1909 Colonial Revival – Saginaw, MI (George F. Barber)

SOLD / Archived From 2014
Added to OHD on 2/26/14   -   Last OHD Update: 3/30/19   -   53 Comments
Address Withheld
  • $25,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 2767 Sq Ft
Take a step back in time with this amazing Historic Home situated in the Cathedral District, not far from Saint Mary’s Hospital. A personal tour is a must to appreciate all that this home has to offer. The woodwork and hardwood floors catch your attention immediately when you walk through the grand front foyer area, and then you notice the tile work around the fireplace and the amazing open staircase and pocket doors. If you are looking for a historic home you do not want to pass this one by!
Sold By
Irvin Gilliam, Modern Real Estate Services,
(734) 260-0248
Status, price and other details may not be current and must be independently verified.
OHD does not represent this home.

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53 Comments on 1909 Colonial Revival – Saginaw, MI (George F. Barber)

OHD does not represent homes on this site. Contact the agent listed for details including current price and status.
  1. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    OK. I was already deeply in love from the first interior images.

    Then I saw the dining room sideboard. Wow. Wow! WOW!

    I do not ever recall seeing such a configuration of an arched window over a center mirror. SO very very cool and wonderful.

    And that staircase?????? LOVE the sweet Juliet balcony, and the sitting area on the intermediate level.

    But, mostly I want the place just so I can strip the siding off the dormer window. Poor window. It deserves better.

    • AvatarJoyce Skillman says: 1 comments

      I lived here from1973 to 2009. Never got around to stripping
      The window in attic. It was boarded up when we brought it. We were only the 3rd family to own it.
      I fell in love with the staircase from I first saw it!
      Check Saginaw News achieve. Talk to Tom Trombley at Saginaw Museum old post office behind downtown library.

  2. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    OMG! I only just now noticed the price!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    $40K? For THIS???????????????????

  3. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    Ahhh, the price makes sense.

    Saginaw has seen its population drop in half since 1960. Every decade since 1960 has seen a decline, with a whopping 16% loss between 2000 and 2010.

    This would also account for the many many vacant lots around this gorgeous home, lots obviously once occupied by similar homes.

    From Wikipedia: “The city of Saginaw was once a thriving lumber town in the 19th century and an important industrial city and manufacturing center throughout much of the 20th century. However, by the late 20th century, Saginaw’s industry and its once-strong manufacturing presence declined, leading to increasing unemployment, crime, and a decrease in population.”

    And: “Unemployment and population loss in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has led to significant blight and a rise in abandoned homes in the city of Saginaw, providing locations for criminal activities such as arson, squatting, and drug deals to occur. In recent years, city officials, local law enforcement, and neighborhood watch associations have made progress in the prevention of these activities by heavily patrolling target areas and offering rewards for reporting illegal or suspicious activities.”

    The more I research, the more I wonder if the $40K ask is too high.


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

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Yeah, Saginaw is very high crime. There was another home posted in Saginaw that was just as cheap, some of the comments were enlightening.link

  5. AvatarRachel Shoemaker says: 47 comments

    WOW! The interior is not what I expected to see! I’ll pass on the exterior but the interior is just gorgeous.

  6. Avatarkenny says: 99 comments

    A truly remarkable home. The solar panel on the roof in back is interesting, and no doubt installed to lower the heating bills from the fierce winters. The front dormer is quite odd and seems out of place. Other than that, the beautiful woodwork and grand staircase more than make up for those small distractions.

    Unfortunately, Saginaw has suffered terrible blight and high unemployment. Hopefully a local investor will become interested enough to restore this fine house.

  7. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    Thank Kelly for the link to the other Saginaw house. Wow. Another knock-out.

    As everybody knows, Detroit (where I was born) also has SERIOUS problems, but there are neighborhoods I would not hesitate to purchase in, Like Boston-Edison, Indian Village, Corktown, and the downtown core. The latter is experiencing a who-would-have-believed-it resurgence which seemed impossible even a decade ago. And it seems like Curbed Detroit weekly announces yet another long abandoned apartment building or office tower being renovated. Just a few weeks ago an experienced developer snapped up the massive and long abandoned Packard Plant. The towering Broderick Tower, after being empty for decades, was renovated last year into apartments and was fully leased before even opening. The huge Whitney Building next door will open this year, also after being empty for decades.

    However, I do not get the impression that this kind of good news is happening, yet, to Saginaw. I would love to be corrected!

    I have said it before, but something is seriously wrong with this country in that we allow the ruination of our urban/architectural heritage, all the while endlessly promoting new suburban growth, stupendously expensive wars in other countries, etc..

  8. AvatarDavid Sims says: 3 comments

    One of the most beautiful interiors I have ever seen. That staircase!!!!! Then the sideboard!!! In Love!!

  9. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    Oops! Sorry Kelly!

  10. Avatarles says: 5 comments

    absolutely love the wood work in this house…was not expecting that when I saw the outside…and the price ??!! Wow…again wish I could move that house here but I’m sure it would cost a crapload to move it near Ottawa…lol….I found the black and white photos of the “not so amazing” rooms odd but the house doesn’t look like it needs much work

  11. AvatarJames R. says: 68 comments

    Interesting transitional features inside that show Colonial Revival stylistic variations on Craftsman/Mission type features. There were a lot of homes in this period that were influenced by both Colonial or Classical Revival styles and the Craftsman ethos. If you look at restored interiors in modern magazines, you would think that the styles were much more strictly segregated than they were in practice.

    Agree with Ross about sadly misplaced values in this country that lead to neighborhoods falling into ruin in one town and virgin land being bulldozed outside another for more cookie-cutter McMansions. Ultimately unsustainable.

  12. AvatarEric says: 6 comments

    I’m from Saginaw. I’m surprised to see this house where it’s located. You couldn’t pay me to live on the 900 block of Cherry and calling this the Cathedral District is stretching it (that’s to you, realtor, shame!) Beautiful house, LOVE the interior. I adore it!

    40K is way too high for this house. A lower price could bring less savory buyers such as slumlords sadly. But in truth this house shouldn’t sell of 20K.

  13. AvatarEric says: 6 comments

    Sorry, I was mistaken, this house isn’t as far down Cherry as I thought. This area is the Cathedral District, you can live here if you’re a pioneer-type for gentrification. Still I wouldn’t offer more than 15K on it. If I had a reason to stay here I would but I don’t want to stay here sadly.

  14. AvatarZoie says: 49 comments

    All the glorious unpainted woodwork!

  15. Avatarkenny says: 99 comments

    Hold the phone! If you want to be amazed at local prices, check out http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1405-E-Genesee-Ave-Saginaw-MI-48607/67239312_zpid/
    here is a beautiful old house, already renovated it appears, in what appears to be impeccable condition, all for $25K!

  16. Avatarmarcia says: 6 comments

    Wow, this house is A-mazing!! I agree with Ross. I love love love the interior, the woodwork and pocket doors and that built-in in the dining room is just gorgeous. It’s got the cool back staircase too, and unpainted woodwork.Great character and potential, it would be so fun to restore. I don’t know anything about Saginaw, but the price is shocking to me as I live in MN and even in the bad areas, you can’t find a house this beautiful for anywhere near this cheap, at least not that I’ve seen. I can’t even imagine it being only worth $15K, That’s sad!! Poor Saginaw, I hope that things improve there and neighborhoods ban together to fight crime and restore these gorgeous old houses and make it a nice community so people can enjoy these old houses & restore these gems.

  17. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    Hi Kenny,

    The house you linked to is a STEAL at $25K. Indeed, I do not think I have even seen a better deal. Ever.

    However…your link reveals a house that has been significantly updated, including new vinyl windows, new interior vinyl doors, new bathrooms, and a new kitchen. Although such updates will, no doubt, be highly appealing to many buyers. My sister, for example!

    Still…I much prefer the house listed here. Much prefer.

    It likely can be purchased for less than the ask, and its interior looks to be in near-original condition. This is highly attractive to me, and many other potential buyers. The house also has significantly superior interior trim and detailing.

    So, crazy guy that I am, I lust after 922 Cherry Street. But Is suspect that your linked house will sell much faster.

  18. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    Hi again Kenny,

    I just did a Google “walk” in front of your linked house.

    It has obviously just been flipped (which is OK with me). But the immediate area is much less attractive than 922 Cherry Street.

    Still, $25K and move-in ready? Again, the place is a steal.

  19. Chris DiMatteiChris DiMattei says: 261 comments

    I am quite certain that the reason everyone loves the interior of this home, is because it was designed by George F. Barber. The house bears a close resemblance to a mesh of a few published designs, and the staircase is vintage Barber. Easily worth the asking price.

  20. Avatarjohn c says: 35 comments

    For those interested in historic preservation and urban planning in Saginaw, this article may be a springboard for gathering information. http://mhpn.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/conversations-with-a-shrinking-city-interning-in-saginaw-mi/

  21. Paul WPaul W says: 563 comments

    The unfortunate fate of too many houses like this is either slumlords who pitch all that ‘old stuff” or salvage dealers who will “architecturally rape” the house, truck it down south and build a multi million dollar “new’ house with all that architectural detail.

    Or we will see all this interior on Ebay soon. Sad state of affairs for many cities like Saginaw and many other cities in the rust belt when the ‘salvage value’ exceeds the asking price of the house.

    Such a wonderful intact interior.

  22. AvatarTerri L Miller says: 4 comments

    Thank you so much for appreciating this beautiful home! I apologize for the description text, the text was suppose to read: “Take a step back in time with this amazing Historic Home situated in the Cathedral District, not far
    from Saint Mary’s Hospital. A personal tour is a must to appreciate all that this home has to offer.
    The woodwork and hardwood floors catch your attention immediately when you walk through the
    grand front foyer area, and then you notice the tile work around the fireplace and the amazing open
    staircase and pocket doors. If you are looking for a historic home you do not want to pass this one
    by! ” Unfortunately the person that uploads this information with my office, took the agent info in lieu of public text 🙁 This home truly deserves a grand description. And I am so with you on getting that siding off and showing off those beautiful windows!

  23. AvatarTerri L Miller says: 4 comments

    This home is situated in The Cathedral District which is very much a community on the rebound. As the listing agent on this home, I am very excited to see all the conversation that has been generated surrounding this grand beauty. Special people with their love of Historic Homes and Preservation bringing homes back to life one at a time. 🙂

  24. AvatarTerri L Miller says: 4 comments

    Thank you Kelly!

  25. AvatarT. Zoellner says: 1 comments

    Can this house be relocated??

  26. AvatarGypsywolf says: 10 comments

    found this place while flipping through listings after searching for houses older than 1920 and then happened upon this website when i went to look for it again. the photos of the staircase caught me right away. LOVE IT!! i actually drove by the place on my way home from work (i work in saginaw). lots are much smaller in person than in the photos. area definitely not the best, but not the worst. no for sale sign in front of the house – so i don’t know if its still active. house looks stable – neighbor homes look tired.. but kept up as best they can. did see one home on the block that looked as if it should be torn down. didn’t feel comfortable parking and walking around the outside house in case its no longer up for sale. sure wish they could move homes like this beauty to safer areas!

  27. AvatarNikki Engel says: 10 comments

    I was just lucky enough to tour this home today! its still on the market. the photos don’t really do it justice. the interior far outshines the exterior of this home. the floor plan is super neat – they made the most of the space – little storage spots all over. not just boxy squares – rooms have varied sizes (although upper rooms are VERY plain). the super bright glare above the mahogany built in in the dining area is an arched window! the pocket doors are thick, solid, mahogany, and working well. there is a maids quarters just off the kitchen and near those little back stairs. interior is somehow compact – but roomy at the same time. that gorgeous staircase is even better looking in person! the attic is HUGE! you could make a studio apt in it. its accessed by a standard stairway. it takes up the entire roof area appears to be 12 foot or so high in the center and features a solid, sturdy ladder to access the rooftop. there is a solar panel that was installed on the roof (possibly non-working anymore). the photos don’t show it – but there is a “domed” ceiling section in the middle of one of the front rooms (the one with the beautiful glass doors) – rather poorly done in very wide wallpaper and mirrors that appear to have an Asian look to them being decorated in red patterns that were very 1960’s looking, but could be redone in plasters and/or trims with a proper light fixture. the basement was a bit creepy (good lighting and sweeping out would easily fix that) – but equally huge with lots of labyrinthine storage nooks and a separated bathroom and workman’s shower (both of which look like they need work) – also has a walkout stairway to the yard and possible root cellar. there is old internal water damage here and there in the house from some internal pipe leaks no longer leaking – but water stains are still around along with some cracked and falling plaster. newer furnace/boiler installed approx 1990’s, also an incinerator (possibly non working). kitchen is nothing to speak of – but there are built in cabinets galore (they are the yellow cupboards pictured in the listing – but if you turn around in front of the cupboards you’ll find some modern cabinetry and a sink with a space for a stove and fridge kinda reminded me of an apartment – not much counter space and not much room for a remodel unless you access the butlers pantry off the dining room somehow. the sink in the photos above are actually in a little area between two of the bedrooms upstairs – Realtor suggested a possible upper floor laundry would go well there (there is laundry hookup in the basement – but does not appear convenient to get to with armloads of clothes) home stands empty but is well tended with a security system and lawn care crew. Realtor mentioned that “This Old House” would be featuring this home in its magazine next month and it has a plaque on the front door stating “cathedral district historic home tour”. the column that is missing chucks on its upper part has the pieces resting on the porch – can be repairs for cosmetic purposes. this house is very amazing in person, better than the pics. the black and white photos of some of the rooms are hiding some of the pinks and yellows that are on the walls a bit – but that’s easy fixes. Realtor also mention that the area was in the process of becoming a official “historic district”. while there, i saw folks jogging, walking a dog, and the neighbor was getting her small, but neat yard a trim from a lawn crew. yard is tiny – but looks easy to care for and in fenced in chain link. all light fixtures need to be change – they are mostly cheaper modern brass affairs that just don’t go well in the place. the front attic gable leaded glass window is still fully intact and is just hiding under the siding waiting to come out! place seemed well insulated. noticed some newer electrical wiring alongside very old electrical wiring in the attic. i saw 2 fuse boxes.. one small one with glass fuses, one larger main one elsewhere with proper breaker fuses. the bathrooms are functional – but i would gut them out and completely re-do them – both are sizable – the upper one looks big enough for a garden style tub, plus separate shower, and of course sink and commode. the lower floor just oozed “class” – the upper rooms are much more basic except for the nifty built in benches (see photos) next to a bright door that leads to a balcony over the side porch (needs a lot of repair there – but seemed solid when i walked out on it) – but there is narrow plank wood floors throughout – and hardly a squeak or creak anywhere in the house! house stood quiet – didn’t hear much of anything outside at all. very peaceful. if i could get the family to move out of the country i would definitely be begging for this place! i took a few more photos if the moderator of this site would like to post them.

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

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Uploaded a few pics, courtesy of Nikki, thanks!

    The agent link is showing no longer for sale, Trulia is still showing as active although the link provided to the agents site from Trulia doesn’t work. I’m not sure this if this is still active, sold or just off market.

  29. RossRoss says: 2384 comments

    Thanks Nikki (and Kelly!) for the additional images.

    Nikki, you wrote: “the front attic gable leaded glass window is still fully intact and is just hiding under the siding waiting to come out!”

    I am dying to see an image!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I assume you can see the window from inside the attic?

  30. Avatargypsywolf says: 10 comments

    Kelly and Ross,

    Kelly, thanks for posting my pics! The realtor had mentioned that the listing was expiring but that he was going to renew it.


    Yes, you can see the window in the attic. Unfortunately, it was pretty dark in the nook where it is and I couldn’t get a good photo. My cell phone doesn’t have a flash. I’d hate to pester the realtor again since even though I am very interested in this home, I am not in any position to purchase it. Realtor also mentioned that the owners husband would have a habit of “improving” the home while she was at work without asking her. She would come home to find that paneling now covered walls or siding was put up, or light fixtures would appear in odd places. The husband apparently covered the window on a whim. Owner had lived there approx. 30 years and raised her family there.

    Other items to note on the home is that the price is not very negotiable. There is an existing mortgage on it that needs to be met, cash or conventional loans only.

    The realtor did mention a write up was going to be on this house in next months “This Old House” issue. Perhaps it will feature a better photo of the old window.

  31. RosewaterRosewater says: 4410 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    “Tourismguy” (Bruce Wicks)on Flickr just posted some pix of one of the more spectacular Barber houses – I’ve – ever seen. Thought you all might enjoy; https://flic.kr/p/r25ncg Here’s the B&B pix page; https://www.facebook.com/gladdenhouse/photos_stream?ref=page_internal Cheers!

    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10086 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Wow! I agree, it’s one of the best Barber homes I’ve ever seen, maybe not in architectural design but in paint job and interior decor alone it’s fantastic! And their Christmas decorating, it’s my kind of decorating (simply done but jaw droopingly stunning.) Thanks for sharing the links to the house!

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 4410 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Sure 🙂 Was hoping Chris would see the note too so he could mark the house on his inventory, if he doesn’t already know about it.

  32. AvatarNikki Engel says: 10 comments

    FYI to everyone that loves this house! i was just looking up the address to show this house to some friends when i noticed that zillow states its now in foreclosure! i really hate to see this house ransacked. is there any way to save it somehow? i fear that if it goes untended too long – it may become a target. the neighborhood its in is not terrible in my opinion – but its blocks away from a bad zone. help!

  33. Michael MackinMichael Mackin says: 1269 comments

    It breaks my heart to see this house standing by the wayside all because of the neighborhood. In any other place, this would be a bargain.

  34. AvatarTara and Michael says: 1 comments

    How would I get in contact with some one about this home. We pass by it regularly and wouldn’t mind trying to find out an asking price or foreclosure price. If anyone knows or has any information please email us Thank you

  35. AvatarBrenRN says: 5 comments

    I am sad to say that an investment company picked this beautiful house up for $3,500 at the end of January. They do “rehabs” 🙁

    • Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10086 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Have you seen anything they’ve “rehabbed” before? Let’s hope they aren’t going to turn this into a white and gray mess like most rehabbers are doing right now.

      • AvatarBrenRN says: 5 comments

        No, I haven’t seen any of the rehabs done by this company but whenever I hear that term I cringe! I started looking for a home in this neighborhood after I saw this one on your website. It had already gone into foreclosure and the bank did not respond to my inquiries. Most of the homes I have looked at since then have been “rehabbed” or “improved”. I keep waiting for another gem to appear.

  36. AvatarAJ says: 1 comments

    I grew up in this beautiful home. It’s a great place for kids. We spent years playing in all the nooks; I used to read books up on the roof top. There’s nothing like sliding down a solid wood bannister. Some of my prom pictures are looking down from the Juliet balcony. One of my sisters was married in the living room. It holds lots of memories.

  37. AvatarMelC says: 1 comments

    I just found this house listed for sale again on Zillow, unfortunately no recent pics to see what previous buyers did. It’s listed for $25,000. I would love to live in a beautiful home like this, but s/o won’t consider it. I hope it still looks as good as it did in the pictures and sounded in the descriptions.

  38. AvatarVegasDevilKitten says: 8 comments

    I love,love,love this house. Seriously considering.

  39. AvatarDwayne says: 2 comments

    Me and my wife bought this house in June of 2017
    It still Needs some work but still a beautiful old house and trying to keep it that way.I would like to find the original blueprint floor plans for this house so far no luck
    We sold a 1846 dance hall turned into a house for this one

    • RossRoss says: 2384 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      Dwayne, you purchased an incredible house! Congrats!

    • Chris DiMatteiChris DiMattei says: 261 comments

      Dwayne, Original blueprints for any given historic house are rare to be sure. Usually, if they still exist, they are in the possession of the descendants of the original owner of the home. As best I can tell from the info available to me online, your home was built in 1907 for William E. McCorkle, a manager for a lumber mill that created wood for piano manufacturing. If any members of the McCorkle family are still in Saginaw, they may be of some help to you. Also, when researching the history of your home, be aware that it was originally numbered 322, before being renumbered to 922, sometime in the 1920’s. If you uncover any historical artifacts of your home, please let me know as I am involved in researching the architect of your home, a man named George F. Barber (1854-1915). Please feel free to correspond with me directly at my crdimattei@gmail.com email address. Thanks.

    • AvatarTerri Miller says: 4 comments

      Congratulations Dwayne! I hope you and your wife have many happy years on Cherry Street. I was the listing agent on this home prior to it going back to the bank, I would love to see some current photos if you have some? Have a great journey 🙂

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