c. 1890 Queen Anne – Jefferson, IA – $125,000

Off Market / Archived Post From 2015
Posted in 2015. Sold status unknown.
Added to OHD on 8/26/15 - Last OHD Update: 8/11/16
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 2.5
  • Sqft: 2680
  • Acres: 0.32
307 W State St, Jefferson, IA 50129 Map: Street View
  • This turn of the Century VICTORIAN is the perfect home for your treasured antiques. Grace and charm surround you as you step inside from the front veranda. Beautiful open stairway with stained glass window in the foyer, parquet flooring, dining room has a built-in buffet, living room has a matching stained glass transom window and there are 2 sets of working'' original pocket doors. Main floor has foyer, living room, fireplace room, dining room, den/office, kitchen, half bath with laundry and enclosed rear porch. The upstairs has 3 bedrooms and a full bath. There is a maids stairway off the dining room to the upstairs back hall. The spacious kitchen has newer cabinets and the master bedroom has a bath with a dressing room and walk in closet. Both of the guest bedrooms have a small walk in room. Newer kitchen cabinets, shingles, boiler, replacement windows and gutters on house and garage.
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16 Comments on c. 1890 Queen Anne – Jefferson, IA – $125,000

  1. Ross Ross (2526 comments) - 08/26/2015 at 7:08 pm //

    It appears that the open second-floor porch (above the front door) was enclosed at some point.


    Please, please re-open the porch. Please. This will surely have ripple effects across the land, which will no doubt culminate in world peace.

    Sometimes small actions can have big effects.

  2. Eric (205 comments) - 08/26/2015 at 11:17 pm //

    Amazing paired screen doors at the entry and a wonderful stained glass window on the stair landing… lots of great details in this house. It has a very Barberesque feel to it… maybe it is a Barber? Yes, Ross, restoring the upper porch could only have a positive outcome.

  3. JimH JimH (3751 comments) - 08/27/2015 at 2:42 am //

    Wow, great details especially the entry and main rooms. Terrific house for the money even in the middle of Iowa, assuming everything is shipshape. The listing says replacement windows but maybe in the rear only – I’m seeing original sashes with aluminum storms.
    I think the enclosed porch is the pink master bath – marital harmony might win out over world peace for the time being.

    • Joditurtle (6 comments) - 10/20/2015 at 11:06 am //

      The porch is the added closet space off of the “sitting area/closet” with the linoleum under the closet wall. The pink master bath is in another corner of the room. I agree with the replacement windows being in the rear kitchen area (which does not seem to agree with the house) Is there a possibility that the kitchen was where the dining room currently is and the dining area being the room with the fireplace? To me, having the service stairs off of the dining room seems a little off and having the kitchen there is a little more appropriate for the time when the house was built.

      • JimH JimH (3751 comments) - 10/20/2015 at 10:38 pm //

        Jodi, there have been changes back there and it’s possible the kitchen was moved, but exactly what was done is tough to figure from a few photos. The DR has trim and cabinetry that might be artful new work – I can’t tell for sure.
        I’ll agree with you in general that modern changes are often faddish and ill-conceived.

  4. Paul W PaulW (802 comments) - 08/27/2015 at 8:41 am //

    Agree the porch needs to be opened back up. If I needed a master bath . Id just take over the side bedroom and do something grand. Greta house for the money, Suspect some really good floors under that carpet, Kitchen is ‘serviceable” for now.

  5. HeatherLynn (5 comments) - 08/27/2015 at 9:08 am //

    I’m not an interior designer, but is it just me, or would this house look 100x better with a different paint scheme? I just felt like the colors on the walls seemingly clashed with the woodwork?

  6. tiffaney jewel (107 comments) - 08/27/2015 at 3:03 pm //

    I love how the dog seems to follow the listing agent around.

    Also, Ross is totally right. Open up that porch! It looks… weird as it is right now, like the house is wearing an eye patch.

  7. Marie (216 comments) - 08/27/2015 at 3:16 pm //

    Whoa, the woodwork, stained glass windows and built-ins are wonderful. Agree, the wood floors need to be rediscovered and a new interior paint job in order. Wish the weather was more to my liking or this would be on my wish list. How’s the price for the area?

  8. John Shiflet John Shiflet (4848 comments) - 08/27/2015 at 6:06 pm //

    This house has all the desirable details lovers of Victorian homes often look for. As noted, there are two fine stained glass windows; excellent interior millwork; what appears to be patterned parquet flooring in some rooms; pocket doors; a fine mantel with beautiful tiles. (probably made by American Encaustic Tiling Co. which was a huge national tile supplier when this house was built) There even seems to be the decorative summer hearth cover barely seen behind the screen. A nice built-in china cabinet with leaded (and beveled?) glass doors is an added bonus. To me, the exterior does have a planbook appearance but I don’t think its a Barber design. A close look at the photo with the paired screen doors shows the “ghost” outline in the paint above the turned post indicating most likely there was once a turned spindle course that encircled the porch, now missing; not unusual, as later house painters disliked these intricate elements that took so long to carefully paint. Removing them (and enclosing the upper porch) also toned down the strong Victorian flavor of the house. For someone who wants a full-blown period Queen Anne, enough remains to get there. I suspect the original exterior (and interior) colors were less drab but paint colors are a personal choice. For the price, this seems like a decent period home. Of course, its also in Iowa so if the location is acceptable, this house looks like a winner.

    • Eric (205 comments) - 08/29/2015 at 4:05 pm //

      Good find regarding the “ghost” of the missing porch spandrels. It is clear that this house, as beautiful as it is, has lost some of its original ornament in an effort to modernize it in the past. Despite these changes, enough details remain to suggest to my eye that this may well be a Barber design. While known for his pattern book plans, it must be remembered that one reason Barber was so prolific was that he was more than happy to customize plans for anyone – even those who designed their own floor plans. It is also important to remember that not all of his works have a catalog number associated with them.

      There are numerous Barber houses out there which look nothing at all like the fanciful Queen Anne showplaces he is best remembered for, especially the ones which have been modified, like this one:
      Little aside from the characteristic bargeboards of the Hawarden, Iowa house remains on the exterior to suggest that it is a Barber design.

      The Jefferson, Iowa, house incorporates many stylistic details that Barber was fond of using, and I suspect that there were more which have been removed. I suspect that the rooflines of both the main porch and enclosed 2nd story porch have been modified to remove gable ends and make them less fussy. Note how the roof is just slightly hipped over the steps on the front porch; there is no reason for that unless that emphasis is the vestigal remnant of a former gable end. It would make sense that the porch roofline may have originally looked something more like this:

      In addition, the heavy and ornamented bargeboards, the curved faux half-timbering in gable ends and the paired columns perched atop solid bases are all characteristic of exterior effects Barber frequently used. Inside, the stairwell (including vertical panels), parquet hall flooring and corner fireplace all evoke the Barber aesthetic. Sure; other houses not designed by Barber share many of these attributes, but together the “vibe” they create is very Barberesque.

      Does all of this prove anything? No; but the possibility that Barber may have been at work here is not at all an unreasonable conjecture. I would like very much for Chris to weigh in on the subject.

  9. John Shiflet John Shiflet (4848 comments) - 08/30/2015 at 12:37 am //

    Eric, I totally agree. Barber was almost unique in his order by mail customization abilities. He employed a small army of draftsmen in his Knoxville building to insure clients received exactly what they wanted. I recall reading his ad in American Homes magazine that even a crude sketch would suffice to begin the plan design process. A fair number of house plans designed by Barber were 100% custom designs but sometimes making a proven Barber provenance is impossible. Here’s a house in Eureka, CA that has a gable brace exactly matching a Barber published detail: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11236515@N05/3769392795/sizes/o/ Can I say with certainty its a Barber designed house? No, but its probable that it is. I’ve seen a few Barber custom designs (with supporting documentation to prove they were from Barber) I’d never guess in a million years that they were by Barber. The quest continues…

  10. Joditurtle (6 comments) - 10/19/2015 at 4:54 pm //

    I will be the first one to admit that I know nothing about the architect of this house. I’m just someone who has taken an interest and would like to get some opinions. I have noticed that many/most Victorian homes have windows to the attic area and this one seems to only have vents. Is this something that may have been changed? I suppose the only one who can answer for this particular house is one that has been in the attic. Another question is that the screen doors appear to me to be backward. If the porch had all of the fancy ornamentation, I would think that the screens should have the ornamentation to the outside. If I am wrong, please correct me!
    In looking at the list of Barber homes, I’m curious about another one. There is a house in Jenison, MI that looks similar to some other Barber homes. It is currently a museum and has a great history, but I have never heard of who the architect could have been. This house is geographically near other Barber homes in Grand Rapids and Holland and I know that the original owners were friends with at least one of the families that built a Barber home. http://www.jenisonhistory.org/index.php?content_id=1

    • John Shiflet John Shiflet (4848 comments) - 10/20/2015 at 12:18 pm //

      You’re absolutely correct about the screen ornamentation usually being on the outside. I can only think maybe the original configuration was looking weathered so they flipped them so the “good” side would face outwards. No original Victorian era installation had the ornament on the screens facing inside that I’m aware of.
      As for original Victorian era attic vents, they tended to be of the scroll-sawn variety circular, square, rectangular or oval with an infinite variety of designs I’ve noted dozens of different designs like this lovely example in Tipton, IN: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11236515@N05/21663365133/ (simple but elegant gable brace above it as well) They tended not to last more than a few decades (a rare survivor in the photo) and were usually replaced with the modern plain louvered versions. So, to answer your question, no, the vents here are not orginal.
      As the the Barber attribution for the house in Jenison, I do not immediately recognize it as a Barber design but it was undoubtedly designed by an architect. David S. Hopkins in Grand Rapids was a prolific plan book author so that might be a logical place to start. But Michigan had a fair number of architects in the late Victorian era so more research is needed.

  11. Joditurtle (6 comments) - 11/03/2015 at 11:57 am //

    So, I went through this house last night! I can verify a few of the thing mentioned here. The upstairs pink bedroom closet WAS a porch. The original ceiling and some of the siding is still exposed in the closet. The pink bathroom is on the other side of the room. There WERE windows in the attic (they are actually up there next to the boarded up openings/vents) The kitchen was added on afterward. You can see this in the basement where a hole was broken through the foundation for the plumbing and heating. There was a nice trim on the front porch that has been removed. A picture laying on a coffee table showed the house in all its glory. The screen door is definitely backward.
    Now, why am I not putting in an offer?! Even though I love this house and could definitely see myself living here, there are issues. The basement chimney area was coated with a plaster like material that is beginning to crumble. Because of where it is, I’m thinking asbestos. I cannot afford to have that removed and it is in too bad of condition to try to seal it. In the kitchen and the pink bedroom is a ceiling tile that could also be asbestos. My husband did not like the transition between the kitchen and the rest of the house. It was too updated!
    One plus that is not mentioned is the stairs to the attic. In a house like this, I assumed that there would be stairs but I needed to verify it. Unfortunately, you currently cannot use the attic for storage because of the insulation laid on the floor (instead of hung in the rafters)
    Lots of potential for the right buyer! I’m just sorry that the buyer cannot be me!

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