Real Estate

Historic Properties for Sale: National Register Edition

Posted on: April 29th, 2011 by David Garber

 

The May/June issue of Preservation magazine features a primer on the National Register of Historic Places aptly titled “What is the National Register?” The National Register (you can even call it the Register if you’re hip and/or “with it,” just don’t call it the Registry … they really hate that) is a listing by the US Department of the Interior of the Nation's historic and archeological “places worthy of preservation.” In short, to get a home/lighthouse/sunken ship (yes, you read that right) on the National Register, the property owner must want the designation, and a formal application must be submitted to the Department of the Interior. If you’re interested in submitting a property for listing on the Register, their website is a great guide.

Greece meets antebellum North Carolina in the Bobbitt Pendleton Arrington House

This week’s highlighted historic properties for sale are all on the National Register and span three states and three housing styles. Moving from South to North (seriously, I had to pick a direction, and as a DC resident I can claim both northern and southern heritage: case in point, my affinity for both sweetened and unsweetened iced tea), the first house on the list is the Bobbitt-Pendleton-Arrington House in Warrenton, North Carolina. Think “Gone with the Wind” antebellum goodness, minus the drama, plus central AC. And speaking of sweet tea (or mojitos?), this home has a sweeping front porch on which to enjoy them. Originally built in 1793 in the Federal style, the home was significantly modified twice between 1840 and 1868, both doubling its size and transforming it to the Greek Revival style.

 

the Bowling Green farmhouse, built in 1741

Next up is Bowling Green Farm, the plantation that named the town of Bowling Green, Virginia. Built in 1741 by Revolutionary War Major John Thomas Hoomes, it is a quintessential Virginia estate home, replete with mature boxwoods, cedar lined drives, a gently whitewashed pre-Georgian brick exterior, and - you guessed it - a manicured front lawn ready and waiting for a game of bowls. And while the nearest water-cooler conversation might be in nearby Fredericksburg or one-hour-drive Washington, DC, there’s some great small talk to be made about some of the farm’s early visitors: George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette. Need another hook? Bowling Green Farm now has a one-acre vineyard planted with Cabernet Franc varietals (disclosure: I barely even know what varietals means, but it definitely fits the boxwood/brick/manicured lawn mold). Better act quickly, though, because this property goes to auction on May 3!

 

Images from a 1930 sales brochure for Hathaway, the Art and Crafts-style estate tucked into New York's Catskills

Last is Hathaway, a grand Arts and Crafts style estate home in the Catskills region of New York, a mere two hours north of the big city. The name alone could almost sell the property (though you'll be better off not thinking of Anne Hathaway at the Oscars), but the story behind its creation seals the deal. Completed in 1907, Hathaway’s low-slung, 35-room expanse gracefully cascades down a slightly overgrown landscape with views of the Hudson Valley. The original owners, philanthropist couple Everit and Edith Macy, knew they wanted a house to escape Manhattan’s upper west side, but were divided on whether they should spend the money on a trip to Europe instead. Edith wanted a house, Everit wanted Europe, and Everit won. What Everit didn’t realize was that during their stay overseas, Edith had orchestrated Hathaway’s construction.

 

Think you have the historic real estate bug but need more options (What, three houses of completely differing styles spread across the American East aren't enough?)? Head over to the Historic Real Estate site to browse the other listings.

David Garber is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Not only does he enjoy writing about historic real estate around the country, he has actually bought and rehabbed a handful of historic homes in Washington, DC over the past few years, and, well, likes writing about those, too.

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: Some Assembly Required Edition

Posted on: April 20th, 2011 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

Log cabin in Catlett, VA. (Click photo to see listing.)

Log cabin in Catlett, VA. (Click photo to see listing.)

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to play with was Lincoln Logs. I loved assembling little houses out of the notched-wood logs, but I always found it frustrating that they were so small. One set of Lincoln Logs (which is all my grandparents had) was enough, at best, to make a two-room cabin, and even back then I liked my buildings on the grander side. One thing that never occurred to me, however, in the countless times I built and re-built those houses, is that it was possible to do the same thing in real life, with a real building like this one. Lincoln Logs for grownups!

The cabin, located in Catlett, Virginia, features hand-hewn logs and dates back to 1800. Unlike my childhood creations, it's two stories and more than two rooms (or so the inclusion of beaded pine board wall partitions and batten interior doors would suggest). I'm not gonna lie, if I were willing to move 45 miles away from my job, doing so to re-assemble a historic log cabin would absolutely be the coolest.

The Biemann-Hughs House in Walhalla, SC. (Click photo to view listing.)

The Biemann-Hughs House in Walhalla, SC. (Click photo to view listing.)

On the fancier side of the historic re-assembly market is the Italianate Biemann-Hughs House in Walhalla, South Carolina. Constructed in 1888, this L-shaped house features 11 rooms (five bedrooms, two bathrooms) and a double veranda. Included in the purchase price are the original antique fixtures such as toilets, bathtubs, windows, mantles, and doors -- along with the plans, photos, and  a walk-through DVD to assist in re-assembling the home to its earlier appearance. (I'm pretty sure child-me would have loved building the dollhouse version of this - so much more spacious than my Lincoln Log homes!)

Of course, not all of the distressed properties on our Historic Real Estate website require assembly - many are still standing but in need of rehabilitation. Take Cincinnati's historic Our Lady of Perpetual Help church for example. Vacant since 1989, it needs extensive interior renovation, but is structurally sound. It sounds like a lovely building, with ornamental brickwork, a rose window, an interior balcony, and a 170-foot spire. And over in Chanute, Kansas, an early 20th century Main Street storefront block is in search of a new owner. As currently configured, the building offers five ground floor commercial spaces - some with original wood trim and floors and tin ceilings - along with with five corresponding apartments upstairs. It needs some TLC in the form of restoration, but seems like a great opportunity.

And for those reading this for whom all the talk of assembly and restoration seem daunting - never fear! The Historic Real Estate site has plenty of move-in ready listings, too, so hop on over and see what's available in your town!

Sarah Heffern is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Writing this post has given her the urge to go build something, but she suspects her skills may still be in the Lincoln Log phase.

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.

Historic Properties for Sale: The I Spy Elegance Edition

Posted on: April 13th, 2011 by Jason Clement 2 Comments

 

First, a confession: I am an extremely nosey person.

I relish moments when I can stealthy overhear conversations on the bus (you'd be surprised what people talk about in public!), glance over shoulders at the gym to see what folks are playing on their iPods (Lady Gaga really does transcend demographics), or just flat out stare at someone doing something strange (you know who you are).

I know, I know -- I'm that guy. But I love observing life. Albeit it momentary, it's a good escape from my own.

Which brings me to the situation in which my nebbiness reaches fever pitch -- fantasy house hunting. I am fortunate to work (note: not live) in a neighborhood with streets that are lined with some of Washington's grandest mansions. From beautiful brownstones to quaint Queen Annes, Dupont Circle really does have it all. And luckily for this snoop, the well-to-do who call these places home seem to have an aversion to window treatments, affording passersby a peek (or in my case a long pause complete with  finger pointing and audible fawning) into the lap of luxury.

Today I thought we'd do the same with our round-up of listings from our Historic Properties for Sale website. So, are you ready for some elegance?

Our first stop is in Cape Charles, Virginia. Dating back to 1746 (hello, history), this five bedroom, six bath Federal-style estate is mere minutes from the Chesapeake Bay. Restored in 2001 using the best of the best in terms of materials, the home once functioned as a bed and breakfast hotel. My first thought: Oh the mint juleps I could have on that porch.

Did I fail to mention that it's actually on the water? Because it is. My second thought: Oh the mint juleps I could have on that dock.

Lush in luxury in Roslyn, New York.

Next up: Roslyn, New York.

This vintage c.1875 Victorian was built for George Washington Denton and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled on a hillside with water views of Roslyn Harbor, this home offers spacious rooms, high ceilings, and exquisite detailing throughout.

Again, note the beautiful porch. I am a huge proponent of outdoor living, and that space looks like the perfect setting for a (long) Sunday brunch.

Time to bust out the fancy china, Jeffrey. And perhaps a cheese tray.

And last but certainly not least, behold the John Blake House in charming Charleston, South Carolina. Circa 1800, this Georgian-style home features 12-foot ceilings, period moldings and wainscoting, six beautifully detailed fireplaces...

...and a chef's kitchen equipped with a five burner range, two dishwashers, three ovens, and a wood-burning fireplace…

 

...and a 19th-century parterre complimented by elaborate scrolled garden gates and a brick privacy wall -- both original to the house.

Now, this is normally the point in my fantasy house hunting when I either get depressed or run to the nearest corner store for a Powerball ticket or two/twenty. However, if you've still got some gawking left in you, I strongly suggest a visit to our Historic Properties for Sale website, where you can explore exquisite homes at any price point.

The best part? There's no one there to catch you staring.

Jason Lloyd Clement is a content manager for PreservationNation.org. He promises he's not as creepy as he sounds.

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.

Jason Clement

Jason Clement

Jason Lloyd Clement is the director of community outreach at the National Trust, which is really just a fancy way of saying he’s a professional place lover. For him, any day that involves a bike, a camera, and a gritty historic neighborhood is basically the best day ever.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.