c. 1890 Queen Anne – Mount Vernon, IN

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Added to OHD on 1/27/16   -   Last OHD Update: 10/26/19   -   25 Comments

515 College Ave, Mount Vernon, IN 47620

  • $31,500
  • Foreclosure
  • 2 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 2868 Sq Ft
Don't miss this unique Mt. Vernon home! Features include a spacious eat-in kitchen, family room with fireplace, formal dining room, and study! Upstairs you'll find 2 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom. Two additional rooms upstairs do not have closets, but could easily be converted into bedrooms. Study could also be converted into an additional bedroom. Unfinished basement and fenced back yard. Restore this home to its former glory!
Contact Information
Kristie Kirsch, Solid Gold Realty,
(812) 428-0821


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25 Comments on c. 1890 Queen Anne – Mount Vernon, IN

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  1. Ann says: 100 comments

    The woodwork is in fabulous condition. Outside big paint job, but overall it’s in pretty good shape inside.

  2. RossRoss says: 2501 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    Oh, what a beauty this could be again!

    Love the long windows almost to the floor.

  3. BethanyBethany says: 3190 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    So much potential! Even the kitchen is fine! Just lot’s o’ love and one bathroom remodel . . .

  4. LadyBelle says: 64 comments

    Poor thing needs some TLC. It’s been lived in hard.

  5. says: 1 comments

    Glorious. Would love to see a pic of the staircase.

  6. John Shiflet says: 5241 comments

    Here’s a house with potential, bargain priced, but should include a few things to keep in mind. Streetview shows a faded town with many empty lots around the old residential areas. Bet that in the 1960’s one could see block after block of intact old houses like this one and its surviving neighbors. But the current appearance suggests this will not be a historic district in the future although this single block may remain relatively intact. Far too much money has been allocated for “blight abatement” in small towns like Mt. Vernon and too little spent on preservation. I did see this little Victorian jewel in streetview https://goo.gl/maps/my3J4jG91Fs which answers the question: “when did the tiny house movement begin?” (used as a law office and was for sale at the time of the streetview capture) As for the house itself, the colors do not harmonize well. Those oversized square porch supports are out of scale with the delicate spindlework. Turned 6 x 6 posts would be ideal and likely same as the originals. Disappointing to see the oval beveled glass missing from one of the two doors. (suggesting vandalism but hopefully not stolen copper/plumbing items) Replacement beveled glass panes can be special ordered. (tempered beveled glass would be just slightly more but a new replacement would be expensive either way) Maybe one could find a salvage replacement. Everything about the interior looks post-1900 but perhaps an earlier house was updated around then. No staircase photo? If it was enclosed, then there probably nothing special remaining and that was a common practice in rental house conversions. Lots of cosmetic work ahead for the next owners but at this low price it’s still a good value. The house design does have characteristics of a plan book house and there’s evidence of a gable brace in a front gable. Hopefully, if the next owners wish to restore it, an older photo might show missing details. Overall, the house needs a good measure of TLC and could shine again.

    • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 150 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1918 Bunkhouse
      WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

      I totally agree that the “tiny house movement” is nothing new. Early photographs of American towns in the last half of the 19th century show that tiny houses were once extremely common, and often mixed in with much larger neighbors.

      Sadly, many of these early tiny houses have been destroyed through the usual processes, aided by the fact that too few preservationists fought for them in the early days of the movement (they’re still not sufficiently defended). Bigger, fancier, academically correct and styled structures got most of the attention. The house in Mt. Vernon which was used as a law office is a real gem!

      And I agree with you about the porch supports, too. The posts in front originally would have matched the ones on the side of the porch which still remain.

      I’d best not comment on “blight abatement”… it would involve using words not appropriate for a wholesome family site such as this.

      • Karen says: 132 comments

        Indeed. I owned a 590 square foot house in Portland, Oregon, built in 1909. Next to it were two other houses slightly smaller. They (and other houses in town) were built to house streetcar workers.

    • Melody says: 572 comments

      I wonder if that tiny house might have been a servants ‘cottage’ that belonged to a bigger mansion?

      • John Shiflet says: 5241 comments

        Certainly a possibility, Melody, as there’s a vacant lot beside it and on the street fronting the vacant lot are several substantial old houses. It might have always been a small business venue as well, but looks residential in nature to me.

  7. John Shiflet says: 5241 comments

    Just noticed the large building across the street is the Alexandrian Public Library (and small park for kids) so bookworms might like this location. I tried to see the back yard in Earth view but too obscured by trees to see if there’s any outbuildings or a garage. The narrow alley runs right beside the house, apparently. Another c. 1860 Italianate for sale as well..very cheap: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/709-Main-St_Mount-Vernon_IN_47620_M39124-07999

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11463 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      I wasn’t sure what that was, thought it was a school but a library?! What a dream! I’d wear out the pavement going back and forth so much.

  8. John Shiflet says: 5241 comments

    Both my spouse and I are avid bibliophiles…I could see us trekking across the street on a snowy day and cocooning inside with lots of books.

  9. Michael Mackin says: 1869 comments

    I couldn’t help but notice that the house itself looks to be in reasonable condition while the porch is in very sad shape. It seems to be fairly common in houses this age. The porch, exposed to the elements, low slope roof with poor gutters and insufficient foundations under them, don’t fare well!

  10. JimHJimH says: 4750 comments
    OHD Supporter

    This house wasn’t here on the 1899 map, though there was another one just to the left on the narrow lot between the 2 houses here now. The large brick house to the right preceded this one also. The street was called School St. at the time and an attractive brick high school faced this house across the street, built in 1895 and replacing an older school. To the left of the school where the playground is now stood an old brick house, built for Judge John Pitcher who had loaned his law books to his friend Abraham Lincoln to study for the Bar. A community effort to save the house got it listed on the National Register but ultimately failed.
    http://local.evpl.org/views/viewimage.asp?ID=668476

    Looks like an interesting town with a NRHP listed 19th C downtown area and decent demographics.

  11. John Shiflet says: 5241 comments

    Thanks for checking maps to narrow the probably date. That a Library now stands where formerly stood a school (city owned land) makes sense. In taking a brief streetview tour, I did notice a couple of brick houses that appeared to date back to the 1850’s or so. It’s disappointing to hear the former Judge’s house with a family connection to Abraham Lincoln was razed. But again, its always a matter of what people consider more important: allowing a few historic albeit substandard houses to remain standing or “sanitizing” the streetscape by condemning and razing any house not up to appearance codes. Arguments are always made about faded old houses lowering nearby property values, increasing crime rates, and of course being “blight” but towns and neighborhoods pock-marked with vacant lots have a hollowed out look. Only in a few cases will such towns ever see new in-fill housing on the numerous vacant lots. But demolition is forever so all the regrets in the world won’t bring back whatever was lost. I hope someone can save this house before it too is added to the losses. The block is relative intact for now. Thanks for the information.

    • Paul W says: 553 comments

      That Italianate has been for sale for quite a while.

      This house doesn’t seem to bad and within the realm of the average Old house person. Mt Vernon the county seat of Posey county and may explain the better architecture here and there.

      Mt Vernon is kind of isolated from things but the new 1-69 will tie that part of the state to Indianapolis better.

      Nice house with original details. I’ve been to Mt Vernon not a bad little town of about 7000 or so but like many small towns not gaining in population but looks like a nice place to retire.

  12. says: 28 comments

    I really like this house but I think I like the Italianate that Mr. Shiflet gave a link to even more.

  13. KarenB says: 200 comments

    Agree, the Italianate piques my interest, especially for the price!

  14. Ginger says: 2 comments

    May I ask a question? It seems to me that houses in Indiana and Illinois are for the most part pretty cheap. Why? Are these states completely destitute? Can anyone explain?

    • Paul W says: 553 comments

      Ginger, The Midwest largely hung its hat on manufacturing which as we know has gone overseas. Also the Midwest is more spread out and you do not have the Urban density. Small towns tend to be static, by that they are not growing or declining but there is usually an oversupply of houses and most real estate is local. Prices were always tied to what the guy renting down the street is willing to pay to be an owner.

      We bought an 1884 Mixed use Italianate in Logansport for 32K. Same building in Indianapolis? A million. In Chicago? 2 Million, New York or San Francisco? 5-6 Million.

      The dynamic that drove real estate for decades has been people buy where they work. That is changing, more and more people are not site dependent. What is starting to happen is people in big cities paying outrageous amounts for housing are starting to realize they can live like a king in eth Midwest so you are starting to see the really good homes bought by ‘coasters” who can live anywhere. I don’t think these low prices are going to stay that way for ever…not in our increasingly mobile “connected’ workplace

  15. Betsy says: 6 comments

    This is somewhat random question but what do you do when you are faced with buying a beautiful old house such as this one and you find out the sill is bad under the house? Is is a no go? The floor is slopping considerably to the south in the kitchen.

    • John Shiflet says: 5241 comments

      Betsy, it’s likely the kitchen was a later add-on but even if original to the house unless you can see visible sill damage, the culprit for floor sagging in the kitchen could be the foundation itself. The lean-to shed roof in the back suggests a later addition. The good news there is that the sill damage is likely to be localized to the kitchen and not the entire house; but, in any event, a thorough professional inspection should be part of anyone’s buying plan. I expect that the house is being sold “as is” but having an inspection report in hand helps prioritize projects to be tackled first and gives the potential buyer a ballpark estimate of rehab costs. If there’s general damage to ALL of the sills, best to avoid it entirely but its more likely to be isolated to one area and an experienced Old House tradesperson would know how to fix it. Best case scenario would be some failing or deteriorated support piers under the kitchen as they can usually be replaced or repaired without spending a fortune. Any potential buyer should factor in estimated rehab costs as the true cost of this property but its priced so low that getting it move-in ready should still keep it less than the cost of a small new starter home. It’s location appears to be in one of the better blocks of historic homes in town…another buying consideration.

  16. Lindsay G says: 584 comments

    Aww what a beee-uute! I’d love to restore her. I think I would have a lot of fun doing it all on my own, and pick out more aesthetic colors for the outside.

  17. Brosia says: 79 comments

    Beautiful home with great bones and a lot of potential…well worth finishing back up! I hope the next owner sees what she can be with a little work.

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