c. 1860 – Coldwater, MI

Added to OHD on 3/8/16   -   Last OHD Update: 7/6/20   -   19 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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50 N Clay St, Coldwater, MI 49036

  • $36,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 2340 Sq Ft
Call Ron Mallernee At (269)209-8027 Or Laurie Paul At (269)317-2324 For More Information. This Centurion 4 Bedroom, 1.5 Bath Home In Coldwater Needs Attention, But Offers So Much Character! You Will Notice The Charm As Soon As You Walk In The Entry And See The Beautiful Wood Stairway, Wood Floors, High Ceilings And Wood Pocket Doors. There Is A Fireplace In The Living Room And Built In Cabinets In The Dining Room. There Is A Second Back Staircase That Goes To The Second Floor. Additional Ame nites Include An Enclosed Side Porch And Central Air. **HUD Homes Sold AS-IS. For Bidding Info G...o To WWW.CITYSIDECORP.COM OR WWW.HUDHOMESTORE.COM. FHA # 263-280443 - Lead Based Paint Forms Online.

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19 Comments on c. 1860 – Coldwater, MI

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  1. BethanyBethany says: 3450 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Love that bathroom sink; just like the one I grew up with!

  2. John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

    If this house does indeed date back as far as 1860 there is little evidence remaining from the early days. Most of the older details appear to date from the 1890’s and, still later, (c. 1910-1915) some minor Arts & Crafts leaded glass doors and a Bungalow type reworking of an older porch as well as a stucco veneer were added. As it is right now, the house has multiple personalities. Ideally, the next owner(s) would restore to around the 1890’s era because removing the towering roof would greatly diminish the presence of the house. Those stamped metal shingles were very popular in the 1890-1910 period and likely at one time had a painted finish. The W.R. Norman Corp. still makes some of these metal shingles so those too damaged to clean up and repaint could be replaced. The key to their survival is protecting the metal from rust. If it were mine, I’d reconfigure the porch to more of a Queen Anne style with turned posts and post corbels as well as a spindled balustrade. Questions about what to do with the stucco would have to be determined on-site. Even at its low price, you’d have to really be in love with this house to justify spending the kind of money it would take to bring it back a historical appearance inside and out. Coldwater and nearby Marshall are both towns rich in 19th century homes and buildings with long established historic districts. My suggestion to any prospective buyer would be to do your homework and come up with rehab estimates before buying the property. Be aware as well that Michigan real estate prices, with few exceptions, remains below the national average so recouping your investment should not be expected in the near term. That said, the house does have potential and badly needs to be anchored in a particular period (1890’s, IMO) to look its best. In Streetview, the residential context remains which is a plus. It’s near schools which is usually a plus as well.

    • JimHJimH says: 5261 comments
      OHD Supporter

      John’s right – there wasn’t a house here in the 1870’s so it must be later. The house could be dated more closely by looking at the Sanborn maps, available for Coldwater but not online. Interesting small house with some attractive details but needs quite a bit of work to bring it back to period as John says. I’d like to see the dome room also.
      The large white house across the street in the middle of the block is the General John G. Parkhurst House, listed on the NRHP.

  3. John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

    Addendum: in Streetview, the stucco is applied over wood, not brick, and it looks like the clapboards were removed and the plaster was applied over the diagonal sheathing on the house. In most cases, stucco over wood can create a moisture problem so further study is needed. Moreover, that metal shingled dome appears to have a full room under it extending towards the back of the house with a front and a side dormer windows-that’s unusual…

    • Paul W says: 465 comments

      Stucco over siding is never a good thing, stucco over the diagonals ( part of the balloon framing) is a disaster. If that diagonal sheeting is seriously compromised this will be major work and far beyond the average do it your selfer. I suppose one could take it all off , insulate, go exterior sheeting replacement as needed and use Hardi siding(wood siding may well be cost prohibitive), and come up with something that ‘sort of’ looks like an old house. If you go into amore correct form of recreating period trim , decorative fish-scale where appropriate building an appropriate front porch you are probably over 6 figures and based on average sales prices you are going to be twice the average sales price by the time you are done. Clearly a labor of love.

  4. Lindsay G says: 531 comments

    The outside is in rough shape so I really wasn’t expecting a lot from the inside. But now i get why it’s been posted on this page. The interior has some very lovely qualities, with a little sprucing up, this hidden beauty could really shine.

  5. Lottie says: 355 comments

    The built-ins are really nice, too.

  6. Tina Reuwsaat says: 57 comments

    Has anyone a comment on the front door configuration? I have never seen an original door design where the glass was bisected by side panels that way. It looks so unbalanced.. and why?

  7. says: 16 comments

    Yesterday I walked past the recently restored McDonald Mansion, aka Mableton. If the roof spires et al do not take your breath away, nothing may. Here in Northern California one is constantly reminded what can be done with tech industry money.

    The reality is most will never know personally.

    Last week, there was a feature article about the reopening of the newly renovated and expanded SF MOMA and an adjunct article about the cornerstone Capp Street house developed by an artist literally “in residence.” The artist, Ireland, had bought a ramshackle Victorian decades ago and creatively left his mark over the years. Some are appalled at his treatment but enough loved it that a wealthy patron of the arts purchased it as a time capsule museum. It is not exactly a time capsule as we in Kelly’s community think of time capsules, rather, it truly is a statement of originality.

    Most importantly the Capp Street house represents a hands on philosophy that is accessible to everyone. Accepting something (everything, if you are a Tibetan Buddhist) as it is, is very liberating and can create an immediate sense of wellbeing.

    I suggest someone may love a house as this subject wacky combination of styles as it is. Why not create your own Art House and enjoy one of these ever more rare affordable old houses as it is, emerged into 2016 and still standing albeit in its wackiness.

    Long live wackiness in harmony with well preserved and historically correct sister houses! I can imagine a creative old house lover spending many happy years in one of these wacky houses. Let your Freak Flag proudly fly.

    • JimHJimH says: 5261 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Nick, I appreciate what you’re saying about folks fixing old houses as a vehicle for personal expression. If we put aside our notions of what we like or think is appropriate, there are many ways old buildings can be saved and used that preserve the historical elements that survive. Wacky doesn’t have to be destructive of a building’s original fabric, and work done doesn’t need attempt to restore what was there originally. The house at 500 Capp is unabashedly an Art Project but the exterior has most of the original look – only the paint job says there is something different going on there. http://500cappstreet.org
      This house in Michigan retains much of its late Victorian character, and it’s easy to see why many old house lovers would want to see it “brought back” to something resembling the original. There are the technical issues mentioned, though it’s fairly straightforward to plan a restoration here with a substantial budget that would include new siding, a new porch and substantial refinishing of the interior.
      A full restoration would be great, but what if someone loves the house for what remains of its history and doesn’t have the desire or budget to recreate the original? And if that person wants to express their personal aesthetic with some wackiness while maintaining the old features, why not?
      When the alternative is knocking the old house down and dragging in a modular, what preservationist could reasonably object, even in a place like Coldwater MI where the Freak Flag might not be widely appreciated?

  8. John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

    Tina, I think its a Queen Anne stylistic detail. The Queen Anne style, at least before 1900, was based on asymmetrical designs. I will agree that even for Queen Anne style homes its rare to have an asymmetrical entry door but then I would have never expected to see a curved entry door yet a photo of one was posted from Wisconsin: https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2015/07/17/1896-queen-anne-cambria-wi/ The Victorian era was all about uniqueness and variety so even though you might have five towered Queen Annes built on one street they all have different ornamental details. I would like to see the exterior of this door and see if it has carvings or a different design on the outside.

    • Coqu says: 249 comments

      Thanks for your brief description of Queen Anne’s–it makes sense to me now–I don’t do asymmetry anywhere! They’re absolutely beautiful but I just don’t understand all the nooks and crannies that almost seem to serve no purpose in so many. Foursquares for me!

      • John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

        And Coqu you are not alone…asymmetry has been the exception throughout architectural history. Even in the Victorian era, symmetry in house and building facades were the rule until the 1870’s. But a design revolution of sorts took place in the 1880’s and until the early 1890’s some houses sprouted weird little oriel towers popping out randomly; an “eyebrow” dormer looked out from a multi planed roofline, and porches sometimes led off in different directions or they were not real porches at all but just suggestions of a porch or balcony to add visual “drama” to a house. Houses took on a fantasy appearance. By the early 1890’s a movement gained momentum to bring back symmetrical forms in residential design and this soon adopted the older Colonial and Classical Revival details that were based on symmetrical designs. Some towered Queen Anne style houses stubbornly clung to a tower or turret off to one side but by the early 1900’s those too were going away. By 1910, symmetry of form had largely returned in residential construction and has mostly remained to this day. In summary, it was less than two decades where “anything goes” seemed acceptable but its obvious the public felt otherwise as houses soon returned to more familiar designs including a second life for Greek Revival Temple houses in the early 1900s. In the post 1910 period architectural critics ripped the wild and exotic Victorian houses as “monstrosities”, “hideous”, “dishonest”, “a lapse of good tastes”, and any other negative term they could come up with. So universal was the push back against everything Victorian that its a wonder any houses from that era remain today.

        • Coqu says: 249 comments

          Very interesting. It would be educational to read some of their commentary. But I wonder if perhaps they were doing a bit of their own “marketing”…maybe not…

  9. says: 16 comments

    I wanted to add that we all are served by the excruciatingly executed, historically correct preserved houses that manage to remain as beacons of past standards of beauty and skill. I meant to offer an alternative perspective for those old house dreamers with limited budgets who could avail themselves to unlimited creativity while saving another old house from the wrecking ball.

    • cheryl plato says: 174 comments

      Nick I so agree with you. Many may not have the money or skills to properly restore a historical home, but at prices like this those with creativity and a love of things old and beautiful will have saved a piece of history from the wrecking ball and saved us all from another Mcsomething.

  10. Pookha says: 132 comments

    I’m afraid my rebuilding concept would fall in the neither-fish-nor-fowl mode. I’d put stained glass in the front door, and the pink tub tickles me, so I’d opt for the whole 50s pink bathroom.

    But, in reality, you couldn’t get me into Michigan on a bet. Nice to read the discussion on this, though.

  11. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12131 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Sold for $32,000.

  12. John Shiflet says: 5426 comments

    Congratulations to the new owners. At the bargain price it sold for hopefully there’s money left in the budget to make this old house sparkle again. Lots of potential here.

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