1876 – Seymour, CT

Added to OHD on 9/10/15   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   111 Comments
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111 North St, Seymour, CT

  • $315,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 2.5 Bath
  • 4828 Sq Ft
  • 0.93 Ac.
Authentic Queen Ann Victorian Grandeur in the Truss work Gables, Ornamental roof lines and wide porches, Circular turrets, Decorative windows and Stained glass plus a wide variety of colors and textures This tall upright proud home typifies the décor of its day! At one time one of the most prestigious home in the valley -Needs work ! Unique with its amazing crafted wood detail, slate and brick siding, hardwood floors 5-fireplaces Decorative artful staircase A One of a kind Historic home in Seymour!
Contact Information
Nickie OToole, Nickie OToole Realty,
(203) 888-3921

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

108 Comments on 1876 – Seymour, CT

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11783 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I’m so sad to see this on the market, thought it was in the process of being restored. I left the old post up, you can check it out here.

    • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      The House of Nine Lives.

      It was for sale.

      Then it was, seemingly, going to be demolished. Oh no!

      Then it was said to be under restoration. Yippee!

      Now back on the market, with no work having been done. Huh?

      I am breathless! What next?

      Thanks Michael G for the fabulous archival images.

      This house is remarkable/astounding in so many ways, but above all for the fact that it is so original. I am amazed that the porte-cochère is extant. I am amazed that the wonderful anti-gravity turret is extant.

      If I lived in NYC (about an hour away) I would downsize to a studio apartment, then snap this beauty up to spend long weekends in.

      The best of both worlds.

      The house is #2 in my Top Five favorite houses on OHD.

      This is #1:

      https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2014/06/23/1892-romanesque-huntington-in/

      I am a sucker for a damsel in distress.

      1
  2. missd67 says: 8 comments

    wow this house could be amazing with a bit more renovation. tons of character

  3. Paul W says: 467 comments

    This is a very over-the-top house and its often hard to get a focus when tackling restoration like this, or, the money ran out.

    This is a great house that certainly needs to be saved, hopefully the threat of teardown for an apartment building thing is out of the picture.

  4. Melissa says: 234 comments

    Oh, not again! I wonder if these are new pictures as I recall some news (the last time that it was for sale), that it was going to be renovated. Unfortunately, Seymour is not really conveniently located to anywhere.

  5. says: 19 comments

    The floating turret is so romantic! Beautiful home, looks like a huge commitment though.

  6. dragonflyspirit14dragonflyspirit14 says: 250 comments
    1913 farmhouse
    Dillon, SC

    Few houses take my breath away like this one did. Every room has a treasure. I cannot imagine someone not taking on this restoration.

  7. Amanda says: 50 comments

    I think I could just move in and look at the windows. I am in Coral Gables, Florida, and this is my idea of heaven ( originally i am from England). Have to look to see how far away it is from me, the tiles, and of course the windows remind me of old Victorians back home. I love it. I do so hope that it can be restored. its a great price, here in Coral Gables you could not buy a garage for this amount!

    • Melissa says: 234 comments

      Amanda, there are some nice (though nearly not so old) older homes in “the Gables”! I lived in “The Lakes” in Hollywood for 20 years…

      • Amanda says: 50 comments

        Hi Melissa; yes, my house is 1924 one of the first built, a small mostly original on a big lot, but i crave more space and the codes here in the Gables are very demanding, we are designated historic, and i doubt i could put in my stained glass that i carefully brought over from England!

        • melissa says: 234 comments

          When we thought about living in the Gables, I drove an SUV and a realtor told me I would have to find a garage for it and not park it in my driveway. I’m actually glad they are that tough as my neighborhood was almost completely built out during the 90s – and not in a good way.

  8. Jen Chace says: 74 comments

    Not a fan of Queen Anne Architecture. Too much ornamentation for me translates into too busy. However, this home is a treasure; beautiful stained glass windows; staircases; plain windows; fireplaces; detailed woodwork. encircling veranda. It’s all there! I do hope it is purchased by someone who can afford to bring it back to it’s Glory Days!!!

  9. johnboy says: 8 comments

    I remember this old girl from a year or so ago. Im so sad to her back on the market again. I can see how someone just had to have it when they walked in the front door an saw that jaw dropping stair case. One of the best ever!!I may have done the same thing.Then you through in the windows , and its all over. WHERE DO I SIGH!!!! This one that I would loose a lot of sleep over.

  10. HarleysmomHarleysmom says: 115 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Windsor, CA

    The only thing this house is missing is me (with a lot of money to restore it).

    • Karrie says: 238 comments

      me too, I would love to live in this beauty and restore it. I sure hope someone will buy it and restore her to her once shinning beauty….

  11. Sapphy says: 392 comments

    Wow. This one is pure stun! That fireplace under the dramatic staircase is amazing! And i love the fact that the exterior hasn’t changed much over the years. Now if everyone could just leave the exteriors [and interiors] of these wonderful houses alone!

  12. Karen says: 114 comments

    While I have no idea what the roof and mechanicals look like, the inside mostly looks like a matter of cleaning, ripping up the carpet and refinishing floors, and some bathroom work. I wish there were pictures of the kitchen. Stunning place – all that woodwork. Looks like it would make a super B & B.

    • Mike G says: 21 comments

      The kitchen is disgusting. It was redone in the 50s or 60s, and the butlers pantry and dumbwaiter (yes it appears there was one when on the second floor over the butlerly, was destroyed. But the kitchen area is huge.

  13. says: 379 comments

    Beautiful staircase! Wow! And love the stained glass windows in the white bathroom!

  14. lisa says: 36 comments

    Wowza! That is just a gorgeous gorgeous place! I wish I had the means to pick it up and put it in a better place and restore it <3 I would keep decorating minimal and let the natural beauty of the house shine. I think I need a break from this site after this house 🙂 One can only dream so much before reality crashes in!

  15. CarolCarol says: 72 comments
    Washington, PA

    Simply amazing! The stained glass, staircase and woodwork are gorgeous. Whoever buys this house is one lucky person. So many original details still intact.

  16. Jennifer HT says: 780 comments

    That foyer fireplace and inglenook is STUNNING!

  17. RossRoss says: 2466 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    What looks like wood shingles on the second floor is, I think, slate tiles. If so, wow.

    • JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Ross, maybe that’s why the millionaire decided not to restore – he didn’t want to spend his fortune replacing the slate siding.

      • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS

        Why would one replace slate siding? It lasts forever.

        • Mike G says: 21 comments

          yeah it only needs repair not replacing. They are beautiful slates.

        • JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Nothing lasts forever – you can see in the photos the slate needs work. Like a tile roof after many years, at some point it needs to be removed, the sheathing repaired and the slate re-installed. With some new slate required and specialized labor, that’s going to be quite expensive. Replacing was the wrong word, though that would solve the problem going forward.

  18. SandraGMcNichol says: 72 comments

    Oh…how do I love thee…let me count the ways….

  19. natira121natira121 says: 610 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1877 Vernacular
    Columbia River Gorge, WA

    I, too am not a fan of Queen Annes, but this house is not so overblown as some and I absolutely love it! The stained glass is fantastic! The millwork, just everything. Wow.

    I’d love to see the kitchen too.

  20. says: 6 comments

    For this house I would even live in CT. or any where! I can so see me in the house, I don’t even care what the kitchen looks like. I’m in love with everything, the yard the house all of the rooms even the ones that have painted over the wood work, of course they must be restored. It would be a pleasure to restore the whole house. I’m in love, I’m in love I’m in love with this wonderful house.

  21. JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The house is owned by ***, a former contractor and his artist wife ***. They’re local celebrities after taking home $27mm after taxes from their Powerball win in 2012. At this point they own a few properties but haven’t run out of money yet since they bought the local PD a dog and doggie van this summer. If they can’t get it done I have to be concerned, although maybe they only intended to “rescue” it from developers.

    (admin edit: Sorry, would rather not have their names here.)

  22. Don Richards says: 445 comments

    Oh, wow. I wonder what happened? Seymour is in an exceptional commuting location, but it has always been a little gritty. The downtown area has come a long way, but with the downturn in the economy, doesn’t feel like there’s enough momentum there yet. There have been rumblings of developers who see the potential in the downtown core and plans of much money to be spent, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  23. Shelly says: 1 comments

    Truly an old house dream!

  24. SueSue says: 1134 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape
    ME

    I looked up where Seymour is. Really, this house is in a good location. You are 26 minutes from Newtown (where I grew up) and only 39 minutes from Danbury which has everything you could want including the famous Stew Leonard’s and the Danbury Mall. When I lived in Ridgefield I used to travel to Danbury to shop all the time.

  25. Bethany says: 3472 comments

    When I saw the comments had jumped from 17 to 44 over the last few hours while I was out, I couldn’t wait to read them, and I was not disappointed. Thanks for the entertainment! 🙂

  26. Karen Dunmire says: 1 comments

    I would love this house. Wish it was in Virginia where I live. I wouldn’t change a thing, just clean it up some. It is stunning. The wood work takes my breath away. Love it, love it, just love it. My dream home in everyway. Great to have my family and friends and mostly my grandbabies.

  27. Robb H says: 187 comments

    We went by this house today. It was hard to find the entrance to this house and found it as part of the apartment complex! The road around the apartment complex is a basically a one way loop. To get to the house you need to drive in the opposite direction. The lot is grossly overgrown. It appears nothing has been to the exterior of the house in many years. We were not impressed by the part of Seymour we saw. We later went to a big mall in Waterbury and did not feel too welcome. The house could be great but its surrounding areas are not great. You cannot change the driveway as this house is high up on a hill. I wish I could have taken pictures as I was the driver. They are not doing showings until next weekend.

    • Melissa says: 234 comments

      Thought of you guys yesterday, when I drove past Manchester on 91!

      Even though Seymour has come a long way, you’re right. There’s really not a lot around. Waterbury has had a very tough go of it since manufacturing moved out of CT. It’s spate of less than admirable Mayors has not helped. I had to go there last week and I was shocked to see how virtually deserted the downtown streets were.

      That said, if you had gone North West, you would have found Oxford (with its small airport), Woodbury (still a destination for its antique shops – though not the same as when I lived there), and Danbury, which has the best mall around – plus a Stew Leonards.

      If you stayed on Rte 8 and went north of Waterbury, you would have hit Litchfield, Thomaston, Torrington. If you haven’t been to Litchfield, you should go (Rte 4 west from Hartford area). Have lunch at the Village Restaurant. The Northwest Corner is a great place in the Autumn and (though you might not have time this year) both Seymour and Manchester are perfectly located to take advantage of the rural amenities and activities.

      • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS

        As I mentioned above, to me, one of the HUGE draws of this house is its proximity to NYC, about 1.5 hours away.

        Ideally, I would have a studio in the city, but spend long weekends in this fabulous magnificent wonderful intoxicating alluring pile.

        I used to live in NYC, and drove 3.5 hours every weekend to stay in my house in Newport. So, Seymour would be less than half that distance! I wish I had known of this house way back when!

        I would not be too concerned about Seymour, as long as I could get the basics. The house itself would be all captivating!

  28. Pookha says: 139 comments

    Is it possible there is anyone going to the showing? A first-hand spy report would be lovely. . . . (I’m curious about any mechanicals–that the sort of thing that was never extant, or gets stolen).

    • Robb H says: 187 comments

      I may go and view the house inside. I do not have too busy of a weekend planned. Just waiting on bids. I will report back further if I go. Any requests from anyone of something they may want to see a better picture? I will do the pictures if I go.

      • Wildviolet says: 6 comments

        To Robb H,
        Yes, please take pics of the 2nd story porch and the kitchen, basement if it has one. I wish i lived closer so I could go look. I’m so in love with this place. It would be perfect for my husband and I to retire to. He likes doing yard work and I like inside work.
        Thanks Robb,
        Wildviolet

        • Sapphy says: 392 comments

          I second Wildviolet’s suggestion of taking photos of the 2nd story porch, kitchen and basement. The basement is an important part of a home, and there are almost never photos of it in most listings. And don’t forget to take pictures of all bathrooms, and the third floor/attic too!

  29. Julie Rossington says: 27 comments

    I’m in love! This house had me at photo #10. The woodwork is spectacular! Would love to move to Conn! Really hope someone falls in love with her too and saves her!

  30. John Shiflet says: 5478 comments

    Julie,
    Agreed 100%. This house is a shrine to late Victorian decorative arts and is simply stunning throughout. The inglenook seating and fireplace recessed under the arch in the entry is amazingly similar to that in the 1890 (Wickwire) House in Cortland. New York: http://www.the1890house.org/ That similarity leads me to believe they could have both been designed by the same talented architect. The rare Belcher Mosaic stained glass windows, fine millwork, and other high end details set the house apart even from most other Victorian mansion level homes. But alas, the listing price, location, and Connecticut’s substantial property taxes also reduce the number of viable buyers to a small number. This is one of those “if I won the lottery” type homes that I’d buy and restore to period perfection myself if it were possible. I’m almost holding my breath while hoping the ideal buyers who recognize the significance of this house will soon buy it to authentically restore. In my humble opinion, this house is truly a national treasure based on its architectural and decorative arts merits.

    • Mike g says: 21 comments

      They look like mosaics but I did go to this house and they’re not. They’re just simply painted glas :). The purchase price is just too high for me for the work that needs doing. It’s just such a dream house… I wish I had one a million dollars just to restore it or hell… Even dismantle and move it.

      • Amanda says: 50 comments

        Mike, when did you go see the house? recently?

        • Mike g says: 21 comments

          Yes two weeks ago. Place is a dream. Windows walk out to the balcony and the wood frame sill below the sashes open like little doors creating the full opening. Two of the original servants bells work and the billiard room is on the third floor… Quite breath taking. I can’t afford the purchase price otherwise I’d buy this in a second. It’s everything I want. Sadly the kitchen was gutted for an ugly metal kitchen. Dumb waiter removed but remnants on the second floor.

  31. Caleo says: 1 comments

    this home is beautiful, love it, wish i could make it my own.

  32. says: 12 comments

    I THINK I JUST DIED. SERIOUSLY. This restoration would be beyond what I could ever afford… but wow. I REALLY hope that someone with those resources can step in here and save her. This one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen.

  33. says: 7 comments

    This house is unbelievably stunning and ticks all boxes; expansive, somewhat secluded, scenic and a (huge) project.

    Realistically how much would someone be looking to pay for renovations? I am genuinely interested in this property but budget has to be realistic.

    • JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Stephanie, guesstimates on a house of this scale would be irresponsible, but since you used the word “realistic” twice in your comment, it’s probably not the house for you.
      Depending on the desired result and how much someone brings into the project in skill and project management, the total cost here could range widely from 2x to 5x the asking price. Connecticut has among the highest construction costs in the country and this house requires a ton of specialist work.
      Another way to look at it – if this extraordinary home was in great shape and the asking price was say $1MM, would you still be interested?

      • says: 7 comments

        Realistic is subjective, but no I don’t have finances closer to the six 0’s mark (sadly!)

        I looked at an amazing house here in Dublin, the 2nd Duke of Cambridge’s residence when he was working with the military, and the price was suspiciously good (€275, 000, and later €295, 000!) but after thorough investigation and listening to my head over my heart, I realised that renovation costs would have been between €400,000-€500,000 for a good job. It hurt to say no to the house, especially given its history and proximity to the Phoenix Park, but it was a total money pit. The 2nd most recent owners bought it in December 2014 for €274, 799 and tried offloading it in April for €295,000, which I assume was part in attempt to recoup loses and also to pay off a fine for not following regulations regarding listed buildings.

        Here is a link to it:
        http://www.myhome.ie/residential/brochure/cambridge-house-41-monpelier-hill-arbour-hill-dublin-7/2877233

        (Btw €295,000 = $329, 898.50 so renovations would have been hitting up to over half a million dollars!!!)

        I really appreciate you getting back to me JimH on this. I know nothing about the construction costs from state to state in the US!

        Guess this place goes into my ‘if only’ file of my heart.

        • JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Stephanie, I wasn’t trying to be discouraging or dismissive in my comment and I would urge you or anybody else seriously interested in this house to check it out firsthand. My point is that this is an almost 5000 SF house on an acre, which usually costs a million dollars in this area. It’s not the best site or location, but the price roughly reflects a finished value in that range less the cost of renovation. The difficulty of a project like this is that you just can’t know all the things you may run into during the project and the costs involved. Comparatively, the Dublin house looks like a piece of cake.

          • says: 7 comments

            Oh I know, I’ve been lucky enough to learn from some friends’ very unfortunate renovation projects as opposed to my own. There’s always more than meets the eye and it can be quite sinister. (A friend has a separate run down work shed in their back garden that is basically composed of asbestos. They don’t have the funds to remove it professionally for the foreseeable future and thus are stuck with a deadly eyesore that they’re forced to remind their young children to avoid at all times whilst playing and really is a blot on the scenery.)

            The link for the property in Dublin doesn’t include the destroyed but protected annex at the back or the rotten 1st floor floorboard and missing ceiling, piping, rotten staircase etc. The estate agents were smart enough not to include those photos but my foot (and half my leg) found one or two damaged planks, which was exhilarating.

            I think there are other people on this site who would be far more realistic and informed about the potential risks in taking on 111 North Street than myself. Especially people living within the same country as the property!

  34. Robb H says: 187 comments

    Great house but location is the worst. I will repeat, you need to enter it via the apartment complex and going the wrong way on the road!!

    • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      To access the house, you enter a drive on North Street, and go straight (sorta east). The drive loops around the apartments, and then heads back to the entrance on North.

      The drive IS a one-way. But it you enter from North Street and turn to the left, you are entering the wrong way. You need to enter and go straight.

      You can go to Google Streetview, stand right in front of the entrance drive, and clearly see the directional arrows painted on the asphalt drive.

      Also, the house fronts North Street. If it also owns the land to North, I do not see why a new drive could not be laid down, although I would have no issue with the current situation.

      • Robb H says: 187 comments

        I am one of the few people who have actually been to this house so what I am relaying is first hand in person comments. House is actually more on a hill and though it appears to be on North Street there is actually a large retaining wall and hill on North St so to put a driveway off North St may be feasible but may not be city allowed and would be steep and expensive.

        • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
          Emporia, KS

          I can see that the house is on a hill.

          However, I do not see a retaining wall along North Street, unless the wall is brand new and does not show up on Streetview.

          I do not even see a curb!

          Also, as I mentioned above, I see no issue with the current driveway situation. I would simply view the drive as an extension of the street. People drive by apartment buildings all the time, and think nothing of it. Why should this situation be any different?

        • JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
          OHD Supporter

          A gently sloping driveway from North St. could be created at the upper corner of the property. The grade there would be far less steep than the existing drive, and the sight lines in both directions are clear. Moving some earth and paving a drive isn’t terribly expensive. Note the old stone steps in the Street View that allowed access to the front lawn from the street back in the day: https://goo.gl/maps/Nhk6shS9Wdv
          I checked the zoning and the apartment complex has more units than allowed if built today, so no new ones could be built. The house is in a different zone where apartments are not permitted.
          It’s possible the complex could be redeveloped as single family or condominium, with a total of about 10 houses or units. That would be an upgrade to the neighborhood, but might feel more encroaching since the property lines are within 40′ of the house to the side and rear. Two additional houses could be built on this house lot, but those lots aren’t worth near what the house is.

  35. Robb H says: 187 comments

    I hesitate to comment too much on the house as I believe the owners have commented on here already. I think they should include any “missing pictures” that people may want to see. They should also comment on the driveway/road situation as perhaps I do not have a full understanding of it. I offer my opinion as to what we had to do and what others have possibly had to do. Fact is, it is right next to a large apartment complex where this house and apartments share a common drive. My opinion is that its like putting a unique house in the middle of a large city. It just doesn’t work anymore. The house needs a lot of tree’s and brush cleared to bring it back to its past splendor. The house inside looks great. Outside not so much for now. Just always remember the 3 keys to Real estate…location, location, location!

    Owners, care to comment and maybe give us all some insight and maybe a few more pictures of what people have been seeking?

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11783 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      The owners have not commented, not sure if they even know the house is on here.

    • says: 7 comments

      Firstly, thank you Robb H and Kelly for your responses.
      I can imagine that the apartment complex detracts from the experience of such a grand and beautiful house, alright. Although there is the silver lining that you aren’t isolated should anything happen with the house in the middle of the night.

      Unfortunately the 3 Ls come with a large price-tag.

      *If* the owners are by any chance aware that the house is on here, may I say your taste is impeccable.

      The outside could be brought up to scratch with a lot of love, patience and some fundings to boot. With the right approach this place could be a Historic haven.

      And I second the request of any further photos should anyone (house owners or viewers) have any and are willing to share.

  36. Robb H says: 187 comments

    I could have sworn I saw the owners comment on here but perhaps it was another property. I posted my comment after traveling back to MN from MA and CT. I encourage people to look at the aerial view of this house. You can see the house and how close it is to the apartments. It is actually closer than what it appears on here. I am not sure if putting a lot of money in to this house is worth it unless you plan to do it for yourself. It is very possible that more apartments could be built around you in the future. Seymour is a nice town but not a highly desirable town to live. I love the house but not in its current location.

    • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      But isn’t everything relative?

      This house, in a prime/desirable area, could easily be several million.

      I could not afford that.

      But I can afford this house where it is. And, as I wrote above, its proximity to fabulous NYC would be a significant part of the attraction.

      I would spend four days a week in this GORGEOUS house (Friday through Monday) and 3 days a week in a studio apartment in the city.

      To me, this sounds like bliss bliss bliss.

      One could also find a house in a better location for the same price, but I very much doubt the house will in any way compare to the rare beauty and exquisite nature of this house.

      This house is incredible. It takes my breath away. It causes deeeeeeeep lust in my heart. It makes me swoon.

    • John Shiflet says: 5478 comments

      A longer term perspective would be that this house has already stood here for more than a century and a quarter while in less than 40 years from now the apartments are likely to be gone unless they are upscale and very well cared for. I can see both positives and negatives from the nearby apartments so it depends on how they are being managed and maintained. Whatever the circumstances, the grand Victorian house is unique and a rare survivor of its era. If I were buying the historic home, I’d see what could be done to minimize distractions from the apartment complex and try to get on a friendly basis with their management because they too want the apartments to be appealing for a long time to maximize rent income. If any contacts about problems with renters is factual and constructive, the management is likely to appreciate your input rather than become annoyed by it. Being good neighbors would go a long way towards making the experience of living in the Victorian mansion a pleasant one. An immediate issue that needs addressing is the road access to the house. It would give you a good conversation starter to approach the apartment management and ask them to help you work out a safe approach to your house (after all, they are responsible for what happens when you are driving though their property, even if a tenant’s car darts out in front of you causing an accident.) Local zoning records may have addressed the access problem when the apartment project was being approved. In summary, I don’t see as many negatives as others may see; if everyone pictured the worst case scenario happening every time little would get accomplished. A realistic expectation is one of challenges as well as successes. Best to personally visit the area, (spend several days to a week) meet some local people, get a personal feel for the house, its surroundings, and the community, then you can draw some valid conclusions.

      • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS

        John,

        I agree, the apartments may perhaps not stand the test of time.

        And this reminds me of another situation.

        In the early 1990s I wrote to the director of the 1905 Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, which was open to the public.

        The house is by Frank Lloyd Wright. In the 1950s, the property was subdivided, and two apartment blocks built where the fabulous long pergola, conservatory, and garage had been.

        I asked if a plan could be developed to buy the apartments, demolish them, and recreate the lost Martin bits.

        The reply I received was, well, a slap. The director thought I was delusional, and stated that such a plan would never happen. Never! Ever!

        Fast forward.

        During the last ten years the two apartments blocks WERE purchased, torn down, and the lost pergola, conservatory, and garage rebuilt.

        Then the 1909 gardener’s cottage, also by Wright, was reacquired. As was an adjacent house (also by Wright) built for Martin’s sister in 1903.

        The whole property is now back under single ownership, all the missing bits carefully recreated, and a glittering visitors center has been created on an adjacent parcel.

        So, amazing things CAN happen!

        http://www.darwinmartinhouse.org/home.cfm

        • John Shiflet says: 5478 comments

          Thanks Ross. That is indeed a heart-warming story and shows when a landmark home is impacted by new development that if the historic home can remain standing long enough, the newer construction ages much faster and has a projected service life unlike the grand home that was built to last for ages. (often by Old-World European immigrant craftsmen who were from a long line of traditional tradespeople where the concept of “planned obsolescence” in construction was alien to them.) That’s another reason why I sometimes get a bit emotional over these endangered old gems because nothing like them will ever be built again-the skills, the materials/resources, and the wealth that created them are now gone, likely forever. Lets hope a century from now this shrine to Victorian Age decorative arts and architecture is still standing and appreciated by all who visit it. As for the loss of some of Wright’s iconic works in past decades, that now seems unconscionable but thanks to changing attitudes we can now understand it that way. I see a future for this home but someone has to buy it and take care of it first. I’m figuratively holding my breath until I read it has been sold to someone who will care for it.

  37. says: 13 comments

    Stephanie, coming from Ireland, you would find great camaraderie in and around Waterbury, as there is a huge Irish population. the “AOH” (Ancient Order of Hibernians) is a very active club for those of Irish descent and there are a couple of extremely successful Irish Dance Schools in and around Waterbury. 2 World Champ Irish Step Dancers came from Waterbury in the 80’s.
    Seymour does trick or treating in the school lot for the Pre K – 6th graders as an alternative / addition to traditional trick or treat. People decorate their cars for halloween, and hand out candy as the kids parade by. Traditional trick or treat still happens.
    There are many festivities that take place within a one hour drive from Seymour, throughout the year, and it is an enjoyable area in which to live (though CT is ungodly expensive).
    I think the benefit of having this house share the entry with the apartment complex is: no plowing! I imagine that the complex will take care of most snow removal and upkeep of the traffic – ways. That said, I wonder if it would be possible to put a new drive way in so that new owners might not have to access via the apartment complex.

    • RossRoss says: 2466 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      Melissa, I agree with the value of no plowing!!!!!! I had not thought about that!

      • says: 13 comments

        Oh, my driveway is 20 ish feet wide by 100 ish feet long – gravel. If only I didn’t have to pay the plow man! $50 every time he comes. I’m hoping for a snow free (ish) winter!
        At least there won’t be a giant dumpster and outhouse in the driveway this winter!

        • says: 7 comments

          Melissa,
          Thank you for your extremely informative comment!
          I have always dreamed of living in an area with a very ’90s American Halloween’ (Think the opening credits to Hocus Pocus, before all of the witchcraft happens)vibe to its Autumn, for me that is just idyllic and what you have told me has reassured me that such things still exist.

          And that is a great point about the plowing too. I think if one wanted added privacy for scenic purposes, a few willow trees could provide the optical illusion of the house being somewhat isolated, whilst also enabling the new home owners to be close enough to their neighbours in the complex to build a good relationship. If properly placed, you get some privacy and a gorgeous view from your windows but still allow light in.

          Yikes! That’s expensive! I’ll have my fingers and toes crossed for you this coming season.

  38. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11783 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Here’s another old photo from the book Seymour Past And Present, H. A. Campbell 1902. Thank you Jim.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11783 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Look at the aerial view (link in the more information section at the top), you can see the carriage house seen in the background of the photo looks like it now belongs to the apartments…although maybe not there are no property lines shown so maybe the carriage house does not belong to the apartments. Found a property line, the old carriage house is in the same outline of the apartments.

      • MIKE G says: 21 comments

        The carriage house is still in the back. Its no longer part of the property. Its been converted to multi family apartments sadly. There was originally another building on the property according to the old Ariel photos that was demolished to the right of the old carriage house. There was also a windmill.
        NOTE: IN THE OLD PICTURE… SEE THE OLD CONSERVATORY ATTACHED TO THE HOUSE WHERE THE SUN ROOM NOW IS? LOOK THROUGH THE CARRIAGE PORT AT THE CURVING GLASS!

  39. Wildviolet says: 6 comments

    Thank you Kelly for the photo. What a grand old lady she is. John loved your comment- so right we will never see that kind of old world craftsmanship and opulence ever again, and the fact that there is so much of the house that is original and untouched by the modern hand I think is the “wow” factor in this place that has called to so many. I have so enjoyed many of the comments on this house, thanks every one!

  40. Amanda says: 50 comments

    i so look forward to the comments on this house, its my all time best. i wonder if any of us that write will ever purchase it? i would love to go visit it, i hope so much that it can be saved. could not imagine it being sold off and being on one of those salvage shows , and a conservatory! heaven. maybe we could do one of those facebook fund pages for it? ( i’m not actually on face book my boys think i am rather old fashioned)

  41. MIKE G says: 21 comments

    we should all buy it together and restore it back to what it looked like when it was first build it. Then turn it into a living Victorian Museum.

  42. Robb H says: 187 comments

    This house is no longer listed for sale. I am not sure if the sellers pulled it off the market or if it sold. I hope it sold and will get the love it needs.

  43. Mike G says: 21 comments

    I drove by it the other day and it had no trespassing tape at the driveway

  44. Amanda says: 50 comments

    oh if anyone knows if it has sold please post it! it is still my dream.

  45. Amanda says: 50 comments

    any news if it has been sold????????????

  46. Amanda says: 50 comments

    WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS i had hoped it would be good news…..

  47. Mike says: 21 comments

    That’s disturbing. Houses like this should NOT EVER be treated with the same type of care of any average house. Don’t people realize that historic homes should never have vinyl replacement windows in them? Not to mention WHITE! Also if you notice in the original photos, the trim was dark. So white windows with dark trim will look awful if someone tries to restore this house. booo 🙁

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11783 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      As much as I hate seeing new windows replacing original ones, I’d rather have new windows than no house at all. If the new owners are saving it as opposed to tearing it down as was the rumor, kudos to them.

  48. Michael G says: 21 comments

    I drove by the house yesterday when in the area and they are doing quite a nice job on the work. Looks like they painted the trim and are cleaning it up. (hopefully no one is painting the woodwork inside lol)
    I hope they kept the stained glass windows in place. This house is a dream. Its a very unusual Victorian.

  49. Ray Marsh says: 2 comments

    Hi All, As it turns out, I was surfing images of this house, because a friend is the one who bought it. I just spent Christmas weekend sleeping there. (No ghosts!) The entire outside of house has been repainted, the siding has been repaired, the carriage house posts restored, the turret has been fixed, the carpeting on the stairs has been replaced with a beautiful floral pattern running all the way from bottom to top. Time and money was even spent to make sure that when the carpet was laid, that all the vines and flowers line up from stair to stair. All the beautiful interior woodwork has been preserved and refinished. Eventually, the hardwood floors will be all refinished to it’s original beauty.
    I agree with the white windows comment, but the house, for it’s size, is very cozy. There is a hand drawn image of a boat on the wall in the basement, saying “Remember the Bismark!

    1
    • JimHJimH says: 5037 comments
      OHD Supporter

      It’s wonderful to read that this great old house is in good hands, which seemed like a long-shot for a while. Thanks for making my day!

      1
  50. Ray M. says: 2 comments

    Oh, and by the way, all the stained glass is either in good shape, or is being restored. Movers leaned against the stained glass in the entryway and broke the bottom section. The stained glass itself is also unique, being put together with copper between the panels, and not lead.

    1

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