1872 Italianate – Marshall, MI

Added to OHD on 12/18/15   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   72 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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407 N Madison St, Marshall, MI 49068

  • $134,500
  • 6 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 5358 Sq Ft
  • 1.3 Ac.
One of Marshall's finest historic homes is ready for a new buyer. The Cronin House is a Italianante villaI that is registered as a historic landmark with the State of Michigan. 6 bedrooms, 2 bath and over 5300 SF. Walkout basement and screened porch. 2 car detached garage and over 1.3 acre lot. This beauty will need some restoration but most of the original woodwork, including the staircase and brick fireplaces remain.
Contact Information
Michael Brubaker, RE/MAX Perrett Associates,
(269) 968-6101

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

72 Comments on 1872 Italianate – Marshall, MI

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  1. Joel says: 20 comments

    Is that mold on the wall in the 19th picture, or just the results of removing the wallpaper from that wall?

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11871 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      I’m not sure.

    • Will says: 59 comments

      I believe that is efflorescence which is when bricks leach salt. It comes from moisture. Our present home is brick built in the 1850’s and we have this issue in the basement from wicking which is when porous material like brick sucks up water from the ground. I’ve never seen it happen above a basement level like this.

      Amazing house otherwise. The tower room alone would have me ready to make an offer.

      • Polished Hippy says: 57 comments

        Could it be because the bricks are painted and moisture is getting trapped under the paint? It also looks like their is moisture damage around the eaves.

    • TCLucas says: 2 comments

      I worked in a wallpaper company for 10 years and unless that is OLD wallpaper it looks like seepage from the upper floor, but I could be wrong. Still would not only be a worthwhile investment but make a beautiful family home

  2. RossRoss says: 2411 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    At last! Images INSIDE a tower! Whoee!!!!!

  3. Sylvia says: 2 comments

    I’ve been by this house many times and hope someone will buy it and restore it properly.

  4. BethanyBethany says: 3431 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Dream house material! And I love MI! I can see why the author wrote a book set in this cool old Victorian.

  5. Firecracker says: 8 comments

    The curved stair case is amazing and I about died a little when I saw another one going up to the tower. Wow! Love this! Even the orange paper in the bathroom is very cool!

  6. Cody H says: 133 comments

    Wowzers!There’s SO MUCH to work with here it’s unbelievable! A little paint stripper here, some period furnishings there, and presto! You have an authentic, period home! They need to take the for sale sign out of the yard 😉

  7. Alyssa T. says: 4 comments

    Holy crap. I am obsessed, obsessed, OBSESSED with John Bellairs and his books for young adults. One of my literary heroes. Too cool that this is for sale!!! It’s amazing!!

    • Joseph Johnston says: 4 comments

      I love those books too, and to me the mansion was always the star!

    • Polished Hippy says: 57 comments

      I LOVED the House with the Clock In Its Walls as a kid! In my elementary school we had an “ugly book” program where kids would check out an old book and create their own cover for it. This was the book I chose and drew an elaborate, technicolor version of this house. I had no idea it was actually based on an existing home!

  8. drooling says: 2 comments

    What’s a little mold? Needs insulation and better air movement. Bleach will kill the mold. Elbow grease for the rest. Love this house!

  9. JimHJimH says: 5103 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Historical Marker – Jeremiah Cronin Jr. House:
    This picturesque residence was erected in 1872 for Marshall merchant Jeremiah Cronin. Jr., and his wife Susan. Local contractor Frederick N. Church constructed this house as well as Cronin’s 1869 Michigan Avenue commercial block. On September 5, 1872, the Calhoun County Patriot and Democratic Expounder predicted that the house would be the “most stylish” in the city. The Italian villa reflects the Cronin family’s standing in the community. When Jeremiah died in 1889, Susan took over the business as the S.E. Cronin Store. Their son Jay became manager in 1907. By then, the Cronins were operating clothing, grocery and shoe stores and a bakery. Jay Cronin’s daughters operated the business until 1974.

    Owned by the Cronin family until 2003, then restored. It looked a lot better in 2010 and 1977:

    • Margaret says: 6 comments

      I wonder what happened between 2010 and now – the home is in a state of disrepair but defiantly was a beauty then- someone put a whole lot of time and effort into it that’s for sure
      – sad to see the currant pictures.

      • Chris says: 1 comments

        The home is still on the market. My wife and I window peeked on Dec, 12th, 2015. Price is still $135,000. Foundation and walls seem VERY solid but the roof has issues along with the eve line. Park of the facia board is now missing on the front bay window. To be honest though, most;y cosmetic from what I could see and Marshall is a dream city for those who love historic homes. Was slated to be the State Capital until Lansing snatched it at the last minute. It even has a Governor’s Mansion! lol As far as the house goes, beautiful but I still get my wife to go for it. She needs to be by water and Marshall is pretty land locked.

  10. Ann says: 8 comments

    sooooOOOOHHHH lovely!

  11. Shea says: 20 comments

    I went through the first floor of this house when it was on the Marshall Historic Homes Tour a few years ago and it is an AMAZING house. I fell in love. The original family had owned it until the last decade. The owners at that time had done a lot of restoration work including lifting the floor and putting supports in the basement so the pocket doors would work again. It was for sale when I went through it and it was listed at over $600,000. Marshall is a beautiful town and this is a great price for a great house.

  12. KarenB says: 315 comments

    Swoon, fall out of my chair, pick my lower lip off the desk top. I’m in love and green with envy over the person who gets this beauty. If only I could find something like this with more acreage and I was young enough to make another move. Or if I wasn’t such an avid horsewoman and have to have horses. It is probably a little surface mold that happens to plaster when you use water on it to strip, etc. I wouldn’t even worry about that. You find all kinds of things in an old house. Both of the stairways are lovely and the entry is just sooooooo romantic. This house has good vibes to it and is sitting on a lovely street. I may have to look up some of John Bellairs books as I love to read! This house is one of my favorites.

  13. says: 4 comments

    What a commanding exterior! And I’m strangely in love with that pinkish-orangey wallpaper in the bathroom 🙂

  14. Cody says: 1 comments

    Belisimo!Absolutely belisimo!

  15. 67drake67drake says: 271 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1993, hey I’m still looking! Boring
    Iowa County , WI

    Great house! Nice homes around it,they look well cared for,but not over the top stuffy. 1 block away from a hospital,2 blocks away from a nice downtown area. Great schools it looks like too. Town is just off of I-94,and great MI winters (for people like me!).
    When can I move in?

  16. NancyN says: 25 comments

    I love the look of the exterior. I’m a sucker for a house with a tower, which is a bit odd as I’m terribly afraid of heights.
    Then there’s that staircase! I’m absolutely drooling.
    Another one of my odd things – that basement looks just incredible for a ghost hunt. There has to be someone that loved the house enough to stick around!

  17. Michael Mackin says: 2665 comments

    The house definitely need a bit of work, outside as well as inside. It is a beautiful piece of architecture that deserves to be restored and loved again!

  18. Paul W says: 462 comments

    This kind of illustrates how quickly a house can deteriorate. The house exhibits signs of high moisture and unheated environments. This causes deterioration of the plaster walls. Looking at the roof its going to need one and the “tuckpointing’ done to the chimney is improperly done and will have to be redone and as we can see from the photos there is also deterioration on the soffits.

    The house has some nice features but the Home Depot bathrooms will have to be redone. People buy ‘big houses’ and they quickly learn that the Victorians had servants to do the everyday things. It is very easy to become a “slave” to ones house.

    Hope someone with deep pockets can buy this and restore it AGAIN.

  19. Joy Louters says: 112 comments

    I love this old house! It should be on the National Registry of historic places if it isn’t yet. Perhaps new owners could get a grant to help save it. The tower and staircases are mesmerizing. Every room has it charm and seems to welcome you. I also love the state of Michigan. Not sure where this town is but for the price, it may be ideal for a young couples’ project.

  20. Joy Louters says: 112 comments

    I would like to wish all of my fellow OHD readers a Merry Christmas! Especially to Kelly for her hard work and dedication to keeping this site alive for all of us to enjoy! Thank you, Kelly!

  21. EyesOnYou1959EyesOnYou1959 says: 253 comments
    Lincoln, NE

    What a grand old home! It is a shame that it has been left to rot the way it
    has. With the proper restoration, I would definitely enjoy living there!

  22. John Shiflet says: 5357 comments

    A great 1870’s towered Italianate style home here for those with the vision and determination to bring it back. Leaving a house unheated for a couple of winters in the north can cause this kind of delamination on the walls and ceilings but so would an upstairs plumbing leak. A thorough inspection would thus be prudent to determine the scope of work needed for a full restoration. Marshall has some outstanding 19th century architecture including this house. The brick arched mantel with the inglenook type seats to either side is a later (c. 1900) addition but otherwise the house overall looks remarkably intact for a grand 1870’s home. Seems reasonably priced as well even with the condition issues taken into consideration.

  23. cheryl plato says: 174 comments

    How this amazing house could sell for 500k five years ago and now for so much less? The 2010 pics look so nice. A home can deteriorate so much so fast? Seems odd. Still a wonderful gorgeous home, hope someone can rescue it.

  24. SueSue says: 1111 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    Goodness how can a house go downhill so fast? The photos from 2010 are amazing. Clearly this is a steal at 134,00. Just so lovely and that hallway wall paper is gorgeous. Love the grounds too in the 2010 photos. This realtor’s photos are horrible and don’t do this beauty justice.

  25. laurie engelsman says: 1 comments

    i just want to know where this town is located. i have lots of family in holland, kalamazoo, grand rapids makinaw…would love a beautiful piece of real estate like this!

    • Teri says: 41 comments

      Marshall is about an hour south of Lansing/45 mins east of Kalamazoo. Right where I-94 and I-69 meet.

    • John Shiflet says: 5357 comments

      Marshall is due east of Battle Creek, MI where interstates 94 and 69 meet. In looking at the map that’s in the south central region of Michigan. Due south is Coldwater, another town full of historic architecture.

  26. LUCINDA HOWARD says: 242 comments

    Sighing, this home is just too wonderful for words. Hope it does not have to sit vacant another winter.

  27. Kevin ONeill says: 153 comments

    This house was not winterized and the radiators blew. You can see the missing pieces in the blue and yellow room. The walls with the mold probably had an interior pipe break inside the wall. This probably happened last winter and over the summer the mold formed. This is most likely a foreclosure. But it’s a guess on my part.

  28. Lilly Hastings says: 10 comments

    This very house and the illustrated version by Edward Gorey are what fueled a lifelong love and adoration for Victorian homes; especially Second Empires. This is by far the best post!

  29. Shaina Turner (Warman) says: 1 comments

    I’m from Marshall and this house is breathtaking it person. I actually want to call to set up a showing just so I can tour it (it’s too much house for me to take on) but I hope someone buys it and restores it soon!

  30. LAgirl says: 1 comments

    i live fifteen minutes from the house and very much wanted to buy it.. Its in a great location, the lot is larger than most and the grounds have incredible potential. Alas, the cost of this house is not in the purchase price. the professional research we conducted indicated that it was not restored properly with regards to structural integrity – the exterior brick is the house- no insulation, and was simply painted over . Without going into all the details, it was estimated that at least 400-600 thousand dollars would be needed to fix this house to a livable condition with massive work to the basement foundation, roof, and abatement of moisture and damage to structure. the current market wont support that type of investment. Its not simply a fixer upper that needs a little paint and floors refinished, its over five thousand square feet. I too wish it could have been simply just “cleaned up a bit”. they need a historical preservation group to do this correctly or somebody like This Old House, or Bob Villa. I hope somebody who does have deep pockets or can get a grant, can not just fix this treasure structurally but can spend the money to maintain it as well. Its heartbreaking that it has been left in decline for so long.

    • Ross says: 2411 comments

      I am sure one could spend $400-$600 thousand making this house livable.

      I am sure one could spend twice that.

      And I could spend way way WAY less.

      Also, houses with structural brick exterior walls of this era are not going to have insulation, and such walls normally had interior plaster applied right to the brick.

      There is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, even the exterior stone/brick walls of The White House did not have insulation when it was built.

      Nor is it critical that exterior walls have insulation. Making the walls TIGHT (stopping air leakage) is far more important.

      It should be noted that This Old House, and Bob Villa, are not preservation minded. The magazine, and the man, are devoted to renovation. And restoration and renovation are two very very very different things.

      This house needs a preservation-minded soul.

      • Polished Hippy says: 57 comments

        I agree, Bob Villa and This Old House have just destroyed one great house after another. Virtually all of their renovations are very dated looking and insensitive. 18th and 19th century houses were not intended to have open floor plans.

    • Kevin ONeill says: 153 comments

      Was that quote from a contractor ? If it was run! Can you share what the problem was in the basement? It definitely needs a roof but I would estimate 15-22k for a roof. You could lift and shore the basement and put new block in for probably 75k. That leaves 500k left for the rest of the house. The reason I bring it up is we have had other people on this blog become interested in purchasing an old house only to be derailed by some out of touch architect or a “remodeler” contractor. Although now its listed as “pending” so we’ll see what happens.

  31. Joy Louters says: 112 comments

    I want to buy this house and have John and Ross advise me on how to fix all the essentials so I can focus on decorating! 🙂

    Anyone know how far this house would be from Lake Michigan? We also have family in Grand Rapids and Holland. I adore Lake Michigan!

  32. Joy Louters says: 112 comments

    Happy New Year, OHDers!!

  33. Joy Louters says: 112 comments

    Oh, wow, very close! Thank you. 67drake!

  34. KarenZ says: 1150 comments

    What a gorgeous property! I hope that the pending sale is to someone that really knows how to do this type of restoration! Lately, I have been watching Nicole Curtis and she likes to preserve old houses! I think that she is from Michigan also, so maybe someone put her on the trail for this house! I wish that there was a way to follow up to see pics in future years!

  35. Architecture Buff says: 7 comments

    I am the contract purchaser of this home. Having just spent 3 days looking it over from top to bottom and being a contractor myself, I can attest to the fact that it is in remarkably sound condition. It has some issues but nothing that you would not expect for a house of this vintage. It is amazingly well preserved and is an outstanding example of it’s time.. The fact that it is so intact is truly amazing. It is an architectural time capsule and a true treasure.

    • Kevin ONeill says: 153 comments

      Congratulations on the purchase of a fine house. By the wording in your post I think its safe to say you are sensitive to the historic nature of this property. I am a licensed contractor that specializes in historic restorations and I think I can speak for the majority that post here. There are way too many remuddlings of great old houses. With the proliferation of “flip” shows the old house market was being bought up by Muffy and Biff, and their uncle Jack that can do just about anything. So the vintage pantry cabinets are torn out and of course the dreaded “open concept” comes into play with walls being taken out everywhere. Then the “shabby chic” treatment, big oversized clocks on the wall, spiffy sayings in script on the walls, maybe some “repurposed” do-dad that’s made into a coffee table. You get the picture, Thanks for letting me rant, best of luck to you with this great house.

    • RossRoss says: 2411 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      Congratulations!!!! It is a wonderful house!

    • Polished Hippy says: 57 comments

      Congratulations! I am so glad that it is going to someone who will appreciate it and knows how to care for it. I’m super-excited that a house that has captured my imagination since childhood via a great kids’ book will be saved for future generations!

  36. Architecture Buff says: 7 comments

    I’m guessing the architect may have been Diedrich Bohler of Indianapolis who was the architect of the Morris Butler House in Indianapolis which is remarkably similar….does anyone have any thoughts on who the architect may have been?

    • Patriotluva says: 1 comments

      This is a great day. I am extraordinarily relieved to know that a person who wants this home to remain a major historical cornerstone of our town has purchased it. I will feel much better when the sold sign is in the yard and restoration has begun, but for now- it’s the best news we could ask for. I live very close to this home and was terrified to think of the fate of this wonderful structure. We want to see her brought back to the life she deserves. Please keep updating this conversation if you would- we as neighbors get no information and are left to wonder what will happen. Thanks for the update.

      • architecturebuff says: 7 comments

        Thank you for your supportive comments! I closed on the home today. I will be there meeting contractors Friday. If you or any neighbors would like to stop by and see the the house “before” restoration work begins, you are welcome to stop by and say hello! It would be great to meet some neighbors. Thanks again, I look forward to helping preserve this home’s place in the community.

        • Margaret says: 6 comments

          I hope you enjoy you new home – please post updates of it’s progress – I haven’t been to Marshall in a long time – it is a neat town. You could even start a blog on restoring the home! Congratulations and best of luck on you new project!

          • Rosie says: 2 comments

            Until nine years ago I lived across the street from this magnificent home and watched it deteriorate, then shine again, and then back to being forlorn. If I were younger, I would have tackled it! Look forward to seeing it shine again.

  37. Joy Louters says: 112 comments

    So, the house is now sold?

  38. dragonflyspirit14dragonflyspirit14 says: 240 comments
    1913 farmhouse
    Dillon, SC

    This just takes my breath away. I love everything about the exterior and the arched windows and doors are number one on my wish list. I also love the curved staircase. Cannot wait for the new owners “architecturebuff” to post the restoration photos!
    Congrats architecturebuff!

  39. Shea says: 20 comments

    Aside from keeping us posted on the restoration process here I hope “Architecture Buff” also considers putting it back on the Historic Homes tour once work is completed. I would love to go through it again.

  40. Lottie says: 355 comments

    architecturebuff …hope you will keep us updated on this beautiful house. Best of luck!

  41. Beautiful Place…..Is this no longer for sale?

  42. architecturebuff says: 7 comments

    Here are some updated pics from Christmas…hope you enjoy!


  43. SueSue says: 1111 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    You have done such a beautiful job on this lovely old home. It just couldn’t be more beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. So nice to see an old beauty well loved once again.

  44. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11871 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Quick video of the exterior when it was on the historic home tour the end of last year. Looks great in the video!

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