Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Charming old Victorian saved from wrecking ball

About a year ago, I posted about a lovely Victorian home in my neighborhood that was in danger of teardown. Alot of wood was exposed and going to rot. I knew if something wasn't done soon, it was destined for the wrecking ball.
Well, I'm happy to report that this house was actually downzoned so that no condos could be built on the land, and as a result the owners opted to do a quick and expedient fix-up job. It has not been what I would call lovingly restored, but it has been preserved.

Wood has been painted. Not quite the quality of work we see over at Petch House, but at least the wood is now protected. I peeked inside (no one lives there yet) and the original wood staircase is intact and was apparently refinished. It has those great high ceilings and beautiful oak floors throughout.

There's something about frame houses that really says "home" to me in such a romantic way. In that "It's a Wonderful Life" way-- you know? Remember when George wants to throw the top piece of the staircase post because it keeps coming off? And he says to Mary, "Why do we have to live in this drafty old barn of a house?" And then at the end of the movie, the house is filled with people and music?

We live in a brick home, which is practical in our climate, but these old frame homes evoke thoughts of building a fire and eating a family dinner in the dining room, and tiptoeing down a creaky staircase after tucking the kids in. It's funny because I've never lived in a home like that but I have all these ideas about what it would be like. Maybe it's all the old movies I've watched so many times. What's your favorite memory (real or imagined) of "home"?

But back to our charming Victorian. Now all it needs is for the right people to come along and take it to the next level. A houseblogger waiting to happen. If you're interested, here's my earlier post about it from before. I've been keeping my eye on this one for a while.


Greg said...


Anonymous said...

I think it looks great. Especially the awesome porch and round windows!

I'm not sure where my love of really old houses began but it started very early. Maybe it was the little folk victorian farmhouse my mom and dad had when I was a baby/toddler and all of the really great memories from it. In fact, this week I'm spending my time scanning old photographs and scrapbooks and it's strange the feelings that come from looking at all of them.

Back then we still had winters where snow pretty much covered the ground from December to May. Now, we're lucky to see six inches of snow even once per winter. Oh, don't get me started.

Anyway, I'm really glad it was spared. It is a beautiful house.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

What a pity it would have been to tear that down! It is lovely. And yes, it is very It's a Wonderful Life. And isn't it just that?

Anonymous said...

I wonder whats under that vinyl siding?..... Not the worst siding job I have seen in Lincoln Park area (compare to that rolled asphalt stuff). Chicago is the only city I have heard of that sells houses like that for 1.5M and someone tears them down and builds a 5M brick and granite "bank" looking house.
Good going.

Jocelyn said...

Oh yes, snow and lots of it. I miss that too :)

Carol- Believe it or not that is not siding- it's wood. I don't think this house will go for 1.5 million- probably closer to $850K- a real steal ;oP

We aren't in Lincoln Park - we are farther north but still on the lake.

Anonymous said...

You can tell its vinyl when you have those funny channel strips, especially around those oval windows. It also makes the siding look like its sticking out farther than the window trim. Your link to the house photo is broken now, but I would be shocked if real wood siding is installed that way like the vinyl. I know because vinyl is on mine and I am the only person that seems to notice. Its a beautiful house, no doubt.

Jocelyn said...

Carol- You are right! I never noticed that because I saw them scrape and paint it, which threw me off.