1893 – Arcata, CA

Added to OHD on 12/8/14   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   19 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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980 13th St, Arcata, CA 95521

  • $357,900
  • 5 Bed
  • 4 Bath
  • 5182 Sq Ft
  • 0.33 Ac.
Unique historic property with bay views located in central Arcata. High on a corner lot, main home and a small unit which could be returned to one unit easily. Many original features. Needs quite a bit of restoration to bring this back to original charm.
Contact Information
Robin Ronay, Robin Ronay Realty,
(707) 822-2955

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19 Comments on 1893 – Arcata, CA

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  1. Tracy says: 2 comments

    No way would I pay that much for this house. There’s too much that needs to be done, inside and out!

  2. John Shiflet says: 5356 comments

    As author Kenneth Naversen states in his WEST COAST VICTORIANS book, Arcata competed with nearby Eureka, CA for economic dominance in the latter 19th century. Eureka eventually grew bigger, but Arcata, home to a local university, still retains some of its Victorian era architecture. Both communities are within an easy day’s drive of Sacramento or San Francisco but as one goes north towards the Oregon border, California real estate prices tend to go down. This same house in San Francisco would have another million or more added to its price. But Eureka is slowly becoming more “touristy”-the nearby village of Ferndale is frozen in the Victorian era and Arcata has several charming large Victorian homes including twin George F. Barber designed towered Queen Annes on the same block. I took some photos of Eureka and Arcata’s Victorians a few years ago: (Arcata houses are on page 2) https://www.flickr.com/photos/11236515@N05/sets/72157621673226309/page2/
    if one is visiting in the region and likes Victorians, tiny Ferndale, just south of Eureka, is a must-see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11236515@N05/sets/72157621785437700/ Most of the region’s Victorian era homes were built of decay resistant virgin giant Redwoods from nearby forests. Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka still offers reproduction millwork made of Redwood milled on Victorian age woodworking machinery that the owner (Eric Hollenbeck) collected over the years. Tours of the Millworks are available.

  3. says: 51 comments

    I am going to add this house to my decadently lovely list. California real estate prices rarely surprise me anymore. Since I seem to be firmly ensconced here in the south, I am assuming wages in California must be at least somewhat comparable to housing prices? Surely?

  4. Tommy says: 442 comments

    Dirt cheap for a grand Victorian on the Coast. The house has never been “hippyized,” looks very out-of-time original. As far as California prices, as I posted before, my 986 sq.ft. Jack-and-Jill bungalow in East Sacramento should sell for over $550K when I retire in a few years. Sacramento is a treasure trove of great home architecture.

  5. Lucinda says: 54 comments

    It has potential. And a tower. Like the pale green and raspberry room with wonderfully high baseboards, especially.

  6. Paul W says: 462 comments

    Bet this gets bought quickly and soon will be modernized and on the market without its Victorian features an its new “HGTV/IKEA” features. This is bargain basement priced.

    • John Shiflet says: 5356 comments

      Paul, you’re probably right. The only possible advantage the house might have that would favor restoration over modernization would be because the house shares the same block and a lot boundary with Arcata’s grandest Victorian,(photo link above) a similar but grander towered Queen Anne that is alleged to have been designed by the Newsom Bros. during the time (mid-1880’s) when they were involved in the Carson family commissions in nearby Eureka. Should that ever be proven true, one could then speculate that this less ambitious Queen Anne version might have been built for a family member who owned the larger mansion grade house next door. I have no idea if either house has any landmark designation or protection. It will be interesting to see what eventually happens to this one-Arcata has far fewer surviving Victorians than Eureka which has over 3,000 as I recall reading somewhere. I hope this one gets restored.

    • Tommy says: 442 comments

      Kind of snarky Paul. I lived on the northcoast for many years and there are plenty of people with the financial means to turn this into a proper home. Compared to the midwest, NorCal has very few homes like this and they tend to be treasured once they come on the market. This one looks like it was in one family for a long time and then maybe was a rental, hard to say. But to say it will be cheapened really shows a lack of understanding of northern California.

      • Paul W says: 462 comments

        Tommy I am very familiar with the Bay Area since I lived there for several years, while going to college. Starting out in Mill Valley. I later moved to Novato before winding up in Santa Rosa and I had a weekend place up at Russian River.

        One of the ways I paid for college was doing decorative painting (stenciling/gilding and mural work). I stopped looking at real estate listings in SF as it was painful to see homes I once worked on doing meticulous restoration with “blown out modernist interiors”. Historic on the outside, only due to historic restrictions.

        The bay area is under tremendous housing pressure from Silicon Valley Kids who with large salaries are demanding home ownership. Which has caused Mission area cottages to be offered at 7 figures. That pressure is moving North of the Bay area as investors/flippers/developers compete to acquire anything they can resell.

        Given the cost of seismic retrofit its far easier, and financially expedient to rip the place apart rather than restore it to sell to 20 something’s looking for a getaway whose sense of style begins and ends at the Ikea store.

        When there is “Victorian restoration”, for example the Macdonald House in Santa Rosa, it is not historic restoration, but more of a “Disneyland reconstruction” with all new interiors designed to look over the top historic, but bearing zero resemblance to the interiors that were there. These “restorations’ are little more than over glitz ‘personal statements’ than real restoration. There aren’t many true preservationists, like Jim Siegal. Most are people with way to much money, willing to spend it to for bragging rights.

        The real world is driven by economics and there are not enough of us who love old houses and can still afford to restore these homes. And see the ‘value’ of them staying the way they were built.

        • Tommy says: 442 comments

          I gotcha Paul. Moved from a small farm in Ohio to the Haight in ’68. From 1970, I lived in Mendo for 15 years, then four years in Sebastopol when I went back to college. I know all about the trashing of Victorians going on in Frisco these days and the yuppies hate that Frisco word. But Arcata is a different world so let’s hope they get it right.

  7. Karriecruise says: 1 comments

    I hope someone buys this wonderful place that appreciated victorians and restores it to its former glory. If I had the money I would….

  8. dragonflyspirit14dragonflyspirit14 says: 241 comments
    1913 farmhouse
    Dillon, SC

    The outside looks horrible but interestingly some of the rooms (and that claw foot tub) look pristine. It definitely looks like a costly restoration and hopefully some wealthy Californian (or transplant) does take on the challenge.

  9. Tommy says: 442 comments

    I’ve lived in Sacramento since 2008. This is the State Capitol and the downtown and midtown sections are full of fabulous old houses. East Sacramento also has its share, especially in the so-called “Fabulous Forties.”

    The difference is that prices here — while not like San Francisco — are on a whole other order of magnitude compared to the wonderful places I see on this Site. But we sure have our beauties in all sizes, and eras.

  10. VioletK says: 1 comments

    What potential! It’s amazing to think that this house was listed at more than DOUBLE the price a few years ago. Bank owned? My family *may* be moving to Arcata this spring for a job opportunity and I would love to snatch this house up if we indeed make the move. It seems that the Humboldt area supports the resources to do this kind of restoration work (in terms of mills, artisans, like-minded people, etc.). Although I currently live in Bakersfield, I grew up in upstate New York with parents who thought that anything built in 1900+ was too modern for their tastes. I’ve never restored a house, unless you count my child-labor years of stripping wallpaper, laying stones, and sanding for a wage of pizza. Wish us luck.

    • John Shiflet says: 5356 comments

      Here’s wishing you and your family good luck in acquiring this picturesque property. It deserves caring owners who would make it their family home rather than a property flipper who would take a slap-dash approach just so they could cash in quickly. Should you be fortunate enough to become the next owner, I’d be curious to know about the history of this house. It resembles the larger Victorian on the same block suggesting it might have belonged to a family member related to the owners of the larger house. If it can be documented that the larger house was designed (as speculated) by the renowned Newsom Bros. (Samuel and Joseph Cather Newsom) architects, then this house is probably by the same firm. They are best known in the Eureka region for designing the William Carson and his son, J. Milton Carson’s mansions in Eureka. The upstairs views of the Pacific are surely wonderful. (except when the coastal fogs are around) Best wishes…

  11. mswzebo says: 1 comments

    Saw the beautiful boarded up house and wondered what was up. Looks like a great project! My wife and I are kind of project – outed at the time, though. I’m commenting because old house lovers may have followed the restoration blog for a cool old Victorian in Eureka – the Petch House – (blog=http://petchhouse.blogspot.com/). Anyway, that fully lovingly restored house (15 years of restoration work!) is now on the market. I live 4 blocks away and can’t wait for the open house!

  12. Dan says: 1 comments

    Hello all!! I’m happy to say that my dad bought this house and restored the whole thing. Now, you can some reminants of this but the most recent onwers have let it become trashed again. So Sad!!! My dad and step mom did so much work and it was great growing up there. I hope give this place some love again. Its takes a lot of work and money but so worth it in the end. Cheers!!

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