Sad Craigslist House Salvage

Added to OHD on 8/8/12 - Last OHD Update: 9/30/19 - 42 Comments
Tracy sent me this Craigslist ad for a house that is going to be torn down and the owner is selling off the parts. I do not know the reason why it will be torn down all I know is that it's a shame that something so awesome will be lost. This one hurts to look at, knowing what's to be done to it.

The ad description, phone edited out (please do not call unless interested in buying all or part of the house): "I am selling the anitique woodwork and stain glass windows from an old house that is to be torn down. There are about 16 dorways with trim, 12 windows with trim, 3 bay-like window trim, 3 pocket doors, 8 swinging doors with hardware, curved stair railing, complete baseboards for 10+ rooms, stain glass windows. The pictures try to show the trim, I can show the house anytime or send more pictures. It is located just outside of Griswold, Ia. Call my cell no. 712--------1. I would like to be done by about mid Sept. I will take bids on any of the house parts and sell to the best offer. It will be burned there after."

34 Comments on Sad Craigslist House Salvage

OHD does not represent homes on this site. Contact the agent listed for details including current price and status.
  1. Such a sad and lovely find.

    3
  2. Pam says: 39 comments

    OMG! My parents grew up in this town- I cannot believe how sad this is.

    2
  3. John C. Shiflet says: 5243 comments

    I see a restorable old house but not one for the faint of heart. I assume it has a rural location in Iowa and such houses do not have a lot of people flocking to buy them. Assuming it were possible, if you could move this house to some place like Seattle, WA put a new front porch on it and paint in period colors, you’d have a million dollar home. But the deconstruction, transport, and reconstruction and upgrades might cost nearly a million so in the end it becomes a labor of love project. Good interior features and that upper bay and gable would be nice to salvage as one piece. Sad to see it go but location makes it unlikely anyone would tackle it.

    2
  4. says: 21 comments

    I actually contacted the person who placed this ad, asking about the possibility of buying this house in its entirety, to be moved of course, as a means of saving it from being burned down. I am waiting to hear back from them now. I love this house, though I recognize it really needs work, and can see the possibilities in it. Would so like to see it saved.

    5
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Cool, let us know what they say. It would be cool if someone could buy it to move or at least salvage so much there’d be nothing left to burn.

      1
    • Tracy says: 101 comments

      My wife and I discussed doing just that (rather I discussed it at her). I got the evil eye so I let it go. I will grovel at your feet if you can save this gem…

      3
  5. Pam says: 39 comments

    My dopey cousin just pulled down a gorgeous victorian, a few years ago, just north of there in order to build an ugly new ranch style house. You have to understand that many of these folks only think new is best. The praries in this part of Iowa make for very cold winters and drifting snow and blizzards. However, it is close to Council Bluffs and would be a nice to move it closer to that area instead of Griswold. My smarter cousin does own the big lumber yard in town- his name is Danny Weaver and his wife is Joy Marie. I’m sure they could recommend someone to assist with any work or moving.

    3
  6. echo says: 152 comments

    This is a heartbreaker. We need to keep people restoring homes in America as much as we can. This is our history that we continue to burn or demolish…never to be able to be restored.Opportunities gone forever. I am restoring a 1904 home. When I first saw the home I knew I had to restore her back to what was long ago.I have been here for 7 years and I am not done yet. I have had hard times,costly updates,changes, mistakes and tears.But I would not change it for the world. It takes tough skin to restore these lost beauties. 🙂

    5
  7. says: 21 comments

    This was the response I got from the owner, so now I am on the path to salvaging what I can. Wish me luck. Sure wanted to save this house, but I don’t think the owner will budge.
    Ruth

    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately the house is not salvageable. It has sat vacant too long. It is not structurally sound. Everything in the house is for sale. There are 3 bedrooms and a small bath upstairs and 1 bath, kitchen, 1 bedroom, dining room and a living room downstairs. They had started remodeling the kitchen, bath and one bedroom. These rooms have no period pieces. Although, I do believe I have all of the woodwork (except cabinets) from those rooms still in decent shape. So, there is enough baseboard, door trim, window trim etc. for 10+ rooms and hallway along with the stair railing. There are about 8 stain/textured glass windows on the first and second floors and 4 in the attic. The attic are in poor shape but still have most of the panes of glass. I sent a few more pictures along since I was limited on the number I could put in the ad. Where does your friend live? I would be glad to show them the house anytime.

    thanks
    Brent

    1
    • John C. Shiflet says: 5243 comments

      The response you got from the owner is not surprising. Non-old house people cannot see the value in saving a house like this one; they do not see it as a tangible piece of 19th century architectural history but merely as an old eyesore that would be best stripped out, torched, and “put out of its misery”. Assuming there’s any chance for a rational discussion, my approach would be to buy the ENTIRE house for salvage and present to the owner in writing that you will have it moved on or before mid-September as he specifies in his ad. A structural engineer with experience in moving historic structures could be of great help. Unless the owner has some kind of personal animosity towards the house itself, I can’t see why a rational person would have a problem with that approach. But people are sometimes funny…while the owner obviously sees some salvage profitability, seeing the vision of it being restored is absent. The best way to see if the house could be saved is a personal meeting with the owner and soon. The longer this process goes on the lower the chances for the house to be saved. The house itself, despite lengthy neglect, still shows a lot of potential. As in-fill housing on a vacant lot within a historic district it would be very impressive and retain its value. Especially so if it were properly restored with all the art glass windows put back in place and a proper Victorian style front porch replicated. I wish you the best of luck and success with this effort-please keep up posted on your progress.

      6
  8. says: 21 comments

    FYI, though I don’t think he will budge, I am not quite through trying. 🙂

    2
    • dreya924 says: 10 comments

      nanl2002, Glad to hear you aren’t giving up! The owner is obviously clueless, and ANY old house is savable if the will and money are there! Does your friend have a professional (architect, engineer, contractor?) that they could have go with them to tell the owner that indeed the house is savable? That would be soooo great! Keep us posted and best of luck, it is a special home for sure!

      1
  9. Alyson says: 1 comments

    Good luck nan

    Is there a house inspector or a house moving company in your area that you can take along to a meeting with the owner that will be able to give you an idea of if the house is salvageable and the cost of renovation. I bet if they say it’s salvageable that the price will go up 🙁

    Our house was moved by the PO and while she’s a money pit? She is worth it!

  10. says: 21 comments

    I can’t seem to get anywhere with this one. I am not really in the market to salvage though there are aspects of this house I would LOVE to keep, my preference would have been to save the entire structure. I love the idea of buying the entire house but I don’t understand why any person who would sell off pieces would not be as interested in selling the structure. I mean, it seems that as long as they have that house off the property which is what their goal is it would not matter how it was removed.

    3
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Just assuming but maybe the seller is either afraid it will take too long to move off the property or thinks more money is to be made by selling parts than the whole thing.

      1
  11. says: 21 comments

    Yeah, I did think about that. It is truly frustrating though. 🙁

  12. kenny says: 99 comments

    I dont believe the Owner would expect to fetch more than say $2000 for the lot of house parts. If someone offered $2500 for the whole house and had it moved for say $20K then, I think you still come out ahead. When I look at the pictures I still see a beautiful house.

    2
  13. Kevin says: 44 comments

    Does anyone know what happened with this house? Did the person that wanted to move it have any luck persuading the owner?

  14. Shannon says: 4 comments

    FYI, if I’m not mistaken, I believe many parts of an old house that is to be demolished can be donated to places like Habitat Re-store (benefiting Habitat for Humanity). The person who donates can then take a tax write off and at least the parts get re-used.

    Just mentioning for future reference…

    1
  15. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Wondering what happened with this house. Anyone close enough to have found out or seen it being dismantled?

    • Tracy says: 101 comments

      I just drove down the street and I can see that it’s still standing. We had a snowstorm the other day and the country roads are not the best so I didn’t actually drive by. It didn’t look like much was missing. There might still be a small hope to save it.

      2
  16. rodeolthrrodeolthr says: 44 comments
    OHD Supporter

    John,
    Was there a discussion about this possibly being a Chiver design that I didn’t notice? The house is lovely and almost completely original/intact. There is some wiring, but not much…and the light fixtures amount to a single bare bulb in each room. The rooms themselves are large, and if you’ve looked at the listing, you’ll note that the last wallpaper installation was probably 30s/40s in the living and dining rooms. Each living space in the house has a chimney opening for either wood or oil heat. I love the original condition of this house, and would strive to leave it that way as much as possible. I grew up in a ranching family in Wyoming and many ‘line shacks, cow camps, and bunkhouses’ were similarly appointed. Usually there was basic electricity, but not always and most were heated with wood/coal stoves. Water was as often taking from livestock water tanks. If I acquire this house, it will be a “project” house……simply to save it from another Home Depot remodel with vinyl windows and fan-light doors in the most recent interpretation of what middle America thinks “Tuscany” looks like….but I’m ranting. Keep your fingers crossed that I can convince my partner that this house is worth buying simply to save.
    Kevin

    4
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      There was, I screwed up the website last night and the comments left by John and your comment about the house in Lind were lost. Sorry!

      John Shiftlet comment was: “Rodeolthr,… the Lind, WA house is a gem-a proverbial diamond in the rough. However, it has apparently escaped the kind of insensitive remodeling/modernization that so many old houses have suffered from and if it does prove to be a Herbert C. Chivers design then it was well planned and thought out. Chivers had a brisk house design planning business at the turn of the last century out of St. Louis with a nation-wide reach. Please share the good news with us if you become the next owner of this fine period home. I wish you good luck in acquiring it. The house may not be livable right now but if you could park a small trailer to live in while you restored/renovated it, (should be no problem in a remote small town like Lind) it should not take too long to bring it back. The porch obviously is missing some columns but overall the house looks intact but neglected. Probably one of the town’s leading citizens lived in it originally.”

      2
    • John Shiflet says: 5243 comments

      Hi Kevin,

      I was afraid there might be some confusion in posting information about the Lind, WA house under the comments on this fate-unknown Griswold, Iowa example. Thanks Kelly for putting the Herbert Chivers information back. (but maybe it and related comments should go under the Lind, WA house featured in the November 27 sampler?) In any case, Kevin, I hope you and your partner decide to save this architecturally important house and with it a little piece of American history. As you pointed out, in less talented hands it could very well develop vinyl siding skin disease, wrong sized modern windows and lose much of its period character. I have a feeling you understand period designs and could take this back to the c. 1900 era with a proper Colonial Revival color scheme and interior treatments. Those upstairs exterior (Colonial Revival) garlands highlighted with color would really make the house stand out. The floors need TLC (light sanding and staining/finishing) and some of the painted woodwork was surely originally shellacked clear. The house still carries over some of the late Queen Anne style details as well, so it has lots of creative potential. However, it is not a “rustic” ranch house type of dwelling-in fact, originally, it was probably considered pretty fancy (and maybe the owner boasted he had a St. Louis architect) and as close as one could get to a mansion in small town Lind. I lived in Evanston, WY in my youth for 4 years so I know the type of ranch dwelling you are referring to but the Lind house is more of the type you’d find in Cheyenne or Laramie in the early 1900’s. Primitives would still work ok in this one but the original decor was likely more refined. Wish I had any personal info about Lind to share but best probably to visit in person. Good luck!

      1
  17. It is very sad, but at least they tried to salvage it before burning or bulldozing it.

  18. Ann fox says: 1 comments

    What happened with this? I need an update, please.

    1
  19. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Update, someone update! 🙂

  20. Andrea says: 15 comments

    I live about 40 minutes away from Griswold.
    If you know the address I’ll gladly drive by and check.

    3
  21. Christopher R DiMattei says: 271 comments

    Sad to say this house is now gone. It was located here.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/69257+540th+St,+Griswold,+IA+51535/@41.2280776,-95.1482519,324m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x879356a23c50b511:0xee35f5f2f4ea3d7!8m2!3d41.2276282!4d-95.1492549

    Not sure of the origins of this design, but I would speculate that it was created by the “Cooperative Building Plan Association Architects”, AKA “Shoppell’s Modern Houses”. JMHO.

Comment Here


Think before you type! Keep comments a friendly place for each other, owners and agents.
Comments that do not add value to the conversation in a positive manner will not be approved.

Click here to read the comment rules, updated 10/10/19.
Commenting means you've read and will abide by the comment rules.

OHD does not represent this home. Price, status and other details must be independently verified but please do not call the agent unless you are actively looking or interested in the property.