c. 1890 Italianate – Ottumwa, IA

Added to OHD on 9/12/11   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   9 Comments
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908 N Court St, Ottumwa, IA 52501

  • $85,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 4934 Sq Ft
  • 0.18 Ac.
This home needs some work to become the showpiece it was designed to be. Awesome woodwork, marble fireplaces, large rooms. Priced to sell to the buyer willing to restore this mansion.

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,

9 Comments on c. 1890 Italianate – Ottumwa, IA

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  1. John Shiflet says: 5356 comments

    Seems like a blend of styles added over the years. The Neo Classical porch is stylistically different from the house itself and the Arts & Crafts geometrical stained glass appears to date from the same period as the c.1910 porch upgrades but the staircase and other original details remain. As you say, lots of potential as well as some hard work but diamonds in the rough are like that.

  2. Ryan says: 460 comments

    This building housed the Midwestern School of Evangelism….and I’m askerd of evangelists!

    Actually it could be a beautiful place after some restorations. It’d be nice to see the woodwork lightened up a bit. I often like it when they mix up differing styles this way, but I’m not sure what to make of that porch, stylewise. The columns are kinda fat and stubby like Tuscan columns, and the brick bases are in differing heights. Plus I’ve never ever seen a house where they attached brackets like these directly to a porch’s columns. That seems pretty unique. And I guess it kinda works too.

  3. James Manista says: 27 comments

    Deserves restoration–maybe as a vocational school project if they can’t find anyone to buy it. Does Ottumwa have a sense of town pride around which they could rally to save this beauty?

  4. Jim says: 5105 comments

    I would worry about a place where they need to use a snow blower indoors! Winters in Ottumwa are pretty harsh; imagine heating all that volume.

  5. Tim says: 141 comments

    I grew up in the Ottumwa area and am very familier with this home. A Grande Dame in its day, but many decades of ‘deferred maintenance’ have left their mark.

    Box gutters are bad and causing serious damage to eves, soffits and facade. Roof has issues with leaking. Some of the interior ‘updates’ are apparent by looking at the pictures. One example would be the original light fixtures are gone and been replaced with cheap, modern lights.

    That said, this was a beautiful home in its day and is one of the landmark homes of the Court Hill Historical District. If you have time, patience and money, this home could be a showplace once again.

  6. Tim says: 141 comments

    I had the opportunity to go though this home a few weeks ago and thought I would update my comments.

    Walking around the exterior of the house I see that there are large sections of wood trim, soffits, etc. fallen off and piled into a fairly good sized pile behind the house.

    The pictures really don’t do justice to the inside of this home. The woodwork is amazing! Very detailed and heavy. The pocket doors on the first floor are massive and ornate. They must be at least 2 inches thick.

    To the left of the entrance is what was a parlor or sitting room and framed within this parlor is another smaller room. (Imagine a box within a box) This inside room has exactly the same millwork as the rest of the first floor and I am puzzling why someone would go to the expense of such detail when the rest of the home has been neglected so badly. I soon discover the answer. The wall between the living room and dining has been removed completely, making a large ‘L’ shaped room. It appears that all the millwork was used to finish out the ‘box within the box’ room.

    All the original light fixtures on the first floor are gone and replaced with cheap modern fixtures. The dining room light is now a 4 foot shop light.

    Almost every room is like something from the tv show “Hoarders”. Floor to ceiling boxes, papers, office equipment, garbage and junk. The living room is lined with church pews and the kitchen has been reduced to a narrow passage between piles of stuff. I was unable to go up the servants stairs due to collapsed plaster from the walls coming down. All the fireplaces on the first floor have been removed, sealed up….. Gone.

    The Formal Staircase is a work of art. Truly a showcase leading to the 2nd floor.

    Then on to the bedrooms. After looking at a couple of rooms, only to find more piles of junk, I look up and see that the ceiling plaster has fallen due to water damage. Not just small sections of plaster but the entire ceilings.

    I then gave up looking at anymore of this place. It would take many tens of thousands just to repair/replace the roof alone and the water damage is so bad through-out this place. This house has been on the market for an extremely long time and I truly am confused as to why no real effort has been made to clean out the years of clutter.

    But the snow blower is no longer in the foyer!

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11880 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks for the update. It sounds like it needs a massive amount of work. At the same time, I would have loved if the agent had shown some of the woodwork, sometimes it’s the smallest of details that can sell a house. I hope someone gets in there soon before more damage is done to it.

    • Tim says: 141 comments

      And the final (maybe) note on the home…..

      It recently sold on a private Contract for Deed to some brave person for $45K. I am looking forward to seeing the place after it is fixed up. I would have loved to have bought this home but my pockets were not deep enough for all the repairs. (sigh) LOL !

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