1891 – Oswego, NY

Added to OHD on 6/12/13   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   21 Comments
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113 W 3rd St, Oswego, NY 13126

  • $50,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 2594 Sq Ft
  • 0.05 Ac.
Home needs to be repaired due to damage done by fraternity students. Adorable Queen Ann Victorian home is approximately 2500 Square Feet. 4 to 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, NEWER roof, NEW updated Wiring, NEW Central Air, NEW On Demand Hot Water Tank all put in within the last 4 years. The Victorian Features, stained glass, unpainted woodwork and crystal chandeliers, wooden planked ceilings, Tile inlaid fireplace just to mention a few of the unique Victorian Features in this home. You will not find in any house for this price nor such a location so close to everything. Rented out by students who turned it into fraternity and now needs some moderate cosmetic repairs. Going to highest offer and need to close by end of June.

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21 Comments on 1891 – Oswego, NY

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  1. John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

    This one’s been around the block a time or two and the couple of interior photos don’t even begin to do this home’s interior justice-without exaggeration, the interior millwork is phenomenal. Wasn’t it on OHD two to three years ago? I believe in the earlier listing, there was still a matching carriage house in the back (right side) but it might have been lost since then. I think the 1891 date is a bit off..I’d date it to around 1885 when some Queen Annes still featured a lot of what was called “Eastlake” style millwork mainly in geometric patterns. Others might call it Aesthetic Movement stylistically, but whatever you want to label it there’s plenty to be found inside. But Oswego is on Lake Ontario and it gets a lot of snow…no, I mean a WHOLE lot of snow: (I omitted posting the long Google photo link but it showed massive snow banks towering over a road grader trying to clear some of it.) If it were in a more temperate clime, I’d gladly pay twice what they’re asking and still feel like I scored an extreme bargain. But its in Oswego, NY and location in this case is a huge issue. I can hardly believe this home declined into a frat house use for a while; to me, this is one of the most beautiful Victorian homes ever featured on OHD and now, for a mere $50k, someone can buy a real Dreamhome-Doll House-or Wedding Cake, take your pick.

  2. says: 472 comments

    Now if I could pick this house up and move it to a nicer location…

    Oswego has tons of great old homes like this. Like so much of New York State, times are tough there, so prices are pretty low. The office of the former Oswego Shopper next door is currently for rent at $750 a month. I’m not sure if this is the one in Oswego that Kelly posted before. I could be wrong, but I think that was a different house. Tried to look it up but didn’t find anything:(

  3. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11793 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Yes, different house. I don’t think I’ve posted this one before. And I think this may be under contract, not entirely sure.

  4. John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

    Thanks, Kelly. I know it was on the market in the past at a much higher price. I’m not surprised to hear a contract might be on it already. As much as I hate to say it, the interior would probably salvage out for more than the asking price. Properly restored and painted in period colors (although I kind of like the bright Painted Ladies scheme) the house would be a knockout.

  5. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11793 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Added more interior pics, thanks to Marcia A., although I’m not sure the date (yet!)

  6. John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

    Thanks for the added photos, Kelly. As mentioned, the house has some incredible woodwork/millwork inside. In the listing from 2-3 years ago one photo showed a (dining room?) ceiling all finished out in wood with coffered beams and diagonal strips of (probably beautifully grained) wood. All of the interior wood is dark from the aged shellac finish which darkens over time. When removed with denatured alcohol (the traditional solvent for shellac) the bright colors of the woods will show through. Both the interior and exterior are very much in the Eastlake/Aesthetic Movement taste popular in the 1880’s. I really love this house and the listing price is unbelievable.

  7. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11793 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Interior photos were taken in 2004, before it was a frat house.

  8. tj in osw. says: 4 comments

    That house is not a steal for 50k because the interior is so thrashed (no pics for obvious reasons) that it needs 45k to make it habitable and close to 80k if you want it true victorian again (wallpaper/paint/floors etc.). I vote for the latter. The millwork inside is phenomenal, but alot of it is now broken/missing, and will cost ALOT to replace. If you reglue the millwork (if you can find it all) it will need to be refinished. All of the doors inside (yes all of them) are destroyed and so are the door jambs. There are too many holes in the walls to count. Someone broke those stained glass windows you see, and the front window has bullet holes in it! Someone peeled parts of the wallpaper, purposely broke 140 year old millwork, built a bar in the living room, and ruined the bathrooms. Yes the frat boys painted the clouds in the rooms, and they are no longer purple. Why am I telling you all this…so you wont buy the house? No. Because I hope criminal charges were filed against the person (s) who did serious damage to this very beautiful and previously well preserved historic oswego home. It does not need moderate cosmetic; it needs a serious overhaul. If you stand in front of it though (its just off franklin square) it stands in its splendor bruised, but not beat down, ready to be saved. I just may save it.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11793 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Wow, that’s so sad to hear it was vandalized like that. Maybe who ever decided to buy it will be able to fix what’s been broken.

  9. John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

    So sad to hear of the house’s mistreatment. Before its frat house incarnation, the interior was phenomenal and rare. Now it would have to be someone’s labor of love to have any chance at bringing it back. I too hope the vandals pay for their crimes against this once beautiful historic home.

  10. tj in osw. says: 4 comments

    I am negotiating a contract with seller presently, and if all goes well, I will begin resto immediately, room by room, victorian proper.

  11. tj in osw. says: 4 comments

    Im glad Marcia posted interior pics because you can see the slatted walnut alternating direction milled ceiling that is in the foyer and dining room at the top of one of the photos. There are downward hanging finials at the corner of each box. The fretting above the doorways in the dining room is very pretty, and the mirrored mantle is ball and stick. I agree with John there are many early aesthetic elements present. It is a beautiful house that must be saved. Anyone know how to restore cracked stained glass?

  12. John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

    If the damage isn’t too extensive, broken pieces can be re-lined with thin copper foil and re-soldered. You’ll have some extra lead lines in the design but a few are usually not too noticeable. More extensive damage requires disassembly and replacement with (often old salvage) restoration glass having the same colors and textures. A firm or craftsperson working on antique windows should have experience with them especially in matching the replacement panes with the old. I know of several stained glass restoration firms in Ohio but most likely there are some nearer to Oswego as well. Engage in a general house clean up first and carefully save every scrap of original material that you can. Avoid a gutting to the studs approach unless you have just won the lottery. Plan on using plenty of wood glue for damage repairs. (yellow, polyurethane, …sometimes generically called “Gorilla” glue, and pints of epoxy two part glue) A lot of damage can often be repaired and touched up so that it is not visible. Moving companies employ touch up people all of the time to repair mover’s damage to expensive furniture and to save them from having to pay for replacement pieces. You might want to find someone in that line of work to tackle the more difficult damages. Missing, one of a kind pieces, can be replicated but expect to pay plenty for custom hand made things like spindles and finials. Van Dykes Restorers sells many stock wood elements of this kind and they sell online. Last, you might consider if you have some woodworking skills investing in a good used turning lathe with a chisels set and then make your own pieces. Good hardwoods can still be found in western NY State at reasonable prices. If your budget is limited then you’ll have to become resourceful and do much of the work yourself. The Old House Journal (not to be confused with This Old House) has a lot of how-to tips for old house restoration D-I-Y’ers. Back issues of this useful magazine can be bought online pretty reasonably and the older ones from past decades had more how-to articles than recent issues. Whatever you may lack money wise you’ll have to make up with creativity/ingenuity, knowledge, and sweat equity. Focus on priorities and complete one project as a time. Many of us who read this blog have been or are in the Old House restoration trenches ourselves so please feel welcomed to seek advice and information. Good luck on your house purchase and restoration plans!

  13. tj in osw says: 4 comments

    Thanks for the input and resource tips, John. Some of the panes have spiderweb cracks so they will need to be replaced, but whoever did it was resourceful enough that they didnt forget to damage them all. I think most will need work because they are geometric small square pattern which thankfully shouldnt be too hard to do. First step is to get the power on and start ceilings and work my way down and floors are last(?) The upstairs bathroom is going bye bye to become a study because it was never a bathroom to begin with. We can live with one bathroom and not repairing it will make it alot easier. I can refinish and glue millwork but do not work with wood. I do know people with lathes… Someone put in a new subfloor under the carpeting at the top of the landing so that makes me nervous and the upstairs floors are a bit rickety. Is this a normal finding in a victorian? Why put a subfloor over tongue and groove flooring? Parts of this are making me nervous.

  14. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11793 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Received a notice this is going to auction, link

    Thursday, Mar 19, 2015
    Auction starts at 9:00 am
    Oswego County Courthouse
    25 E. Oneida St., Oswego, NY 13126

    • Sarah Shoults says: 1 comments

      I saw this house over the summer and only seeing the outside of it I fell in love. I just recently got pre-approved for a 50,000 dollar mortgage and I’m too late because now its going to auction. Do you have an idea of how much you think it will go for in the auction? Just an around about guess?

      • John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

        Given all the interior damage by the fraternity dwellers as mentioned above, I think it might go for less than $50k but I doubt if your pre-approved mortgage amount applies to a house in this condition. Usually, lenders studiously avoid funding fixer-uppers like this one. You’d certainly want to verify with your lender before making an auction bid. I wouldn’t be surprised if the successful bidder turns around and marks up the price before putting it back on the market without doing any work on it. Sometimes such a zero investment flip sells and makes a modest profit for the seller.

  15. John Shiflet says: 5473 comments

    That’s truly disappointing. This is one of my all-time favorite old houses. But I’d be facing a divorce lawyer if I tried to move my spouse that far north into the snow belt. I hope someone buys they house who recognizes its uniqueness and has the resources to bring it back. In period colors, this house would be a real knockout. Spring is only a month away and today’s snow and ice will be fading away by then. I would imagine summers are pleasant here as it is near the Lake.

  16. mike p says: 2 comments

    I have been watching this beautiful home for years now, before that the chauncee house on bridge street before it met its maker, I was in that house a week before it was demolished and it was unbelievable for me to think someone would demo it. Houses like this are few and far between and its a shame I am sure I will not win this one in auction either. Some out of towner with a bank roll will scoop it up, fix it with modern junk and most likely rent it back out to another frat. Although Oswego has new laws on out of town owners of rental properties it has not stopped them. I lived in 2 other houses in Oswego owned by a certain landlord from nyc and she had no concern for maintaining the architectural or historical value of these beautiful landmarks. If for some odd reason I can win this home, I will post pics and vids of the step by step resto this once grand estate deserves. I am a master carpenter and can make anything out of anything. I will be utilizing local tradesmen to assist in the rehab of this home. Only time will tell. But don’t count on it, count on it being demoed within the next ten to fifteen years after another out of town landlord picks it up for a steal and lets it decay to the point the county views as unsafe.

  17. mike p says: 2 comments

    went to the auction, auctioneer a no show, looks like this ones gonna be vacant for a while longer. As expected the greasy landlord group was there waiting to scoop it up like always. Between two of the people there they own around 100 rentals in Oswego alone. Good luck 113 youll be a rental soon enough.

  18. LindseyA says: 1 comments

    I absolutely love this house! I would love to transform this beauty back to it’s former glory. It’s a shame I don’t currently have the means to do so. My heart will ache if it gets added to the demo list.

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