1901 – Davenport, IA

SOLD / Archived From 2013
Added to OHD on 2/8/13   -   Last OHD Update: 10/30/18   -   120 Comments
Address Withheld
  • $299,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 4 Bath
  • 6238 Sq Ft
  • 0.55 Ac.
New description: EFFECTIVE 12/12/2014: Serious and qualified buyers only. Must show pre-approval letter or proof of funds prior to showing, no exceptions. Buyer to assume HAPPEN Grant currently on property. Home cannot be used for commercial use. Sold "as-is", no warranties expressed or implied. This is NOT a distressed property. Not habitable at this time. Will either have to be financed w/ a construction loan or cash. Lots of updates including Geo Thermal heating & air, plumbing, wiring, and restored clay tile roof shingles w/ new felt underneath. Seize the opportunity own the "Overview" Mansion. Old description: High upon the Mississippi bluff sits A.E. Steffen's all brick, Georgian Colonial Revival mansion, "Overview", designed by Clausen & Burrows. Many original architectural details abound, as well as sweeping downtown & river views from almost every room. New geo thermal system. Chef's kit. w/ hand-made amish cherry cabinetry, heated terrazzo floors, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances. New plumbing, wiring. Clay tile roof reset, re-laid, and new felt. This is your chance to own one of Davenport's most iconic mansions and finish the restoration to your liking.
Sold By
Alex Wolking, Keller Williams Realty
Status, price and other details may not be current and must be independently verified.
OHD does not represent this home.

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119 Comments on 1901 – Davenport, IA

OHD does not represent homes on this site. Contact the agent listed for details including current price and status.
  1. Avatarjohn c says: 469 comments

    Bravo and thanks for suggesting this! As a child and again as an adult living across the river, this home always caught one’s eye. It is situated next to a small park, if I recall correctly. . It is also either within or near the “Village of East Davenport” . and the (General) McClellan Heights neighborhoods.

  2. AvatarBob H says: 112 comments

    I am in lust!

  3. AvatarAudrey says: 109 comments

    I could happily die after having been working on the restoration of this house my whole life!
    First order of business: Gleefully selling off that horrid kitchen.

    • AvatarAmanda M says: 1 comments

      Horrid kitchen? That kitchen is beautiful!

    • AvatarRenee H says: 1 comments

      I agree about the kitchen! Not fitting for this house at all! But, WOW! What a wonderful house!!

    • AvatarDavis B says: 1 comments

      I was thinking the same thing about the kitchen. It’s so bulky and feels like it’s smothering the room. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the reason they chose that paint color to lighten the room some. It would definitely have to go.

      As for the house itself, it’s beautiful. A lot of TLC and that place would be awesome.

  4. AvatarGraham W says: 163 comments

    I like the warming oven built into the steam radiator in the dining room.

  5. AvatarChloe says: 77 comments

    Someone redid the kitchen and put it up for sale?
    It is a beautiful house (sans modern kitchen)
    I’d love to devote my ilfe to restoring this one

  6. AvatarRyan says: 569 comments

    Very, very impressive house, both inside and out! It’s in a great spot, too. It’s a shame they couldn’t show some pics of the view during warmer weather, though. I’ll bet it looks even better then. What’s going on with that mural on the landing? Is the middle part missing, or was that space for something else?

    • AvatarMSmith says: 1 comments

      Two sons of original owner inherited the house from the parents – the sons fought and could not agree on anything except that neither would let the other have the house. So they built an entire dividing wall right up the staircase to the mural wall at the back of the landing — split the entire house right down the middle. Interesting quirky bit of history for a wonderful mansion in Davenport’s “Gold Coast” Historic District.

      • RossRoss says: 2384 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS

        “There’s a neighborhood legend that they (the Steffens) divided the house because they didn’t like each other, but that’s not true,” said Marion Meginnis, a neighbor and member of the [Gold Coast & Hamburg Historic District Association].

        “The real story is that they both needed a place to live and the house was large enough to accommodate the two of them,” she said.

        • AvatarMSmith says: 1 comments

          I would trust the word of Marion over neighborhood legend — as the local expert historians Marion (and husband Jack) are a great resource for separating fact from fiction.

      • AvatarMelinda Matrick says: 1 comments

        Please tell me more .. There is tons of history behind this old house . or if you could lead me in the right direction. Thank you

        • AvatarTerry Genz says: 7 comments

          Melinda, I live right across the street. I have many other photos not included on this site. I also have copies of the blueprints. My home’s history is directly related to this house. The widow from mine built this grander home with her new husband. She moved up the hill while her new sister-in-law moved down the hill into my house with her new husband.
          You can contact me for further history and other information:

  7. AvatarKatie S says: 10 comments

    This might be my favorite house I’ve seen so far on OHD. My heart was seriously beating quicker with each photo! Curved rooms get me every time. Stunning.

  8. Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 449 comments

    Great house, but quite the project. For all that needs doing, I might make a couple of very minor changes to the kitchen and concentrate on the real work at hand: the kitchen seems the very least concern, and –whatever it looks like now or might look like– the very least reason to buy the place. (Don’t care how many wash basins are in the master bath, either.)

    Pretty impressive prospect, though the very first photo hints that some site work might be on the to-do list as well.

  9. AvatarFrank D. Myers says: 62 comments

    In regards to the mural, the Quad-City Times article reports that the house was divided squarely up the middle by sons of the builder and that included a wall up the middle of the stairway (and through the middle panel of the mural). Great spaces and original detail. No great problem with the kitchen although it’s a little too monumental for my taste.

    • AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 126 comments

      That is so crazy! I was trying to figure out that cut in the middle of the stairs on the main floor, if you look close enough you can see the shadow line on the floor and follow it all the way up the stairs as well as on the second floor landing. I like this house and I have been doing some online research about Davenport.

  10. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 126 comments

    I’m looking for a paper towel to wipe the drool from my face. The work they did on the tile roof alone was very exspensive plus the kitchen and heating, cooling systems. I don’t think any money is being made here. Finanacing will be difficult in its current condition. There is a Greek Revival from one of the earlier posts here that is fantastic and I believe its on the same street. Davenport is an interesting city can anyone enlighten me about demographics,housing stock, any preservation commitees there? I wouldn’t mind taking a quick weekend run to visit and check things out. You could have your very own “Downton Abbey” here.

  11. AvatarJSM says: 30 comments

    The kitchen is not at all bad. Many period-piece redos simply restore the old lack of storage and bring back insufficient counter space.

  12. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10086 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I don’t think the kitchen is all bad. Just need to do something to the walls, perhaps some trim around the doors that match the house, although the countertops were expensive to put in, they just don’t match, neither does the floor for that matter. I can see that they tried in the kitchen, it could have been much worse but it wouldn’t be hard (just expensive) to do a few thing to it to make it blend in more with the house.

  13. Avatarhugh81560 says: 2 comments

    Sure would love to know what goes on in davenport and its economy. I am ready to move into this house.

    • AvatarSuzy Q says: 2 comments

      hugh, Davenport is part of the Quad Cities. The area thrives from many companies, a couple being Kone and John Deere. The Rock Island Arsenal is also a powerful employer although that is the government. It is a great area to live on the Mississippi River. Low crime, not overly populated, lots to do.

  14. Avatarmspwhite says: 3 comments

    oh,, my hands are inching to work on this grande dame.

  15. Avatarpatrick mitchell says: 5 comments

    growing up in Davenport and sat on the steps to this great house many nites. It is bitter sweet to see all the trees cleared away….but I remember the huge metal flower urn that was at the top of the steps when you walked up from sixth street. Also it is sad to see the absolutely gorgeous leaded glass doors gone that were at the entrance with the big S etched in them. I also remember being in the house…..and the elaborate deiling plaster is now gone as well. Also that big mirror that has been moved to the main floor used to be on the second floor landing. Also is that light fixture from the old RKO theatre?? The circle drive used to be in red brick in a herringbone pattern ……This house is to die for and I hope that someone will get it that can love it and furnish it as it should be.

  16. AvatarDeborah Strain (Berger) says: 1 comments

    I grew up in the massive house. What memories we had there as children. The beautiful furntiure. My grandparents Alex and Katherine Berger. We had great Christmas gatherings and celebtations all the family sitting under the the old RKO chandaler around the huge wood round table. The stories from my father Paul Berger growing up as a kid in the house. The red velvet wallpaper in the main livingroom with it’s floral 3d motif painted so beautifally.

    The house was beautiful. The kitchen was grand,but now it looks a bit overpowering for the house even through it is well crafted. I did take the tour when there was the Open House. I had not been in there for years and it was a nice tour just shocking to see the state the house is in now. I miss this house! I cross the bridge very day comming home from work at night and always look up at it sitting there…..waiting.

    • AvatarJoe Berger says: 1 comments

      Hi Debra this is your Cousing Joe..I havent seen you in years..hope life is treating you well. Its great to see the pictures of the old house but you and I remember when it was full and beautiful and full of life with Grandma!!

    • AvatarMichael Shockey says: 1 comments

      I used to visit my aunt Kate when she lived at that house. The house was filled wall to wall with antiques. I stumbled across these pictures and knew it was my aunt’s old house, great to see it again.

    • AvatarTerry T. says: 2 comments

      Since you cross the bridge everyday going to work, have you seen any work done by the new owner? This grand home should be brought back to it’s glory that it once was. Just love this house

    • AvatarAshley says: 1 comments

      Deborah Strain Berger Why did your family move out?

  17. AvatarTim Smith says: 1 comments

    film set…

  18. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    Lots of comments about the kitchen but to me it is not so bad… Finishing up some of the rooms would be quite the project but well worth the time when completed. The wood work and details of this home are beautiful. I have only 3 final words for this home……. I Love It!

  19. Avatarjam says: 7 comments

    I have to say I like the kitchen a lot! It’s fully modernized, but they took such pains to match the look and feel of the woodwork in the rest of the house that it still has a grand and classic appearance – to me, anyway. But, as they say, vive la différence! We all have our own tastes, and that’s what makes the world go ’round!

    I would kill – no, I would DIE – to have this beautiful, beautiful home in my life! Dream, dream, dream … it swells the heart.

  20. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    I agree with you 100%. Many of those on this site feel that a kitchen in a vintage home should be exactly like the original kitchen or reflect the era of the home. Sometimes it’s forgotten that those old kitchens had very limited storage, odd layouts and cabinets that aren’t well suited to todays needs. (yes, I realize that there are those who will strongly disagree with me). However, while I am a strong proponant of keeping a given house as original as possible, someone has went to a great deal of expense and trouble to make this kitchen usable in todays world. I applaud them and wish that I had this kitchen in my own home.

  21. Avatarjam says: 7 comments

    Why, thank you, sir! I was just thinking I could wish for a fully authentic restoration myself, move in and end up being sorely frustrated at the lack of all the modern equipment I’ve always lived with up to this point. It would take a strong desire for a massive lifestyle change to pull that off 😀

  22. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    You are very welcome Jam. There are always going to be different view about everything and to each their own.

    I read the article from the Quad-City times about this home. Apparently the current owners have invested around $60,000 into the kitchen alone. That’s right, $60,0000. I am stunned.

    That kitchen, combined with redoing the roof, new geothermal, new plumbing and electrical must have added up to a staggering investment.

    If I had the money and wished to live in Davenport, you would see a sold sign on the house tomorrow!!!!!

  23. Avatarjam says: 7 comments

    Amen, Timothy! My husband was actually born in Iowa and lived there until his parents moved when he was all but two years old, and he has extended family back there still, farmers mostly. He says the only way he’d live in Iowa is high up on a bluff like this place is, to avoid the rivers flooding! And have some way to make a living…

    I’ll have to read that article – just to have $60,000 clear for anything at all would be a dream come true for us – ha!


  24. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10086 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    There is going to be an open house Sunday Sep. 15th, 2013 from 12pm to 4pm, if anyone is interested.

  25. Avatarjam says: 7 comments

    Oh, to be in or near Davenport!

  26. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10086 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    This was nominated for a HGTV DIY Dream House Doory Award, along with another house you’ll recognize from this site. It won. Also, here is a news story about it, link.

  27. Avatarjam says: 7 comments

    Hoo – keepin’ my eye on this one! As if – har har.

  28. AvatarShirley says: 1 comments

    I have always dreamed of owning this house and having family get togethers for the holidays. But that will never happen unless I win the lottery. It is beautiful, my dream home.

  29. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    I, too, think this is an incredible house. And what a position! Wow! I recall reading about it in a late 1970s Historic Preservation issue, or some such magazine.

    Also, as with others, I disliked the kitchen. After some thought however, I realized it would look much better if:
    • The carving at the bottom edge of the range hood was removed.
    • All the dentil cornice was removed (replaced with a simple edge as seen in other rooms above the high wainscoting).
    • The fluted columns were removed.
    • The black granite island counter was replaced with white marble, or something interesting like Monel.

    If you look at the kitchen again with these minor elements gone/replaced, you might be surprised, as I was, at how wholly different the kitchen could look.

  30. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 126 comments

    This is now coming up as “non active” does anyone know whats going on with this great house?

  31. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    This is not “non active”. The house is still for sale as Kelly has shown, for $399,900.00.

    Even with all the work that has been done, this will be a difficult sale because so much still needs to be completed. BUT, the major, really expensive repairs have been done. Now it would need someone with the money and vision to complete this beautiful home. I would REALLY like to own this home. It would be so fun to finish it and watch the life come back into this grand home.

  32. AvatarPatrick Mitchell says: 5 comments

    Timothy, everyone in Davenport would love to see someone bring this beauty back to life…once again smiling on the hill overlooking the river and the city. It has been forever since anyone has really lived in the house…by that I mean there have been a lot of owners…but that is all they did was own it….they never were financially able to maintain and furnish it like it needs and screams for. This house is for a special person or family that has very deep pockets. Although a lot of work has been done…..there is hundreds of thousands of dollars worth left to pour in the beauty. The pictures dont show the perhaps limestone wall the runs along the front side of this on 6 st. or the long set of steps that lead up the hill to the house….just the yard alone…would require a lot of money and attention to put it where it should be….then you get to the inside that would be overwhelming for most….It would be nice to see the front doors be put back that once where there and the plaster work on the ceilings….the curved glass storm windows that were on the windows….the back door that went out of the kitchen…and is the back staircase still there or has that been taken out with the kitchen remodel?….whoever gets the house I hope they can afford to do what should be done to it and not just to live there till it sucks up all your money and forces you to leave….like has happened so many times before. There are so many homes there in the Gold Coast…that are beautiful…..It would be nice if the city would help out whoever gets this home with some of the money that needs to be put into it…such as the relaying of the brick drive.

  33. Avatarbotto1968@att.net says: 2585 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Escondido, CA

    As I see people are still commenting on this old posting (I just found OHD and am going back through every. single. house.), I will add that my first impression of the kitchen was bad; even in a modern house, I really dislike the cherry cabinets/black counters look. However, as a previous commenter points out, the basics aren’t bad, and with a few changes, especially of the countertop material, the kitchen could be a decent modernization without being too out of character.
    I am surprised that people seem to think this is expensive, but I guess that is because I live in Southern California where this would be in the millions!

    • TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

      Thank you “botto1968”! You comments bring to light the difference between the Midwest and both the West or East Coast. What we think is terribly expensive, you think of as nothing but a drop in the bucket.

      So many, so very many comments on this kitchen…. It is too bad that the owners didn’t contact each and every one of us for our opinions prior to building what they felt was their dream kitchen. (please ignore the fact that none of us are likely to buy this place, we just like to criticize).

      Please remember Kelly’s rules. Just because something doesn’t meet with your idea of perfect is not cause for negative comments about it. I shudder when I see any house with ’70s paneling but at some point in time it was the rage.

      Yes, I fully expect to get blasted by a few of you because of this post. But seriously folks, we are here to view homes that we might not otherwise see. Admire American history and marvel at those who had the money and vision to build these marvelous places. It should be about the grandeur or the fact that a home has survived for so long. Not about the kitchen.

      • RossRoss says: 2384 comments

        Dear Timothy,

        As a reader who mostly LIKED the kitchen (see above), I still am always interested in the opinions of others, even if they disagree with me.

        This site has reminded me, time and time again, that people have a wide range of tastes. While I might be drawn to, for example, a red kitchen, it is interesting to learn that ten others will LOATH red kitchens.

        I spent two years looking for the “perfect” 1950s untouched mint-condition ranch. Every single time I wildly emoted over a pink/turquoise bathroom, the realtor would say: “You are the only person who likes this bathroom!”

        I think diversity is a fine thing. And I always enjoy being reminded of this.

        To me, the kitchen in this house tends to JUMP out because the house is in need of so much help, yet a brand new and very $$$$$ kitchen sits rather forlorn in the otherwise vast emptiness.

        IMO, the owners would have been better off to finish X number of rooms, and then have done a bare-bones temporary kitchen, BECAUSE most people would rather create their OWN dream kitchen. (Of course, the kitchen might well have been the dream kitchen of the owners, their having no idea at the time that they would not complete the restoration of the whole house.)

        Anyway, I just love love love this house, and, as stated above, with some minor tweaks, I think the kitchen would look very fine.

        NOTE: Nobody commented on the terrazzo floor in the kitchen. I love terrazzo.

  34. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    Hi Ross, Yes the money spent on this kitchen may have been better spent in many other rooms of the house. Sometimes things happen to a family and the money dries up or they must move, etc.

    I think the varied view points found on this site intriguing and thought provoking. But sometimes there is a subject that is beat upon so much and in the end it really doesn’t matter. What’s done is done and the owner could well be reading these comments and made to feel bad about something that was their pride and joy.

    I try to look at a house as a whole. Sure, there may be some things I don’t care for, notice things that may have been done wrong, may be inappropriate to the era or are simply not to my taste (I.e. shag carpet).

    You have pointed out something very important to me that I missed the first time. Because there is SO much to finish up on this house the kitchen does JUMP out and attract every ones attention.

    I don’t think that this house was ever intended as a flip by the current owners. This may be why the kitchen is so personalized and not left bare bones for the next owner to create their own version of the perfect kitchen.

    I have flipped houses before (many houses) and the expense that the current owners have put into this place have to offset what the asking price is. They have to be selling it at a loss just to get out. BUT….. I don’t know that… It is JUST MY OPINION.

    • RossRoss says: 2384 comments

      I agree, this does not look like a flip.

      I would love to know the What Happened? story.

      As the owner of another Huge Pile needing a Ton Of Work, I would likely be sympathetic — and terrified — by what the story might be regarding the Davenport house. A cautionary tale?

  35. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    Hey Ross,

    May I ask, where is your “huge pile”? Is it anywhere on this site? And I love the stories, just like you do. Many years ago I bought a monster Victorian in Omaha. It was an undertaking of love, stress, money and sweat. But in the end, well worth it and I have no regrets. I would do it all over again except for the fact of getting older I can’t (don’t want to) do some of the things that I used to. Tim

  36. TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

    One final comment / question for those in the know about this home.

    Has anyone else noticed that with the exception of the RKO light hanging in the staircase, there are no ceiling lights shown in any of the pictures? What’s up with that? Are they simply not in the photos? Are they gone? Surely at least some of the formal rooms had them. I read the comment above about the person who grew up in this house so I know that there must have been something, somewhere.

    Speaking of which (while it’s on my mind)….

    Deborah Strain (Berger), if you are still out there and reading about these wonderful houses and specifically this home, do you have any pictures of this house from the time that you grew up there that you would share with Kelly to post here?

  37. AvatarKaren says: 17 comments

    This would truly be my dream home if I could live there and restore. I keep coming back to look at it over and over again. I paint and keep wishing that I could restore the mural. I like the kitchen, as I like to cook and it is very functional. The cabinets work with the beautiful mahogany wood in the house. I would have used carrera marble tho for the countertops and the floor does not work at all. The plaster work is amazing but it’s a shame the upper rooms were gutted as they may have contained more plaster work. I can only imagine the view at night or on a beautiful Spring morning from that balcony. Wow. I absolutely love this house, if only it were closer to me.

  38. AvatarKent Carlson says: 1 comments

    Like many, I have been fascinated with this place for decades. I walked around it with my girlfriend (now wife) back in the early 90’s. Much has been done, but obviously the project has stalled. Some of the real mega-buck things have been taken care of, but there is still an enormous amount of time and money ahead. Here in Des Moines, we have seen the Rollins Mansion sell for $750,000. It was in fabulous condition with a major renovation completed. Even our old Governor’s Mansion sold for under $300K. That makes it very difficult for anyone to see this place and find any blue sky. The market has gone south for places like this, which is a real shame. This place is amazing, but a tough sell. By the way, this kitchen isn’t broken. It was well crafted and is a huge asset to the property. The kitchens in homes of this period were designed for a staff, not the homeowners. Thy function very poorly for today’s lifestyles.

  39. AvatarTory says: 1 comments

    Here is another one of Davenport’s bluff top beauties that may soon be getting a facelift. It appears to need significantly more work than Overview: https://www.davenporttoday.com/living/lifestyles-neighborhood/proposal-received-for-mansion

    • AvatarNicole says: 2 comments

      I live in the Hamburg Historic District–my husband and I are fortunate enough to rent a house that was restored with love by owners who were transferred. This weekend, I was able to tour both the Overview and the Lambrite House. Both are spectacular, have good bones, but need a lot of work.

      Overview: From the photos, I didn’t like the kitchen, but I loved it when I was actually in it. It *does* actually fit the house once you are inside–keep in mind that this is a grand house that needs a grand kitchen. The large cabinet is a false door that leads to a huge, unfinished basement with potential. To answer some questions: The back door and back stairs are still there. There are a number of old light fixtures in the basement, so those could possibly be reinstalled. However, our house and a lot of the houses in the neighborhood do not have ceiling lights in the parlors. I’m not sure if this is an original design or due to rewiring and replastering later on.

      Lambrite house: Think the exterior is stunning? The inside is phenomenal. A winding staircase in the front hall, with a peek-through up into the stair winding around the tower. Original faux finishing in the front hall, with display niches as you walk up the stair.

      Like I said, both of these do need work, but structurally are sound and well-built. The Overview really is NOT a bad price for what you get, so I think the issue has been the work and money that would be required to finish it. The neighborhood is friendly, safe, and improving. The neighbors are organized and determined to make it a great place to live. The military sent us here, and we feel so fortunate because the Quad Cities really have a lot to offer for a metro of this size. I would LOVE to see these two houses restored!

      Feel free to post other questions here and I’ll answer them if I can.

  40. AvatarSuzy Q says: 2 comments

    Nicole, How did you get to tour them? Did they both have open houses? I would LOVE to tour them! Send me an email! I would love to talk to you! ciliciasue@gmail.com

    • AvatarNicole says: 2 comments

      Hi Suzy, It was mostly luck! The neighborhood association invited some of the residents and volunteers to tour the Lambrite house. A resident who takes care of the Overlook for the owner was showing the house to an interested party and invited me along.

      For anyone interested in touring houses, there is a neighborhood house tour, which includes about 5-8 houses in the historic district, once every other year and open to the public (there is an entrance fee, which benefits the neighborhood redevelopment). We just had it in September 2014, so the next will be in 2016. That said, when we moved here, neighbors came to introduce themselves and we were happy to show them around our house, as are most of the neighbors, if they know you. There are two organizations that you can join if you’d like to help the neighborhood:

      http://davenportgoldcoast.org/ — this is the neighborhood organization
      http://grgdavenport.org/ — this is the redevelopment, formal business organization.
      Many people are involved with both, but the organizations serve different purposes.

      There is also a Christmas Tea every year, which we just had on Saturday in a house on 6th Street.

      • RossRoss says: 2384 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS


        I think buying a big old house where there is an active neighborhood association is a HUGE plus.

  41. Avatardavid truitt says: 1 comments

    i would 100% modernize the inside of this house to fit the look of the kitchen.. If someone went through and modernized the home while keeping subtle classic architectural qualities tied into the design, this home would become a home that would fetch over $600,000 easy..

    • TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

      Those noises you may be hearing are the collective gasps and thuds as we fall to the floor in shock of the words ” 100% modernize “……

      • RossRoss says: 2384 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS



      • AvatarD Johansson says: 1 comments

        Love this house!!! Yes Tim ,the words 100% modernize made me all most passout!!!!

  42. AvatarFrank D. Myers says: 62 comments

    Here’s more, including some photos, of the Lambrite Iles Petersen house: http://lucascountyan.blogspot.com/2014/12/good-news-for-historic-iowa-house.html

  43. AvatarJohn Cardani-Trollinger says: 2 comments

    This is an amazing house. The kitchen was built – shockingly – not for “you” but for the people who were renovating the house. People just LOVE to criticize….yet i wonder how many have a stock, boring kitchen at home?

  44. AvatarScott says: 1 comments

    I love old houses, and believe in keeping as much original design intact….. But there is a lot to be said for a modern kitchen, however much it is out of style with the rest of the house. I, for one, could be very happy in that kitchen!!

  45. AvatarPhillip says: 1 comments

    I’ve been in this house many times. I lived across the alley when a couple started the initial restoration in the early nineties. It’s a WONDERFUL space in a terrible neighborhood.

    • AvatarTerry says: 1 comments

      Phillip, you bring up an interesting subject, the neighborhood, that hasn’t really been addressed. what it the neighborhood like? are the surrounding homes run down, middle of the road, well maintained? what are the condition of the streets and other surrounding infrastructure? is there crime in the area? what are property taxes? what will it cost to heat and cool? i don’t necessarily expect you to answer these questions, they are just things rolling around in my head i haven’t seen anyone bring up.

      • AvatarFrank D. Myers says: 62 comments

        I think you’ll find the house is in a grand old inner-city neighborhood that declined precipitously and developed all the attendant problems, now working to rise again. The city seems to be on board and the public infrastructure, OK. Taxes in Iowa tend not to be outrageous, but a new owner would need deep pockets, a commitment to the neighborhood and to the Quad Cities and no particular need to recoup an investment. Obviously, even if restored, it would cost a great deal to maintain, heat and cool. So it’s not a house that would “flip” and most likely would crush anyone who tried to do that.

  46. AvatarJordan Tyler says: 1 comments

    Beautiful property to flip! Wish they had a better designer for the kitchen though, what a shame. They obviously put the money into it, all that wood wouldn’t be cheap. The granite was a poor choice as well, a marble or soapstone would been a better fit. The stain coloration too is off from the rest of the house, if they restore it to the same color as is. To me it kind of looks like a home depot kitchen design, which there is nothing wrong with that but with older homes one needs to be a bit more creative in materials and design to pull of the age and charm they have to offer. Maybe an educated buyer will get a good price on this gem to redo some choices and finish it off well. Great view, wish I was in IA to steal this piece of history!

  47. AvatarHolliwood says: 1 comments

    This home is grand and looks amazing! it would be awesome to see pictures of how it was decorated when it was occupied by the original owners back in the day. while the kitchen is beautiful, it doesn’t seem to fit the house exactly. it would be really cool to see a fireplace in the kitchen and something just a bit more appropriate for the time period.

  48. Avatardan says: 1 comments

    @ questions
    1. What happened did the homeowner run out of funds. seems like a lot of hit and misses on what do do with the home. Was it a one time a duplex? the double front doors and the slice up the grand staircase and the destroyed mural at the landing of the stairs? Don’t see any type of garage? is area zoned for Bed & Breakfast? how long has it been on the market

  49. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 769 comments

    So much about this house is lovely, but count me among those dismayed by the kitchen re-do.

    People who are careful to respect and preserve or restore the character in main rooms of an old house too often strip out the kitchen and bath, and the result is cheap and discordant.

  50. JulieJulie says: 122 comments

    I’m ripping out that kitchen in my mind…ahhhhhhh, so much better!

  51. Avatarnre says: 2 comments

    for those wondering about Davenport – there are 3 main historic districts in the city. This house is in the Gold Coast district –


    This neighborhood is in the south-central area of the city. For those who call it a terrible neighborhood, that is not a complete picture. It is not a perfect neighborhood, but it has changed tremendously in recent years. The best way to describe this neighborhood is like any Chicago neighborhood – as long as you use common sense you will be fine. It is certainly not terrible in the way I would imagine a terrible neighborhood – for example, Palmer College of Chiropractic, a world-renowned institution, is located on the northern edge of this neighborhood.

    McClellan Heights Historic District –


    This neighborhood is right next to the Village of East Davenport (original beginnings of the city of Davenport), and while the wikipedia article is mostly right is has the dates wrong. I know this because I live there and my house was built in 1894. It has many beautiful historic homes – I am regularly surprised that there aren’t more on this site (one example from 1903 – http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/31-Glenwood-Ave_Davenport_IA_52803_M78469-36599?row=8#modal_PhotoGallery)

    Lastly there is the Vander Veer historic district –


    This is built around a park that was modeled on NYC’s Central Park, and has many great historic homes surrounding it.

  52. AvatarMeg says: 1 comments

    My heart honestly skipped a beat when I read “heated terrazzo floors”… Then I saw the pictures. That stair is to die for!! Hollywood should scoop this up and use it for a movie set! The entire building is stunning!!

  53. AvatarDennis says: 1 comments

    I toured the house a couple of years ago, and would love top have the funds, time and energy to restore it. I live in the Stapp Mansion in Rock island, (The old Chateau Clothing store)and can attest to the time and money and energy required to restore a magnicifent home. After 12 years, we are still not done, but what fun we have had!

  54. AvatarTerry says: 7 comments

    I have been inside this home many times & I have several hundred photos of it as well as a copy of the floor plans. I will do my best to address the above questions/concerns.
    1. The views from the home are phenomenal, especially from the upper balcony. You look down onto the entire downtown Davenport, Iowa, the Mississippi River Valley, and over into Rock Island, Illinois. It’s a 180 degree view up river & down river. Magnificent!
    2. The kitchen is a bit dark for my tastes, especially the black granite. (soapstone would be my choice). But the kitchen looks better in person.
    3. The grand staircase did not simply have a dividing wall added, but was literally split in half , with each half moved about 4 inches left & 4 inches right. Amazing effort & expense. The same was done to the grand double entry doors. The framing was moved left & right to accommodate a wall between the ornate beveled doors.
    4. The basement is spacious with high ceilings, 6 or so rooms, including one labeled as “man’s room” for a grounds keeper/handyman/boiler man, etc.
    5. The original light fixtures are all long gone. I believe the lighting fixtures stored on basement shelves are from the mid 1900’s. No one seems to know how the large , crystal chandelier came to the house from the RKO Theater (Capitol Theater) right downtown. Matching chandeliers still hang in the theater.
    6. Most of the first floor rooms had ceiling fixtures originally, as well as wall sconces.
    7. The first floor ceilings once had decorative plaster mouldings spread across them. The elaborate friezes & cornices are intact.
    8. Other house parts remain in the basement or in the immense attic, including wooden balustrades, iron garden urns, ornate window cornices, etc.
    9. The house also contains several ornate, large, wonderful mirrors.
    10. Regarding the missing design between the paintings on the staircase landing: the original plans show the design for a classical design, square mirror in a wooden frame with an arch above with ornate mouldings. This was removed when the stair hall was split in half.
    11. The house contains 99% of its original important details, such as, ornate parquet floors, built-in hall bookcase, grand hall tree/seat, entry hall pillars, 5 fireplaces, 13? beveled/stained glass windows, all doors, woodwork, window frames, ornate friezes & cornices, 2 wall frescoes, etc.
    the house is simply AMAZING! 🙂

  55. AvatarPatrick Mitchell says: 5 comments

    The RKO light was put in the dining room first in the early 1980s when I believe the lady to have the last name of Berger and her daughter lived there. The plastered ceilings where still intact then and she was having the floors sanded and the original leaded front doors where still there. They ran into financial trouble and the sold the doors and the boiler and several things to Banowitz Antiques. A real shame. It would be so nice if you could post some of your pictures….and the floor plan….I also thought there was a dumb waiter in there also.

  56. AvatarSandy Galbraith says: 1 comments

    I love looking at pictures of old homes like this. This house is beautiful. I am trying to sell a home in Clinton Ia, that was built in 1867. It also has alot of character and history in my home like this one. Im hoping someone will buy it for $159,900 and appreciate the charm it has as they do this one. I love the older homes. So much beauty in them. I like the kitchen that was put into this home. Kitchens are the biggest expense to redo in a home. Having this kitchen already done will save whomever buys this home some money. My kitchen has all the original cherry cabinets and I have had people that have looked at my home say they need replaced to make it more up to date. I chose to never change the cabinets because I wanted to keep the home as original as possible. I hope someone buys this beautiful home and brings it back to its natural beauty.

  57. AvatarMary says: 1 comments

    I use to party/visit @ this house back in th late 70’s early 80’s. It was beautiful!! Friends of mine had to move and it was so sad to see the mother in grief of loosing her home.

    • AvatarSamantha E Berger says: 2 comments

      Is there a way I can speak with you? An email? I have some questions.

  58. AvatarKile R. says: 6 comments

    My great grandfather grew up in this house. He was originally a Frahm but his mother Julia was widowed and married August Steffen (also widowed). My great grandfather Mathias was adopted into the Steffen family. The Frahm house is at the foot of Overview and can be seen from the upper balcony. My mother has a marble statue and gilt pedestal that came out of this house. My brother has some Rococo tables. I would buy this house in a minute if I could and restore it to it’s former glory!

    • AvatarTerry Genz says: 7 comments

      I own the Frahm house, just below the hill from Overview mansion. August & Julia lived in her house for awhile until their new mansion was built on top of the hill. Their incredible house is built next door to August’s father’s house. I love living on this corner of Davenport, Iowa.

      • AvatarKile R. says: 6 comments

        I did not know that they lived in the Frahm house first. I bet there are a lot of things you could tell me. I have always been curious as to how Julia’s husband died.

        • AvatarTerry says: 7 comments

          Kile R. I’m interested in swapping information about the Frahms, Steffens & the Overview Mansion. I have lived across the street for 25 years & I’ve been inside the house many times. I adore it 🙂

  59. AvatarTerry Genz says: 7 comments

    Also of note, August Steffen’s sister, Meta, then moved into the Frahm house with her new husband, Dr. Matthey. It’s interesting how the two properties swapped women.

  60. AvatarTerry says: 7 comments

    Hey Kile R. The Gold Coast neighborhood organization has been collecting information & photos, for many years, of any/all houses in our historic district. We would love to see photos of the statue & pedestal, as well as the rococo tables, if possible. I can provide my email or cell# to you, if you wish. Thanks so much!

  61. AvatarKile R. says: 6 comments

    I can email you pictures of the statue and pedestal. My brother has the tables in storage right now. Really can’t get a pic. of them. If you want to send me a friend request on Facebook we could communicate that way. I will send you a request.

  62. Avatarjjaxxx says: 2 comments

    This house is back on the market,now listed for sale by owner at $299,000

  63. AvatarDaveinQCA says: 11 comments

    Price still needs to come down a bit I think, but what an amazing property!

    Enough about the kitchen!!! The good thing about it, whether you like it or not, it is separated from the rest of the house, as a kitchen should be. It has two points of access, one from the back service hall and the other through a butler’s pantry off the dining room. Actually, the butler’s pantry has been converted into a wine room/bar, and is now an alcove at the side of the kitchen, through which you pass to enter the dining room.

    Many original photos of the house have recently surfaced and have been scanned. Expect to see some of those showing up soon.

    Oh, Terry and Kile R., Henry Frahm died of liver problems in 1894. Son, Mathias was less than a year old.

  64. AvatarETNAntiqueGuy says: 1 comments

    What is the story on this home. Did it have a Happy Ending? I just found this and fell in love with this old beauty!

    • Avatarjjaxxx says: 2 comments

      Still for sale by owner 299,000 as of today when I went by it if your interested the phone number is on zillow

  65. AvatarJerri Griffin says: 1 comments

    I, like lost readers regarding information on this house, have fallen in love
    with this beautiful home. Reading about the families that acquired this home
    has captivated me. No other words needed, other than I have never seen
    another house like Overview. Lovely.

  66. AvatarDmack says: 1 comments

    I’ve been looking at this house for a while and have been considering purchasing it. However, my wife is concerned about “unwanted occupants,” ghosts and such. Can anyone shed some light into this darkness?

    • RossRoss says: 2384 comments


      One possible solution?

      You buy this FABULOUS house.

      Your wife can buy a new condo in Miami.

  67. AvatarDaveinQCA says: 11 comments

    OK, you’re joking, right?

  68. AvatarSally says: 1 comments

    Is this still for sale if so how do you get a hold of someone who will call back. I have been trying for 3 months and talked to I don’t know how many different Realtors and all I get is well get the info and call you back.

  69. AvatarCarlaLynn says: 1 comments

    This is a beautiful majestic lady… She is lovely. Wish she was mine.

  70. AvatarTerry Genz says: 7 comments

    Finally SOLD after many years on the market. I don’t know any other details yet.

    • RossRoss says: 2384 comments

      Thanks for the update! It will be cool to learn who purchased the house, and their plans.

      This is one of my favorite ever houses on OHD.

  71. AvatarKile Rocha says: 6 comments

    Thank you Terry for the update and all your correspondence. So looking forward to the house receiving some love and attention from someone. Please keep us updated at things progress 🙂

  72. AvatarPamela Ky girl says: 51 comments

    My husband was born in Iowa in Cedar County. They went to Davenport to shop. It is a nice city. That home is gorgeous. I love it all that it is & could be. The kitchen is marvelous to me.

  73. AvatarAnnKC says: 1 comments

    Does anyone know the status of this home? I hope that someone kept it whole and restored!

  74. AvatarDaveinQCA says: 11 comments

    The house is being carefully and meticulously restored as a single family residence. The house could not be in better hands.

  75. AvatarWhitney Adkins Mvondo says: 1 comments

    Is there somewhere (online) where the public can view pics of updates?…

  76. AvatarSamantha E Berger says: 2 comments

    I hope this is ok. I am looking for my family. I am the daughter of Katharyn & Alex bergers youngest son, Thomas Berger. I really want to know my grandparents and the rest of my family. Even the smallest things. If anyone knew of them please message me sberger0892@gmail.com Thank you

  77. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10086 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I’m going to close comments. If the new owners or anyone else has an update on how things are going, I’ll open them back up. Contact me when ready. 🙂 kelly@oldhousedreams.com


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