1892 Romanesque – Huntington, IN

SOLD / Archived From 2014
Added to OHD on 6/23/14 - Last OHD Update: 2/14/18 - 84 Comments
Address Withheld

Map: Street View

Price

$179,900

Beds

5

Baths

6

SqFt

17492

Acres

0.37

A rare opportunity to own a piece of Huntington history is now available. The Purviance House was built around the turn-of-the-century and was the premier home on historic North Jefferson Street. The home features over 9,000 square feet on two levels. This square footage does not include the basement of 4,500 sq. ft. or the attic with 20' ceilings that was planned to be a ballroom with another 3,900 sq. ft. The total square footage of the house is 17,492. The owner has invested over $500,000 in preserving the structure but has decided not to renovate the interior. This property will require much renovation as there is currently no HVAC, plumbing, electrical, kitchen or baths. The woodwork is original and there are 10 fireplaces throughout the house. The grand staircase was a work of art including stained glass windows, a seating area and a mosaic tile fireplace. There is, also, back stairway. The views from the two balconies are phenomenal overlooking downtown Huntington. This property
Sold By
Scott Darley, Coldwell Banker      (260) 244-7653
Links & Additional Info
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84 Comments on 1892 Romanesque – Huntington, IN

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  1. Robbguympls says: 184 comments

    Great house from the exterior! I hope they kept the missing interior details. Love to see original pictures of this grand home!

    1
  2. tapiola says: 37 comments

    Absolutely beautiful, but the amount of money it would take to bring the interior back to life is just staggering 🙁 You’d need to have that pile of dough AND coincidentally want to live in huntington indiana (wherever that is) with a gorgeous view of a parking lot.

    1
  3. Paul WPaul W says: 574 comments

    Unless some Indianapolis executive wants to make a “grand statement” or maybe a football player with lots of cash, and they can helicopter to Indy, I don’t see how this house gets restored. I know what I’m about to spend on 4200 sq feet on a basically sound complete house. The largest home I owned was 10000 sq foot and I just had to un 4plex it but everything was there and in useable shape.

    I’m running the numbers on this in my head and I’m seeing 1.5- 1.7 mil off the top of my head to restore this and its in Huntington, I’ve been to Huntington and I’ve seen this house and this neighborhood. Its not a bad neighborhood but its a valuation issue. If one had the money, its going to take a long time with that much sq footage to do. Might as well put in an elevator because I’d be in a wheelchair long before this house was done. Just writing a restoration plan for this is going to take 6 months, not to mention bid specs. Wow what a house though!

    This house needs Indiana Landmarks to buy it and some wealthy preservationists to foot the bill who want a plaque put front.

    3
  4. RossRoss says: 2277 comments

    What in the hell happened to this once grand, fine, spectacular home??????????????????

    I am quite besotted.

    The house actually faces some lovely homes. The parking lot (to a church) is on the side. A funeral home (another spectacular pile) is on the other side.

    Sadly, the wonderful double sweeping exterior stairs are gone.

    If I had not recently purchased a huge old home, I would give this one serious consideration.

    I do love an amazing house in need.

    3
    • john werling says: 3 comments

      it was our home in the 1960’s,lived there for 4 years,it was beautiful,saw it 2 years ago,very sad,it was an incredible money pit,out.sold it for much less,it had bats it in it and lots of ornate fireplaces.it was beautiful. also beautiful ornate pocket doors to the bedrooms,and has a grand piano that was beautiful at one time that we were told was the governor of indians’a,and a huge basement,and scary attic,found 1890’s sears catalogs in it

      5
      • Ethan says: 1 comments

        I am doing a school project on this building and i was wondering if you could give me some details on the house.

        1
  5. Absolutely amazing! Is that a fireplace on the first landing?! I have never seen anything like that. What a spectacular house! So sad to see it in this shape but even in this state the grandeur is apparent. I pray someone buy this treasure and bring her back. The rewards she gives will far out weigh the cost. Thanks so much for posting, Kelly.

    1
  6. What an astounding old pile! To say I’m in love is a complete understatement. As long as this home finds an owner content to live in the chaos, and focus on making the first floor livable – and restore the other floors later it’ll fair fine (I’d be that person if I were living in Indiana). The beauty of it is that the exterior, aside from some paint, will be nearly maintenance free for a LONG time with the freshly pointed masonry and new slate roof. I do hope the current owner has before photos documenting everything, and had the presence of mind to photograph/save fragments of the wallpaper that looks like it was recently removed.

  7. Paul S says: 42 comments

    What a beauty. It’s 3 hours away from my house. I wonder why the spindles are missing from the grand staircase. I did research on the mansion and seems like it’s been vacant since 1980. It’s a plus that the exterior has been restored. So the new owner doesn’t have to spend money on that. The interior first hoax and plumbing then u could work on one room at a time. It’s best with a old house to finish one room at a time. I still think the price is a steal for so much.

    • Paul S says: 42 comments

      Ment to write hvac. Dumb autocorrect.

    • Paul WPaul W says: 574 comments

      I wouldn’t call the price a “steal”, other than the current owner has lost his shirt on outside work and I see a bunch more work outside that isn’t fixed.

      The problem is that cost of HVAC and plumbing. You will need 4, 4ton HVAC units, ideally two separate mechanical rooms one in basement 1 in attic, because you have to zone this house to even be able to remotely heat/cool it economically, all the duct runs have to be run though interior (non-brick) walls. They will require a mechanical engineering plan on a house this size so you will need an architect to draw up the floorplans and engineering specs.

      While you are at it, you have to ‘start over’ on the plumbing. That means new soil and drain lines and plumbing lines. I am guessing any sane person is going to want to add more bathrooms to this house so you will need what I call a good restoration plumber who can do a minimum of damage by carefully removing flooring on upper floors and run the lateral supply lines rather than rip our the plaster ceilings (assuming there are ceiling worth saving). While you have it open you need to run electrical too. For a house this size you are going to need “commercial service” probably 3, 200 amp services (I’d do 4). You might as well go to the electrical supply and buy 1000 ft rolls because this house will take several miles of wiring.

      One must do the mechanicals first on this house, no way around it and the problem is carefully working around the significant architectural features of the house in a way that does not damage them.

      I’ve been involved in a couple of large home restorations over the years and ‘just’ the HVAC (which must be done by an HVAC contractor in Indiana) the electrical (an electrician required to do the amp boxes setting, weather heads, and disconnects) some counties in Indiana will let you run wiring if you take the test, Not to mention the plumbing. You just spent way more than you paid for the house, on a job this size they are going to want a lot of that money up front too because the guys that know how to do this work have been stiffed by homeowners filing bankruptcy 1/2 way through the project .

      Of course before you start doing rooms you have to fix the windows or your heat/ac is going out the window. At that point, yes, you can start decorating few rooms but your probably broke.

      There is a reason this house is so cheap.

      • RossRoss says: 2277 comments

        Paul, when considering buying the Cross House, I told the realtor at one point: It is not the purchase price which is the issue. It is the restorations costs which are so terrifying. Even if the owner gave me the house for $1, I am still uncertain if I should do this.

        To the right person, dumping $1.5M into this great gorgeous gigantic house will be no issue. To the right person.

        1
  8. Vicki F says: 72 comments

    The desecrated beauty and craftsmanship of this house literally makes my heart hurt. Somebody HAS to save her, but where in the world would you even start? What an awesome place!

  9. RossRoss says: 2277 comments

    I was so mesmerized by the images that I never read the description. So, $500,000 has already been spent on the exterior? OK, I am impressed. And that would explain why the exterior looks so good.

    Also, I agree with Meg. While the house is titanic-sized, the exterior will (at least for the next century) be largely maintenance free. Nice. very nice!

    I wonder if the stair spindles are still in the house?

    It also seems evident that a lot of stained glass is missing. Like, with the ninth image from the bottom, obviously the upper window to the right had stained glass matching the one to the left? And the staircase? Surely the large clear glass panel was originally also stained glass (an absolute as the view is now of a parking lot).

    It is a bit mind-boggling to think I could fit SEVERAL Cross Houses into this pile.

    Yes, it seems that one might make a small finished apartment in the house right away, and then spend the rest of their life making the rest all perty.

    Wow. I love this house.

    1
    • Tonya Key says: 1 comments

      Originally most of the windows were in fact stained glass.. before this current owner bought it, a lot of damage had been done by vandalism. I use to walk by this place, and stand in complete awe … it is absolutely amazing. You do not see such artistic love in architecture anymore. Most of it today is cookie cutter crap.

    • Susie says: 2 comments

      OwO I live here in huntington and its not your big city but its safe and its my home i can go out at like 3am and not get bothered by anyone… Peaceful town.

      1
      • Just Sue says: 1 comments

        Susie, I recently moved back to Huntington after a 36 year absence. Is this the home that belonged to Dr. Blair?

  10. A house like this already has ample bathrooms I’m sure, 6 are noted. In a way, the absence of existing plumbing is a godsend – in houses that have sat for this long starting from scratch is often far faster and cheaper than trouble shooting the existing issues, especially if one is content to use pex instead of copper. In regards to the hvac, wouldn’t it be cheapest and most appropriate to just reinstall salvaged radiators and exposed piping (as was likely original) and two zoned boilers? I don’t see why ductwork would be a concern – is ac absolutely necessary in Indiana? And if so, Unico would be the way to go… Other than the missing spindles (which I would guess are buried in a pile somewhere), I think this place is a steal, as long as the new owner would rather be working on it instead of buying nice cars, taking vacations and eating out… Reinstalling/refinishing woodwork and plaster repair really aren’t rocket science. Hopefully Huntington is a dull place to live so there would be no distractions! Hmmm, maybe I should wrap it up at my house and move to Indiana?

    • Paul WPaul W says: 574 comments

      Meg , it would be ‘resale suicide” (if you could even resell this) to not have central air. Indiana gets very hot in the summer with high humidity. Window AC wouldn’t even begin to cool this once that brick mass heats up.

      I also don’t think, given the size, two boilers would do this. But even if you could locate enough period radiators at the right size for every space,you need a very complex zoning system to maintain comfort. Radiators are becoming a bit of a “lost art” in the Midwest, finding HVAC guys who specialize in this and know what they are doing is getting harder. Salvage radiators (if you can find them) are running 350-700 each and they always need some work and they need to be zone retrofitted.

      Pex is the best candidate for water supply for this but the number of manifolds you need is daunting. Ideally you need to have some primary supply lines run up and some “manifold stations” at strategic locations in the house. Too many bathrooms for instant gas water heaters so with this many baths and kitchen you probably need 3 or 4 60 gal gas hybrid units (they are worth the cost over a plain 80 gallon heater) The newer ones have separate heat units so down the road you can just replace the tanks when they wear out.

      You also want to do this only once, so you really need professionals doing this that you can hold accountable. If you buy it at say 170K you property taxes will start at 1700 a year plus any local assessments. But the next year the assessor is going to hit you by saying the ‘shell’ is worth more given the new roof etc. You can appeal but it takes 4 years and you have to pay the higher rate (no matter how ridiculous) in the interim. As you pull the required permits that factors into the assessment. By the time you are done (if you ever are) the state is going to say its a 2 mill house and they will charge you property taxes based on that value. Indiana has a 1 percent cap on owner occupied homes, but if you rent it, it’s 2 percent and if its commercial (say a B&B ) its higher again. So if the cost of renovations don’t kill you the property taxes of 20K a year when you are done, will.

      I’m from Indiana and the main reason for Ohio now is even though their property tax rate is higher , the way they calculate it is more fair in calculating the assessed value and if you appeal its done that year. On the properties I own in Ohio I’ve never had an issue with the appeals and I’ve won every one. They just hit me with a 400 yr increase on the house we have for sale in Indy saying my house went up in value 40K in one year. The year after I got it knocked down in value 60k from the ridiculous amount they were assessing it at. I have better things to do than fight with Indiana assessors.

      1
      • TimothyTimothy says: 156 comments

        I just wanted to comment that of all the houses that I’ve viewed on this site and all the comments that I’ve read, this one has generated the most informative, educational posts.

        For those of us who have never been involved with, renovated, or owned a home of this size, these posts are eye openers to the reality of restoration of a massive, historic home.

        It is not all about just owning a pretty Victorian home with beautiful woodwork and stained glass windows.

        Thank you to all who have taken the time to really put thought into these comments.

        3
  11. Shelly says: 100 comments

    This is one heck of a house! Reminds me of the houses you would see in a 1930 movie. Great price and great opportunity to have a life time project to fix it up unless you are lucky enough to have the money upfront.

  12. RossRoss says: 2277 comments

    The description states: “The views from the two balconies are phenomenal overlooking downtown Huntington.’

    Yes, but one would think images of these phenomenal views would be part of the listing!

    And I want to see the attic!!!!!!!

    1
    • RosewaterRosewater says: 3890 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      No doubt. I clicked on this one thinking, “there better be attic shots”. Ugh………………….

  13. RossRoss says: 2277 comments

    Article from 2000:

    Marvin Dziabis doesn’t live in Huntington County, but he’s been the driving force behind preserving a historical structure from the wrecking ball. And for his efforts to begin renovation of the historic David Alonzo Purviance House, Dziabis, a North Manchester resident, has been selected to receive one of Huntington Alert’s Historic Preservation Awards for 2000 in the category of Preservation in Progress.

    “It’s a unique structure that has significance to the county and the town,” Dziabis said. Dziabis took over ownership of the D.A. Purviance House, 809 N. Jefferson St., and launched a plan a few years ago to remodel the historic home into a bed and breakfast. But with an enormous amount of renovation to both the exterior and interior of the building required and funding hard to come by, there was a stretch of time when nothing was being done to the home. Portions of the exterior walls were crumbling and some local officials expressed concerns about the safety of the building.

    Last November, the Huntington Board of Works ordered demolition bids be solicited for the building, and it appeared the structure would be gone. But Dziabis and his attorney Steven L. Fink convinced the board at a December meeting not to have the historic mansion torn down after detailing a plan to have exterior renovation work started almost immediately. The contractor for the exterior work is Atlas Building Services, of Wabash. This company has worked in Huntington County before, including on the remodeling of the Courthouse.

    Dziabis said this work is moving along at a steady pace and after it is completed, the next step in the renovation process will be the windows and doors. The home was built in 1891-92 for $16,145. David Alonzo “Lon” Purviance was a Huntington businessman who became wealthy from the family dry goods business and was involved in insurance and real estate in the early part of this century. The Purviance family lived in the home until 1944. The home has been vacant since the mid-1970s.

    http://www.chronicle-tribune.com/purviance-home-steady-progress-this-page-was-last-updated-on/article_24184675-4f6e-5bc3-9212-b0105fc2d85a.html

    1
    • Paul WPaul W says: 574 comments

      Ross, and 14 years later its for sale. It is sad and unfortunate that philanthropist’s would rather devote their energies to whatever the cause celeb is of the day rather than preserving pieces of America history. Indiana Landmarks has been fortunate to have the support of both the Cook and Lilly families over the years who have saved countless landmarks from certain extinction. Today’s wealthy are more interested in just holding on to what they have. Unfortunate that people like you and I have limited resources..we just can’t save them all and as I get older I have to save a dime or two for a rainy day.

  14. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

    There’s not much I can add to what Paul W. and others have said. It’s a giant home and was a local landmark from day one. For a better idea of what the interior might have looked like, take a second look at the much better preserved mansion in Delphi, which is coincidentally in Indiana as well: http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2013/08/13/1885-queen-anne-delphi-in/ The selling price of this one is merely an admission ticket, for the full show, one would need to deposit another million or so. A well run Bed & Breakfast operation might defray the taxes, heating/AC and regular maintenance but could never recoup the restoration costs. Huntington still has a fair number of lovely historic homes but this one is unique in scale and level of opulence. It seems many Midwestern towns had at least one ambitious individual back in the late 19th century who wanted to set the high benchmark for local mansion quality-this one succeeded admirably.

    • RossRoss says: 2277 comments

      John, thanks for the link to the INCREDIBLE house in Delphi. Somehow I missed that one.

      The place is so elaborate that it makes my Cross House look like a simple shack in the woods!

      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

        The Cross House in Emporia, KS compares favorably with this mansion-does it not have marble walls in the bathroom? I rest my case…It’s true this is a mighty pile of a house but when you compare the interior to those of East Coast Victorian mansions (as in Newport, RI) it pales by comparison. There’s a decade or longer of work awaiting here for a skilled artisan/craftsman well versed in the late Victorian decorative arts. Maybe the work could be whittled down to a year for a team of highly skilled tradespeople. The unanswered question is how such a fine mansion ever deteriorated to the state it was in on the brink of demolition? They will never build any houses like this again-the fine woods, hand made details, and old world craftsmen who constructed these grand homes faded away about the time the Titanic went down in 1912. These rare grand survivors from the Victorian age deserve to be preserved to remind us what we were back then when we were a young nation becoming the envy of the world.

        2
        • RossRoss says: 2277 comments

          John,

          You wrote: The Cross House in Emporia, KS compares favorably with this mansion-does it not have marble walls in the bathroom?”

          I had to laugh.

          The marble panels from the first floor bathroom are now sitting in the dining room! We had to remove them in order to rebuild the termite/water-damaged walls behind.

          The walls have now been rebuilt, and after the marble is cleaned/polished, it will return to its proper location. The bathroom floor, by the way, is from the American Encaustic Tile Company (yes, I am bragging now).

          • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

            We have some minor encaustic tiles from A.E.T. (stamped on the backs) in front of one of our fireplace mantels. The small tiles are unremarkable but a clever tile setter installed them in such a way as to create an optical illusion: when viewed from the side the courses appear to be converging but the lines are perfectly straight. Here’s a bit of information about American Encaustic Tile Co. https://sites.google.com/site/tileinstallationdatabasemz/oh_zanesville–american-encaustic-tiling-company-showroom Ohio was a national ceramics center in the late 1800’s into the first decades of the 20th century. Some of the American antique figural/portrait tiles are true works of art and command very high prices when offered for sale.

  15. Amanda says: 6 comments

    I hope someone restores this house as well…. what a big job. its looks so creepy now:-(

  16. Shelly says: 100 comments

    You could not have said it better John. Even though it might be hard to find a person with the deep pockets for this to be a home, why do people not consider it for a place of business without destroying the original woodwork,etc? Better yet it would be a wonderful place for a B&B. I better stop preaching for now because I cannot handle it if it would be demolished. I am starting to get to emotional!

  17. TimothyTimothy says: 156 comments

    This massive house is beautiful, inside and out. Does anyone know if ANY of the missing wood trim, staircase components, over mantels, etc are tucked away anywhere? I am not sure that this house would ever be considered a good investment as far as resale, but what a fantastic home it could be to live in!

  18. TimothyTimothy says: 156 comments

    I had sent the listing Realtor a question:

    “In reference to the Purviance House located at 809 N Jefferson St. home. Is the missing stair-railing, wood trim, over mantles tucked away somewhere or are they gone and will need to be replicated/replaced?

    His very prompt answer was “Some of the trim is stored off site and some is missing. The stair rail and most balusters are off site. Unfortunately some items have been lost for the house.” Scott Darley

    • Paul WPaul W says: 574 comments

      Relatively speaking, compared to homes I usually work in, this house appears to be pretty intact. I would suspect, surrounded by other old house owners, they have kept an eye out. The fretwork/spindlework and Inglenook built-ins still there are mazing as this is the stuff salvage thieves make major money on. For a house empty for 30 plus years, I’d expect a lot more gone, much less that this house is still standing. That is a strong testamate to the seller being willing to stand up for it and a community not willing to let it go.

  19. Kevin O'Neill says: 122 comments

    I can’t buy the house but I thought about buying the postcard on e bay until I saw the price..really! 20 bucks for a postcard 🙁

  20. Pappy says: 1 comments

    In 1961 people by the name of Nichols owned the house. There was a beauty shop in the rear and the couple used the rest of the downstairs as their living quarters. It was spacious and very beautiful! Bookshelves to the ceiling, white French Provincial furniture in the master bedroom to match the fireplace, etc. Gorgeous! Upstairs what were probably bedrooms had been converted into several studio apartments. In the picture at the top of the stairway, the first doorway to the right was the entry to the studio apartment that my best friend and I shared just after we graduated high school. We loved it. I had heard the interior had been gutted and just couldn’t believe it. At least they saved most of the beautiful woodwork and fireplaces. Breaks my heart to see it in such a state of disrepair.

  21. Carol Tate says: 1 comments

    I am a Designer and I would love to return it to it’s splendor. And I know I could.
    I did the Queen Anne Mansion in Ark.

  22. Curiouser GeorgeCuriouser George says: 166 comments

    A bit of an update.

    Local television station is running a piece on the home. Nothing that we didn’t already know, but nice that it’s getting more attention.
    http://wane.com/2014/10/09/17000-square-foot-home-up-for-sale/

  23. Kimberly Grimm says: 12 comments

    I just saw this home on 10/15/2014, my husband is from this area and we drove by it. This house is massive and the years of neglect have robbed it. It is a force to be reckoned with if someone has a massive cash flow to fit it. This home is absolutely amazing from the outside.

  24. samac says: 7 comments

    I was recently in the house (in August, whoo hot!) and I can say that large quantities of the original wood, spindles from the staircase, etc are still in the house. They are stored in the large front room and the room off the kitchen in the back.

    The views. are. spectacular. You might not think Indiana is very pretty (and you may very well be right), but the view from the second floor balcony is phenomenal. You can see down Jefferson St, the old Jesse Davies mansion just a few streets over, the City building and Courthouse… I could go on and on.

    The third floor/ “attic” is actually hardly touched by time. Beautiful high ceilings, pallets and pallets of the original brick, brand new. the floor is thin in some places up there but overall it’s in very good shape.

    I echo the hopes of nearly everyone in Huntington that this house is saved, and restored to its former glory. Huntington has lost a number of large old homes over the years, and they were the heart of the town’s charm. It’s survived so much- the Great Depression, near demolition, vandals (nearly every kid in juvenile detention from 1980-2000 had been inside the house), and now it just needs someone to redeem it. Alas, even if it was an office building, I would still take that over it being torn down.

    • RossRoss says: 2277 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      I am so jealous that you have been in the house! The house is #1 in my Favorites!

      Had I not purchased a house in 2014, I might well have gone after this one.

      • samac says: 7 comments

        Ross– I appreciate your envy. I was the last non-family member besides realtor and possible buyer to ever enter the house!

        There’s a rumor that if the city could get Metronet fiber into the house, we could get some sort of funding and tax breaks based on city ordinance and zoning. I am the last person to ask about that sort of thing, but it seemed like (based on my source) there was some wiggle room and opportunity available for the right buyer. Encourage your like-minded friends to consider the house! I know a number of out-of-town parents whose children attend Huntington University that would LOVE to stay in mansion-turned-B&B versus the local Super 8. I know I would!

  25. RossRoss says: 2277 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    It is interesting re-reading all the above comments.

    There are some who basically state: Run! Run for your life! The home will cost a fortune to restore! And why even bother, because of WHERE it it? Huntington, Indiana! Yikes! Run!

    Geez.

    I see the house quite differently. I see a REMARKABLE house. An EXTRAORDINARY house. A house which has already had $500,000 spent on the exterior, an exterior which is now basically maintainence-free.

    While the house will require substantial sums to restore, there are a lot of people out there with substantial sums.

    Huntington is a city of 17,000, and has actually grown since 1980. Big city Fort Wayne is close, and has a population of 256,000.

    The house is right next to downtown (a plus IMO), and has beautiful houses adjacent, and a church.

    The house seems ideal for a B&B/venue space, or even sensitively converted to condos (sensitively being the operative word). My preference would be as a private residence.

    The house is also ideal for somebody (like me) who has a home-based business, and who requires (like me) a lot of square footage.

    This is a FABULOUS house and one well deserving of a quality restoration.

    • TimothyTimothy says: 156 comments

      Ross,

      I agree with you 110%…

      This home is worthy of restoration, worthy of saving and worthy of becoming someone’s home again.

      Yes, the money required for this project would be immense but imagine the result! For those with the vision and the “substantial sums” this is well, I repeat, well worth the effort!

      Thank you for pointing this out. Tim

  26. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

    Hi Ross, I agree with your sentiments entirely. This is one of the finest grand Romanesque style homes in Indiana. I know you are quite attached to the Cross House (Emporia, KS) but I also know you are a “serial” restorer. Please don’t be offended by my suggestion that upon completion of the Cross House restoration, you could consider turning your attention to this house? The logistics and resources needed for both homes are approximately the same and they are both from the same period. Alternately, if you could line up some investors, go in and do a period authentic restoration and then “flip” it. (praying you would break even) If that bundle of energy Nicole Curtis on Rehab Addict could tackle a giant house in the twin cities and do a respectable rehab, this one should not be that much more challenging. Above all, this house should be saved because such extravagant and lavish palaces ended with the Gilded Age and were favorites of the wrecking ball during the 20th century. Whatever end use is chosen for this house, it is vital the original details be retained. A hundred years from now (during a time of predicted scarcity) people will marvel at a home like this as people today marvel at the Palace of Versailles in France.

  27. spud says: 1 comments

    Trust me when I say the castle as we called it was beautiful. With all the fireplaces and stained glass windows. This house was used as an apartment house with 9 apartments in it in 1969. I know because my family and I owned the house in 1969. We lived there for five years. There was a baby grand piano in the front apartment where we lived. It was there because it was put in the apartment and then the doors were put up. It could not be moved so it stayed with the house. The spindle staircase was awesome with the fireplace landing right at the foot of the stairs. All the little alcoves with stained glass windows. Yes there was a beauty shop in the back. But it was changed into another apartment. The huge wood sliding glass doors were beautiful. My dad used to mow this lawn all the time. He would tie a rope to the lawnmower and put it down the hills to mow that way. It worked. Anyone who fixes this up it would be well worth it. It was a beautiful home. We lived there in 1969.I would be glad to put any input in although I was just a child when we lived there.

  28. Paul T says: 42 comments

    Spud Do u have any pics of the place when ur family owned it? Cool story.

    • TimothyTimothy says: 156 comments

      That would be interesting! Family photos at Christmas, birthdays, etc., where you can see some of the rooms.

  29. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 8917 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Was pending sale now showing off market. I hope that’s good news.

    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

      Ditto! That is one of the finest Romanesque style homes in Indiana, so I hope if its sold, that it sold to preservation-minded people with an ample budget for a project of this magnitude. I put this landmark home in the “National Treasure” category.

  30. RossRoss says: 2277 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    Had I not purchased the house I did last year, I would have gone after this one. It is #1 in my Favorite List.

  31. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

    Completely understandable, Ross. For myself, it would be in the “if I won the lottery” category but if that happened, the rest would be a labor of love.

  32. samac says: 7 comments

    House has been purchased! I saw the documents online, and already there are contractors crawling all over the property here in Huntington. I don’t recognize the name, so I hope the new owner will treat it with as much reverence as we do!

    • RossRoss says: 2277 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      Golly! I (we) are breathless with anticipation! Please do keep us abreast of developing news!!!!!

  33. RossRoss says: 2277 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    samac, do you have an update?

  34. Samac says: 7 comments

    Hey Ross and all —

    So far the new owner has given me hope. Within weeks of purchasing the home, he has all of the windows replaced (vandals has really done a number to the windows), but as it gets colder, the work seems to slow. I have heard several accounts of his commitment to restoring the home to its former glory. He spent many of his first days in Huntington researching the home and looking for photographs of the interior in our historical museums and library. His father was from Huntington — I hope that means he will do his best to care for the Purviance mansion.

    • RossRoss says: 2277 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      Thanks, Samac!!!!!

      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

        Last evening I uploaded 21 photos I took in Huntington in late September: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11236515@N05/ As you can see, the Purviance Mansion is looking good these days. I was unaware as to just how awesome the Romanesque (now Funeral Home) mansion is right next door. The Terra Cotta details are wonderful. I’ll be adding photo narratives very shortly but everyone will recognize the Purviance house. Huntington made a very favorable impression overall. Our weekend visit included Kokomo so the time we had available in Huntington was limited. North Jackson Street which overlooks the downtown was where all the Victorian era’s well to do lived; it’s now making a comeback. I completely shortchanged the downtown which has some very impressive commercial architecture. (see it in streetview) A return visit is in order someday.

        • Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 8917 comments
          Admin

          1901 Folk Victorian
          Chestatee, GA

          I didn’t notice the shingles over the porch before. Looking nice!

          The bricks, is that a sidewalk or a street?

          • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4277 comments

            That’s from a side street near the Purviance house paved with stamped hardened bricks. I found it interesting to see “Brazil” stamped bricks because Brazil, Indiana, is right outside Terre Haute, on the far western edge of Indiana while Huntington is near the northeastern side of the state. Thus the Brazil bricks where shipped a considerable distance to end up as pavers in Huntington. There were several other random bricks stamped with other makers names but these caught my eye.

            • Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 8917 comments
              Admin

              1901 Folk Victorian
              Chestatee, GA

              It’s really pretty to see, brick paved streets are incredibly charming. Thanks for the pics, the houses and buildings there are gorgeous.

  35. Diana says: 1 comments

    Although I live in Ft. Wayne, I have been a teacher in Huntington County for 30 years. This house has always captivated me. I would love to see the place renovated and become an active part of the Huntington Community again. We are truly blessed to have this structure in our community. Every time I pass it I say, “If walls could only talk.” Good luck to the person that purchased the beautiful home.

  36. Sarah Sheefel says: 1 comments

    In my honest opinion, with this home being one of our towns most beautiful and historical homes, I think that the city should purchase it and that the people in our town donate money to get all of the updated mechanical and electrical stuff done to the home to bring it up to date, and then why not let the townspeople volunteer their hard work and time into restoring this home for its historical significance and value to our town. It is one of the most beautiful, majestic, and grand homes in our town and should be given the opportunity to be loved and taken care of by the people in this town who appreciate the historical meaning and value it has to our home. Everyone should be able to honor and love her beauty… I know even as she sits right now, I love and respect everything about that home , and if there was ever talk about it being torn down , I would be one who would fight to keep this beautiful home alive…

  37. samac says: 7 comments

    House Update: Progress is happening… slowly over the winter, but still happening! The boards have come down off of the front doors and the glass has been replaced. The “no trespassing” signs have also been removed, though I suspect that’s because the owner has installed security cameras across the property. So excited to watch it slowly come to life again!

  38. samac says: 7 comments

    Hi all! Another update:

    Progress on the Purviance Mansion continues. I’ve been told the interior is down to the studs — complete overhaul. The owner has hung some cheery bunting on the front porch. Finally feeling like it will be a home again. I’ve got some pics but I don’t know how to post…

  39. KelBel says: 1 comments

    My brother lives down the street from this house in a brick Victorian on N Jefferson. I haven’t been in this house but after the previous owner did the supposed $500k in repairs on the exterior…you could still see repairs needed to the brickwork in the rear of the house. Such a neat place though…can’t wait to see it’s restoration progress with the new owner…although I have to say “down to the studs” is scary to me a well!!!

  40. samac says: 7 comments

    Drove by last week and the house was lit up across the entire bottom floor! Workers in there busy hanging drywall.

    • RossRoss says: 2277 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      Thanks for the update!

      • john werling says: 3 comments

        thanks for the update,i am the spud in the comments,I am very pleased,when we first moved there in 1966 I think. It was around 9:00pm my mom took us downtown to the theatre to see the Ghost and Mr. chicken. When we were walking home it was October and clouds in the sky.It was late. And seeing that house was really scary to me.That house had a massive boiler in the basement.probably it is still there.we had great seats when the parade was going on down Jefferson street.

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 3890 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Saw similar the last time I was by. Somebody is really going full bore on the place. Hope they will open it up when they’re done. Huntington looking great too with all the new street work and capital investments. Such a cute little town full of really great old buildings.

  41. Barbara Lesperance says: 4 comments

    When you Google The Purviance House it shows as 326 S. Jefferson and is a B&B. ???? Just looking for an update on the progress. Were there 2 Proviance brothers?

    1
    • Paul WPaul W says: 574 comments

      I was over in Huntington this summer and I couldn”t see evidence of much being done from the street

  42. Jon says: 1 comments

    Hey, my group and I were doing a project and we were wondering if anyone has floor plans for this building? We would greatly appreciate it! If you have any questions about the project feel free to ask.

    4
  43. Karen says: 365 comments

    I used to live in Roanoke, Indiana, just down the road from Huntington. As I wasn’t from Indiana, whenever people came to visit, I’d take them to huntington to see the lovely old houses on Jefferson. I had no idea this house was such a mess inside, as the inside looked wonderful! This was in the 2007-2014 time frame, that I lived in Roanoke. I loved parking the car and walking in this area-I bet the residents thought I was casing the houses, as I’d walk from house to house, and just stop, looking at all the wonderful detail to these old homes! My neighbors in Roanoke told me a lot of these homes were bought by gin runners made wealthy during Prohibition, but once legal alcohol returned, they lost all their money and had to sell these houses. Anyone know if this is true? This area, Huntington County, is far from wealthy nowadays. There are so many homes that need a lot of attention, not just the older homes, but newer ones as well. People just don’t have money here anymore. The one good place to work at in the area, GM, isn’t hiring, and I think other high paying places in nearby Ft Wayne, are high tech kind of places that require specialized education. A social worker I had as a neighbor also told me stats that horrified me, on impoverished households, child abuse, etc, that seem to come with poor economies. I really fear for the fate of not only these old homes, but also for the schools, infrastructure, etc in the future. So…what is the state of this house now? is renovation continuing? I hope one of the news stations does a segment on its progress, so someone could post it in here.

  44. Victorianlove says: 5 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Colorado Springs, CO

    Found a picture of the house from the 50s or 60s. Was truly stunning at one point.
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/400257485605231552/

  45. Mimi says: 184 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Rochester, MN

    My #1 fave! This is an American castle & I am in ecstasy! Beyond sublime!

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