Real Estate

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.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

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. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.