Second Empire – Hillsboro, OH

Added to OHD on 4/24/14   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   25 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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132 E Walnut St, Hillsboro, OH 45133

  • $39,900
  • 6 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 2972 Sq Ft
  • 0.45 Ac.
Historical home with lots of original charm in tact. Some updates have been completed. Located in Hillsboro Historic Business District. Double lots with flowering trees and perenials.
Contact Information
Diane Uhl, Prudential Chambers Realty,
(937) 393-1948

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

25 Comments on Second Empire – Hillsboro, OH

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  1. TracyTracy says: 93 comments

    Oh, my goodness! For that price, where do I sign? (I may even be willing to excuse the neighboring building having been built about two feet away…)

  2. Paul W says: 471 comments

    This is well priced until you look at the condition of the wood soffits and the brackets and the condition of the upper roof trim is very deteriorated. This indicates the box gutters are defective. That means you are looking at probably replacing the box gutter system. There is probably a lot of rot in the support structure of the eaves and most likely wicking into the roof structure which causes rot on those rafters. This is very expensive to redo, I’ve done it before myself, but if you have to hire this kind of work done it gets very expensive on this size house probably 30-40K. You have to have scaffold to do this as its not ladder type work. Some of the brackets are probably rotted which means repairs ir having someone like John S make you some new ones and people like John don’t work cheap. Its a great house but you are going to need some deep pockets. I cant tell from the photo if the mansard shingles are slate or cut wood but there is probably damage you cant see from the angle of the photo. This is a common problem and most often due to lack of maintenance.

  3. Shelly says: 84 comments

    I am a little confused is the price $39000 or $32900? Either way great price!

  4. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11882 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    $39,900. Sorry!

  5. Ross says: 2481 comments

    Tracy, I agree! Oh, my goodness!

    $40K? For this? Wow!

    And Paul, even with gutter repairs, the place is a steal. (Sidebar: I am repairing the built-in gutters on the Cross House, and the work, which I am doing myself, is costing vastly less than the gutter people quoted.)

    Yes, the building next door is VERY close, but the house sits on a LARGE lot, and there is nothing but trees and grass on the other side.

    Also, I would buy the place just so when people ask what style home I own, I could reply: “Oh, Second Empire.”

    • Paul W says: 471 comments

      I knew there was reason I should not go look at this house, but I did anyway. The house as built in 1863 By Charles Gregg who was a builder/architect who is best know for covered bridges.

      The box gutters had issues. Older repair EPDM glued in but what is under actually just needs some soldering and tin work. Problems mainly in front and one side where downspout is gone. Brackets rotted (again moistly on front),11 of them will need to be reconstructed. The rear 1 story addition is a maze of rooms added over the years. There was a structural problem in dining room basement area (which is fixable), roof is newer but not installed correctly so will need to be redone, but it doesn’t leak now. House will need a new HVAC but has been upgraded to 200 AMP.

      All that said the woodwork blew me away, The baluster are alternately stained to match the burl on the newel. The doors are great (some faux grained), the Cast iron mantles are great. Room sizes are good. The lot is included next door (long story there) and on the other side are senior only condos (very quiet). The grounds include 2 koi ponds, the ‘shed’ which is an original stable and restorable and a decent 2 car garage ( ok for use now). This once had very formal high end gardens and the hostas and daylilies need serious thinning and the trees haven’t been pruned in years. I saw what may the biggest Japanese maple in the Midwest.

      The primary interest in this home has been from a group of businessmen who want to bulldoze it for a parking lot and “realtors description not mine”: A hillbilly couple with 6 kids who wanted to live in and put a taxidermy shop on one side and a candle store on the other.

      Sooooo…….wait for it……..we put an offer in on the house and it was accepted. Thank god we are selling the Indy house and now will only have a 55 minute commute to Cincinnati where we are restoring several homes.

      Wanring! All Old house dreamers! This should not be attempted by your normal old house lover. This should only be done by seasoned preservationists who have been doing this for decades and have the skill set required. If you had to pay someone to do, what we know how to do, you would be the site of the money pit sequel.

      In good conscience I could not allow this home to be bulldozed or suffer the indignity of being turned into a taxidermy shop and most likely covered with vinyl siding.

      I knew there was a reason I should not have driven over to look at this 19 room 4200 sq ft home on a half acre!

      • Ross says: 2481 comments

        Dear Paul,

        You are a damn fool.

        Thank God.

        • Paul W says: 471 comments

          Ross, I still save kittens and puppies… seriously, as John S. will tell you I tend to do restorations that most ‘sane preservationists’ and Government officials deem condemned or blighted. The only reason the Nagele Merz House is still standing in is because I bought it and lets just say I’m not afraid of city officials.

          By comparison to homes I normally save this is a piece of cake and the fact it has commercial zoning means we can put our historic interior design business in it and live there until next year…when we build a new historic style carriage house to put the biz in. This falls into the livable but you need a five year plan to get it back where it should be and that’s what we will do.

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11882 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        Paul, you are my hero! Thank you for saving this and so many other homes.

  6. Paul W says: 471 comments

    Its 1hr to Cincy, it seems really cheap compared to other closed sales. Lot on the other side is not included and you have that “thing’ next door (low income apartments maybe?)Town is 6600 people and yes I would expect prices to be low but looking at closed sales there has to be some major issue. I wish I had the time to check this one out but I’m swamped.

  7. Curiouser George says: 142 comments

    The views of rooms show that this really is a “Time” capsule.

    • Lenise says: 9 comments

      Ha! That is what my parents’ house would look like if my dad had his way. Although, he has moved on from his clock phase past his pocketwatch phase to his wristwatch phase 🙂 He’s too cheap to have indulged in a grandfather clock phase…

  8. Paul W says: 471 comments

    Thanks Kelly, we are looking forward (I think?)to closing on this home and moving in. There are things that must be addressed immediately in my opinion such as downspouts installed, repairs of the box gutter areas and we need to replace the rear gutter on the back of the house with a much larger one. My plan is to concentrate on the outside until the weather turns and my hope is to build the new brackets and rebuild the soffits on the front of the house. Interestingly the porch trim and columns are all metal and I suspect it was ordered from Cincinnati which had many shops producing tin work at that time. The door on the left is later but the original door is there ready to reinstall and it is a full width glass door which will let in more light to what is an admittedly dark side parlor/office. We have determined based on the trim surrounds that this second entrance was original and most likely the office for Mr.Gregg who was a architect builder. We are researching appropriate paint colors (once brick is painted it should stay painted)and I hope to get the new brackets installed and the front façade painted before cold weather. The house needs a new furnace and will get a new 4 ton hybrid heat pump system and I have determined a way to get the runs to the second floor concealed in interior walls and will minimize plaster repairs. The third floor gets its own separate system.

    We are planning on getting the Front Formal parlor and dining room up to period style quickly with new ceiling medallions and proper light fixtures. The sellers wanted the old drapes (no reason why) and there are enough shutters scatter around to restore the interior shutters to both rooms. That ‘built in” in the dining room is actually an old built in closet from an upstairs bedroom and it gets returned to that bedroom and we already have cast iron mantle and over mantle mirror to go back there. We are hoping to get those room ready for the holidays and open our antiques business up on the weekends in those two rooms (the property is commercially zoned).

    Needless to say the rest of my year is planned

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11882 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Once you get the exterior and the parlor/dining done (I know it’ll be a while), I hope you’ll share some photos. 🙂

      Good luck!

  9. Paul W says: 471 comments

    We will set up a blog to cover the house restoration. It because it will give me break to write the thing!

  10. Paul W says: 471 comments

    Some interesting revelations concerning this property. Turns out is was actually built in 1852. The second Empire restyle occurred in 1881. That explains the Federal door details and the odd window arrangement on the third floor where you see the narrow windows in the bracket section and the 3 rd floor dormers. I could not figure this out when I saw the inside. Obviously they left the early rectangular Italiante window rather than board and trim it. Had they done this, one might not have known this was indeed a restyled house. I was bale to pull the national registry nomination for the district and the Ohio Historic Inventory report on this house. The house was actually built by Stephen O. Hand , the son of a prominent physician in Hillsboro. Gregg who bought the house was a builder and he obviously handled the restyle of this residence. It is listed on the National Registry nomination for the district as the finest Second Empire residence in the city of Hillsboro. I also learned the church across the street was done by W.H. Bayless of Cincinnati in 1853.

  11. Faith Holmes says: 1 comments

    I grew up in this home. Mom & dad, Florence & Arthur Holmes bought it in the 1950s. Dad purchased the home & Chiropractic practice from Dr. Lowell. For several years, dad had his Chiropractic business in our home. The dining room was originally a screened-in porch, remodeled by John Stanforth, who also added a downstairs half bathroom. It was & is a wonderful historic mansion. We had an amazing childhood in that lovely home. My prayer is someone with the available finances can restore 132 E Walnut St to its original glory. Thank you for your interest in my childhood home.

    • Debbi Mayer Ellis says: 1 comments

      Faith…did you know the house is on the market again….I’d love to buy it but with a daughter having 2 more years at Notre Dame I can’t. My husband and I would love to restore it…

  12. Samantha Makarova says: 1 comments

    I also spent a bit of my childhood in this home! My parents (Kevin & Tabitha Witten) bought it in the early 2000’s. Such a beautiful home. Have you been able to start your restoration blog on it?

  13. S. O'Brien says: 22 comments

    There’s been some updates, it’s back on the market! Only listed on Craigslist though:

    Hopefully someone snatches it up!

  14. eatonkn says: 1 comments

    Paul W.
    I have been following this house for years and have watched it be bought and sold, bought and sold by people planning to fix it up who then stop for some reason. I have even looked into buying it myself and fixing it up. I just love it so much! I’m curious as to why it is back on the market again? Can you give me some insight as to why no one follows through with fixing it up, what is the surprise everyone finds?

  15. Paul W says: 471 comments

    We made an offer on it with a contingent sale of another property and a set closing date. Before that date the seller said they had a buyer who wanted it “right now” and we were not going to add another property which would have meant at that time 3 cities with home a 195 miles apart. I thought they sold it. We planned on about 10-15K in foundation work, some load bearing walls in the ‘cellar”, were removed and not properly re-structured so that involved building a internal foundation wall in the basement removing about 30 jacks to get it right. Same time the kitchen is a nest of about 4 rooms and the rear 1 story servants wing needs to come off and start over. Needs soffits and gutters and major tuck-pointing on the west wall due to ivy. Needs total rewire and total replumb. Everything that had been done was done wrong and was far from code. All that said its a great house but its far beyond a simple restore We were budgeting 100-150K (and we know what we are doing).

  16. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1024 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    This house was just featured again on Circa for $30,000 (June 2016); the link to Craigslist has been removed.

  17. samantha says: 1 comments

    Assuming the floor boards in the 3rd floor, front left room haven’t been pulled up there are notes from prior families in there 🙂

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