-runs, so I feel like I got a pretty nice peek into the 50s. (Please don't tell me how wrong I am - I like my illusions.) One of our listings this week - located in Lewistown, Montana - sounds (and looks!) like just the sort of place where Richie, Potsie, and Ralph Malph would be at home:

"The Bon Ton is outfitted with a solid marble soda fountain (ca. 1930) and a lighted art deco back bar. It has a panel on each side of the mirror with 3-dimensional pictures of a mermaid-type woman. The business is decorated in black, white and red 1950's style, with an extensive collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia."

As the Fonz would say: "Aaaaaayyyy!"

The 1790 Homestead Restaurant.

The 1790 Homestead Restaurant.

Another listing this week had me as soon as I saw the picture at right. And no, it's not the fact that it says LOBSTERS in huge letters (well, maybe it is a little) it's the quaint New England-y ness of the restaurant, called the Homestead. Its history makes that connection all the more clear: one of the original owner's sons purchased New Hampshire's most iconic piece of real estate - Mount Washington - and the family of legendary Red Sox slugger Babe Ruth used the place for a time, even leaving behind an autographed photo that was found between the walls years later. (And there are lobsters. Yum.)

These – and many, many other listings – are available now through our Historic Properties for Sale website. Check it out!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for Preservation Nation.org. She should know better than to write about restaurants - for sale or otherwise - when she's hungry, because she's now craving both a milkshake and a lobster roll.

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: Bed and Breakfasts

Posted on: January 19th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern

 

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 houses that can double as Bed and Breakfasts.

The Norvell-Otey House in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The Norvell-Otey House in Lynchburg, Virginia.

When I was just out of college, I spent several years putting a pretty serious effort into becoming a regular at an Irish bar near where I went to school. I spent several nights a week there with my friends, and occasionally we'd talk about buying a bar of our own some day. It was a grandiose - if ill-defined - plan, which I suppose grew from the idea that owning a bar would be as fun as spending time in one. And then, I got a job at that very same bar as a waitress, and fairly quickly realized maybe it wasn't the life for me, after all. I was far, far more skilled at being a patron than I was with being on the other side of the tray.

I was reminded of this long-dormant plan today when I saw a tavern listed as one of the features of a home for sale on our Historic Properties for Sale website:

The restored brick floored winter kitchen (30’x18”) is referred to as the "Tavern Room" since it was formerly used as a bar in colonial times. This room features 2 brick ovens and a period restored cooking hearth. The owner uses the Tavern for entertaining family, friends and guests sharing fresh brick oven bread and hearth cooked meals.

I'm not gonna lie; it sounds right up my alley - particularly because I am as fond of fresh-baked bread as I am a good tavern.

This listing, known as the Norvell-Otey House, is in Lynchburg, Virginia and is one of three homes on the site that double as Bed and Breakfasts.

Collina Plantation in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

Collina Plantation in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

If owning a bar sounded fun to my 22-year-old self, I think owning a B&B sounds similarly appealing to my pushing-40 self, in what I suspect is the same entirely unrealistic way. I like visiting Bed and Breakfasts, so therefore I'd like to have one of my own, right?

I mean, how great would it be to own a house like the Paxton House Bed & Breakfast and share it with guests? (It's got a carriage house! And a garden cottage!) Or the Collina Plantation in Mississippi, which looks so unbelievably quaint in this photo. I can just picture myself in a rocker on that porch, mint julep in hand.

Oh, wait... there I am in guest mentality again. Clearly, ownership of one of these beauties is not the right option for me, but if some of you out there in blogland want to buy them and guarantee me a reservation, well, I wouldn't object!

Sarah Heffern is the content manager for PreservationNation.org. She's happy to have found a career pushing pixels, since waitressing was way too exhausting.

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.