1887 Gothic Revival – Norwich, CT

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Added to OHD on 8/27/15   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   18 Comments

231 Broadway, Norwich, CT 06360

  • $79,900
  • 5 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 3208 Sq Ft
  • 0.65 Ac.
Known formally as the Jon S. Ely House, it was built around 1880 with Gothic Revival details, and has been owned by the same family since the 1920's. Original features remain intact such as hardwood floors, four panel doors with Gothic trim, 9 ft. ceilings, four fireplaces, and wrap around porch with wood columns, The mechanicals are operable, but this lovely property will need much renovation. At one time the owners used the upstairs, with back entrance, as a full in-law apartment (second kitchen). Sited on a beautiful .65 acre corner lot, but not in the local historical district, this home could be restored or converted to a multi family as it is zoned MF5.
Contact Information
Patti Hostage, Randall Realtors
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18 Comments on 1887 Gothic Revival – Norwich, CT

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  1. SeanSean says: 157 comments
    1928 Spanish Revival
    Long Beach, CA

    Wow… all the gothic details are still intact. I can picture the prints of gothic revival interiors from the design books of the period when looking at this. This needs to be restored without clutter and simply, and it would be really beautiful. It needs a collection of portraits of stern Victorian relatives hung on satin cords all over the house. 🙂

  2. Little Harp says: 1 comments

    I would love to see this beauty restored and given a second wind at life! Her bones are gorgeous and I would imagine that there is a lot more that we’re not seeing. I do hope someone comes along that lovingly cares for her and the history she inevitably holds!

  3. Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 136 comments
    OHD Supporter

    This house was built prior to the 1880’s, and is totally drool-worthy. It has an amazing amount of original millwork, etc.
    Clearly a bargain for someone who values architectural integrity.

  4. SueSue says: 1101 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    What a beautiful house this is. The Gothic details are fabulous, like those two outside windows that face each other. I truly hope it isn’t made into a multi family home.

  5. John Shiflet says: 5731 comments

    That date (1887) may be off by 20 or more years. Formal Gothic Revival houses like this one often date from the 1850’s and 1860’s and a number of interior and exterior details support that hypothesis. In New England states, the Gothic Revival style was already well established by the 1840’s but my hunch is this is from a decade or two later. (1850’s-1860’s) Lots of potential in this house and possibly some nice original faux graining under the layers of paint inside. I hate to mention the “T” (taxes) word but one would need to verify and take that into account when buying this house.

  6. Melody says: 490 comments

    Funky wallpaper! Someone had flair.

    There’s a grand lady hiding in those trees, and taking a look around the neighbourhood, I see she’s in good company.

  7. KarenB says: 343 comments

    Lots of quirks and curves that make for an interesting house. I love the two facing windows also and the door trim. Could be done up nicely.

  8. JimHJimH says: 5634 comments
    OHD Supporter

    This is not the John S. Ely House, which confuses it with a house in New Haven, and it was not built by John’s father General W. G. Ely as HABS says, although he actually lived here as a young man. The house was built for his father Jesse Sanford Ely (1807-1879), as shown on old maps. Jesse had the house built c.1850 when he came to Norwich from Killingly. He became a major figure in town as a merchant, bank founder, paper manufacturer and Federal Revenue Assessor. I think his house is important both historically and architecturally, and worthy of recognition and preservation.
    I can forgive the realtor for not doing her homework on the history, but suggesting the house be converted to multifamily is ignorant and callous. From all indications, this is a solid family neighborhood and Norwich is a pretty good town. A historic 5 bedroom house on over half an acre in town for this price seems like a fair deal given the work required.

    • Ely-Family-Genealogist says: 1 comments

      THANK YOU JimH! I was just about to type the same thing that you did. (as a descendent of Jesse S. Ely, and his son Civil War General William Grosvenor Ely) I immediately recognized the wrong info on the listing. Hopefully someone can restore this house.

  9. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1050 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    So many wonderful details to this house — and props to the long-ago person who installed the very Dorothy Draper-esque palm-frond wallpaper! But alas, this is in one of the high-tax states.

  10. Joe Daigle says: 29 comments

    Love Connecticut. But with the out of control high taxes makes it out of reach for many people, myself included. Better states in the south for nice old homes

  11. Melissa says: 234 comments

    Taxes for this year (on this house) were $8141.00. The mill rate in Norwich is a crazy 38.85. Plus there is state income tax and personal property tax. sigh.
    I wonder if there was some property sold off in 2011/12 as the assessed value went from $254K to $169,400

  12. Sapphy says: 367 comments

    Gothic Victorian and Folk Victorian are my two favorite house types. This one has so much potential! And the price isn’t bad either. I like what looks like a very private yard, and the fact that a lot of the original detail is still in and on the home!

  13. Cherleeco says: 20 comments

    I tried to look closely at the wall paper in one of the rooms and I think it may be a cowboy print, either that or roses. I am just not sure, can anyone tell?

    • JimHJimH says: 5634 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Cherleeco, I wouldn’t have guessed it but I think you’re right – cowboys on horseback, around the campfire, with a cactus! Fun.

  14. Tommy Q says: 443 comments

    Spooky place but the price is right. It could be made whole and have some happy times again.

  15. JoeD says: 29 comments

    An absolutely beautiful neighborhood!
    This home could stunning.

  16. Paul says: 1 comments

    Itthiel Town, Davis, Downing and other Great architects of the era all worked and lived in Norwich when it was one of America’s richest towns. This amazing place is right out of the architect’s design books for a gothic revival villa. The darn place is so amazing. Very sophisticated layout and the materials are astonishing. The basement is like a cathedral. I looked at this house two times with the realtor and a contractor. It has structural problems. The wraparound porches are actually sitting above the basement and some record snowfall during a couple of back to back winters made the basement very wet and the massive beans were a bit compromised. The taxes are outrageous. The town is a bit sketchy these days but wow does it have the greatest architecture. The town was so rich for so many decades. Local rich folk built their own amazing school for the local kids which is still the town high school. It’s nearby and it too has awesome architecture. The proposed re-development of an amazing nearby former state mental hospital campus by the local Indian tribe casino operators may turn the town back to a more prosperous spot at the top of the Thames River. But that will take some time.


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