Gothic Revival – Salem, NJ

Details below are from June 2016, sold status has not been verified.
To verify, check the listing links below.

Added to OHD on 6/2/16   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   43 Comments
Off Market / Archived

20 Oak St, Salem, NJ 08079

  • $24,900
  • 2544 Sq Ft
  • 0.4 Ac.
Strictly being sold 'as is', 'where is'. Seller makes no warranties or representations concerning this property. Property needs a tremendous amount of work and is a possible tear down. Enter at your own risk and ONLY at day light hours.
Contact Information
Kevin Piccolo, Piccolo Realty,

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

43 Comments on Gothic Revival – Salem, NJ

OHD does not represent this home. Comments are not monitored by the agent. Status, price and other details may not be current, verify using the listing links up top. Contact the agent if you are interested in this home.
  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11846 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Check out the whole side of this street! There are two or three like this one including other awesome homes. Unfortunately not in the best neighborhood so I don’t know the likely hood of it surviving. Maybe a good Samaritan will come along? 🙂

    • Mary McG says: 18 comments

      Yes, the street view is fascinating – 4 sister houses in a row & all still bearing their gingerbread! This & its neighbor on the corner are in fairly dire shape (boarded up windows, overgrown, etc). The other two are cared for & look adorable. Love the street. Maybe someone can get a two-for-one deal (BOGO?) on this house & its neighbor. 🙂

    • Lee kreut says: 5 comments

      Thanks for being honest as I am a woman alone and need a good and safe area.

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11846 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        I’m not from the area but looking at the crime maps of this particular neighborhood is what said this isn’t a good neighborhood. There was a shooting a few months back down the street (and when I say down the street, I think it was on the same street.)

      • Ann says: 94 comments

        Not a great area unfortunately. I drove through once and there are many beautiful homes, but most are very run down.

  2. CharlestonJohn says: 1127 comments

    Shame we can’t see if the interior is as bad as the description claims. The Street View is a lesson in American Victorian architecture with most of the major styles represented in two blocks including a beautiful Italianate with a belvedere, a few Gothic Revivals, a couple Second Empires, and what appears to be a really interesting Queen Anne on the corner.

    • John Shiflet says: 5470 comments

      C.J., I absolutely concur. Rare indeed to find such architectural diversity on a single street. This is a situation where if I had the resources, I’d want to buy up all the historic homes available and push for a protected historic district. That textbook, high-end Italianate down the street is phenomenal but just the existence of a row of Gothic Revival houses with original exterior ornament is incredible. Arguably, if all of these were restored to period perfection and photographed they would be as picturesque as San Francisco’s iconic post card row featuring a row of Queen Anne townhomes. As a preservationist, I’m saddened by the probability that this small slice of 19th century residential Americana will probably disappear in a few years. In my humble opinion, this street is in the category of a National Treasure and should be afforded every measure of protection both by public and private entities. There’s a lifetime of preservation work ahead here for someone with the dedication to take it on. I hope against hope this house and its fading neighbors are not destined to oblivion.

      • Steven G. Smith says: 1 comments

        The city actually did make this both a registered national and local historic districts, just FYI. So there are protections, but unfortunately, poverty and crime are not friends to historic houses. At one time, this was called “millionaire’s row,” and many of the prosperous players in mid-19th century Salem set sail for Oak Street to show off their wealth. Fully restored, this street would be a showplace as the architecture for a small town is outstanding.

  3. Julie says: 107 comments

    Now I HAVE to go to Salem, N.J.!!

  4. Michael Mackin says: 2554 comments

    The house doesn’t look like a tear down as in the description. It does need some attention on the outside like taking down the vines and overgrowth and the windows need attention. I suspect the lack of pictures on the inside may have something to do with their description. It’s a darling house but I doubt you would ever recover the money you put into it!

  5. Diane says: 557 comments

    I’d say the listing agent doesn’t know how to market this type of home. Where he sees all negatives, most of OHD readers see potential and excitement. The trim, windows, brick sidewalk, fence, chimneys. I don’t see any gaping holes in the roof although with the few broken windows I’m betting even during the day you’d encounter a raccoon or other “thing”. At this price, I hope it attracts a hard working home restorer and not a tear down or another person who simply lets it go.

    • jeklstudio says: 1114 comments

      Interesting and timely comment, Diane. I think (no, I KNOW) there are a lot of realtors who have no idea, nor do they care to learn, how to list and sell an historic property, regardless of its condition. Frequently the comments come out like a script: it needs updating, it needs upgrades. They don’t seem to conceive that there are people, like all the readers of this site, that love old houses and actually prefer period correct or original fixtures. Not every house hunter is looking for dime a dozen granite countertops!
      I too hope someone with enough money–and more importantly–enough strength and patience will take this house on and save it.

  6. AmyB says: 24 comments

    I am about 50 minutes north of here and VERY tempted to see if I can get into this house. Even in NJ though, this seems a really high price. It isn’t too far from Wilmington, DE so that is an option for work but there isn’t much else down there. Philly might be too much of a hike. Its the most rural area of NJ, but it is the county seat. Less crime then Wilmington, but not by too much (higher then the US average). Property taxes in NJ are obviously the highest in the country and this place is no exception at around $6k a year (which is cheap for NJ, but the schools are not very highly rated, so I am sure that is part of it).

    • AmyB says: 24 comments

      Sorry – I read that this house was $249,000! $24,900 is a GREAT price – lol!

    • JosephFortHill says: 414 comments

      I did my usual Trulia checking – for a small town, there were a number of properties for sale, and a good number of foreclosures. It would appear that the Anchor Glass factory might be the major employer (it certainly dominates visually).

  7. Charles B says: 481 comments

    Salem is down-at-the-heels but it is in a league with Newburgh, NY in having potential with a capital “P.” Legend has it that before Williamsburg, VA was selected to be restored in its entirety that Salem was in the running for Mr. Rockefeller’s attention. Because it is small (population 5000) it is a town that could be turned around with the concerted efforts of a small number of dedicated old house restorers and publicists. It’s cheap, it’s historic, it’s two hours from Manhattan, and it’s on salt water. It may be known as “Little Camden” now but I could see it within a decade being known as one of the great restoration towns of the Northeast. Here’s a quickie video I came across that gives you a little flavor of it:

  8. Jeklstudio says: 1114 comments

    Fascinating house. Wish we could see interiors. The first thing that popped into my head was, somewhere out of sight Jem and Scout are plotting a way to get Boo Radley to come out!

  9. Lillian says: 2 comments

    I know the area fairly well and worked in the area for over a year. There are actually some great buys. Thats not the only home, and many are in better shape and or even more pretty.

    As for violence in the area, you have to understand that many parts of Salem have “country mile” blocks as opposed to Northern Virginia sardine style. So while a shooting happens once in a while, even on the same road, it could be pretty far away. The second consideration is that the entire county is fairly well armed. Its a small community compared to most. A crime spree generally consists of petty theft, family fights and garden variety drug issues. Those are generally from certain areas of Salem. Many locals live several miles from the graves of their Revolutionary War ancestors: of those people, few mind taking care of interlopers until the police can make it over. ITs not wild west, but its not namby pambies either. Anyway, lots of tax incentives. It is NOT 2 hours to Manhattan. Salem is on the lower West side of NJ. The REAL issues is the Salem Nuclear Plant, which is pretty close to town, relatively speaking. Hope that helps

  10. JimHJimH says: 5127 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Kelly posted this beauty 3 doors down in 2010 – don’t know if it sold or not.

    These houses were all built before 1875 as shown on an atlas map. The owners on the block were involved in manufacturing – glass, leather products, and oil cloth.

  11. Scott Tucker says: 2 comments

    I’m about 15 minutes away from Salem. Oak Street has some phenomenal old homes. In fact, back when I was house shopping in 2006, I looked at a beautiful but TLC needing civil war era mansion (16 Oak St, I believe) on the opposite corner of this house’s neighbor (#18, I guess…#18 Oak used to be the parsonage for the church across the street). I also looked at a place a block east. Salem is stocked with beautiful old houses but has a lot of crime and poverty. This house at #20 was uninhabited back when I was looking for an old place. It was in rough shape in 2006. The owner resides in an upscale Center City Philly highrise and has no apparent interest in maintaining this home. The rear addition also has suffered fire damage in the years since I was looking in the area. I just cruised past there today and snapped some pics (of this house and its neighbors) but I have no idea how to post them.

  12. Scott Tucker says: 2 comments

    I sent them, Kelly.

  13. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11846 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Added photos of the neighbors and a couple of the home for sale, sent in by Scott Tucker. Thanks Scott!

  14. John Shiflet says: 5470 comments

    Awesome architecture on this one street. Perhaps best of all it looks relatively quiet and is still cohesive as a 19th century neighborhood remnant. A few, like the grand Italianate and the towered brick Queen Anne are in the mansion category but the grouping of early Gothic Revivals (they even have the original chimney pots and roof finials) is a rare sight to see. The loss of even one of them would be tragic. Surely someone could grab this house at that low price and keep it standing. I can only recall one other place I’ve been with two matching brick Gothic Revivals on Dutoit St. in Dayton, Ohio’s St. Anne’s Hill historic district: I’m sure in parts of New England where the Gothic Revival style was warmly accepted there are groupings of Gothic Revivals but they are not common in other areas. Thanks to Scott for the photos.

  15. Will says: 61 comments

    We drove through Salem coming home from Cape May a few years back. The city reminds of places like Detroit or St Louis, on a small scale. Some really beyond creepy streets where you wouldn’t want to be in broad daylight, much less after dark. There was a ton of money there back in the day, but it’s showing its age now. I wouldn’t take a house there for free.

  16. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11846 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    The Queen Anne down the street is now for sale, link. No interior photos.

  17. John Shiflet says: 5470 comments

    If it weren’t for the $6,346 in taxes (house is assessed at $165,000 which doesn’t seem fair considering it sold for $89,000 the last time) it would be very tempting. But I’d have to make a detour to divorce court before I could go there. What a shame about that still cohesive historic neighborhood remnant-if all the period homes there were restored to perfection like the Victorian homes in Cape May, New Jersey, it could become a tourist destination. But those NJ taxes…

  18. John Shiflet says: 5470 comments

    Saw today posted on a Facebook architectural salvage group a truck load of porch spindles from Salem. Hope it wasn’t from this house or another Victorian on Oak Street.

  19. Jesus N. Lima says: 5 comments

    Hello, I’m working on purchasing 30 oak street, Salem NJ. Check it out, the owner died after 22years in the home. I was just there August 28,2016. I met the dauther who just turned 21 and is living on the 3rd floor. She is living in about 10% of the home. I know ther are no pic of the inside, but believe me, it great. The home is truly a time capsule. Front in closed porch was added maybe around 1890, inside all stone and brick. Front and back stairs, pocket doors, the marble fireplace is breath taking. Last time I’ve seem anything like this was in Newport, RI. Asking price is 79,000.00, problem is her father removed the kitchen. I wish he would have left it. I live in northeast NJ; working on the home from 2 hours away is a problem. I’m looking at around 59,000.00, wish me luck. I almost forgot, this corner home has a stone barn with all of it wood. Stone barm marked 1869 on the west side. North of the barn is a two garage (NOT!!!) inside is the loft to the barn with interlocking peg construction. If your within one drive; go see it ( day time only ) that’s the other problem! Thanks ZEUSS

  20. michael hope says: 4 comments

    John s why not you buy both houses sell me one and ill remodle both ,i have a rilly cool set of doornobbs for one ,and a life time of experience in remodleing, ,sorry i never sent you thanks for the feed back on the door nobbs ,have an awsom day mike

    • John Shiflet says: 5470 comments

      Wish I could but we are still trying to sell our property (downtown Ft. Worth, TX) awaiting a massive new apartment project next to us. Even after a sale, my spouse would probably drag me to divorce court before I could buy anything in New Jersey. Guess I need to win the lottery and then buy up all of Oak street as a private historic preserve. It will take caring people like you to save the wonderful old homes on Oak Street. Never give up…it could happen.

  21. John Shiflet says: 5470 comments

    It’s wonderful to see that someone cares about this rare surviving slice of the Victorian era. If you’ve been to Newport and seen that community’s legendary “cottages” then you know all about Victorian opulence. I’d recommend, if you have time, to pay a visit to Cape May, (NJ) to see what an intact Victorian community looked (and still does) like. You’ll find Gothic Revival houses similar to this example beautifully restored and when one of them rarely comes on the market its priced well up in the six figures or even over a million. Should you buy this Oak St. place, you’ll be in the urban pioneer category but with luck, over time, it might turn out to be the best investment you could have ever made. You are probably aware of this nearby Gothic Revival house now on the market as well: (lots of additional commentary about Salem and Oak Street) The large brick Queen Anne style house just down the street is on the market for under $80K. No interior photos, but I suspect its in the “phenomenal” category inside. If you happen to get a look inside, please post about what you find; its absolutely a mansion grade home as is the large cube-like corner Italianate on the street. In a different community, Oak Street would be a historical focal point but not in struggling Salem. I feel that Salem will improve over time as will Oak Street in particular. (unless its lost to neglect and demolitions) Here’s wishing you the best in your efforts and please keep us posted.

  22. Jesus N. Lima says: 5 comments

    Yes, it’s the last pic. that Scott posted. Google 30 oak street, Salem, NJ 08079 you’ll see the stone barn. The two garage is just a door that was added, inside is the 1800 peg construction. The locals say the horses were kept inside, they would pet them on the way from school ( one block away ). I’ve been inside both the home and the stone barn. It’s all their the barn has been left untouched. I’m working on away to restore the kitchen, I want to use local help. I don’t know if that’s a good ideal. I’ll keep everyone posted; it needs to be saved. ZEUSS

  23. shadows says: 1 comments

    did you decide to buy oak st? I am heading to salem next week(12/16) to look at buying a fixer. Will be my 4th restow. I do all by hand. Currently have a 1842 cabin with 1890s addition. Hubby’s family help found salem after Jamestown so a return home for us, anyone else want to buy in we can form our preserve group. nine blocks are on the historical register. anyone hear of any grants holler too. Taking up grant writing.

    • Gregory K. Hubbard says: 472 comments

      Salem has a “Main Street Program,” so local folks there care about their community’s health. I’m not certain how long they have been in business, but it sounds exciting.
      Did you buy a property?

  24. A.K says: 1 comments

    30 Oak St. was purchased in October (2017) for 30k. I drive by it sometimes I guess to make sure it’s not being destroyed..I live here now and wouldn’t mind coming over for a visit..? Has anyone seen 19 Chestnut St.? It was a delicate Victorian being sold for 9500. It had some water damage, leaky roof or busted pipe, I don’t know..but the person who bought it completely stripped it of its charm. I personally think it’s hideous now. It was originally owned by a chemist who worked for the Salem Glass Plant, last name Ogden, I believe. I don’t think all the streets in Salem are protected, sadly. And usually it’s only the facades that you can’t change.

  25. Jonathan Feinman says: 1 comments

    I live in Salem on Market Street and it is a very quiet town. I will admit it has seen better days economically, but that is changing. We have a branch of the railroad coming to town and several factories are developing. There is a new micro brewery, and several of the historic houses have been purchased and are being renovated by younger people who intend to live here. People are friendly and people help their neighbors in Salem. I feel like things are changing for Salem. Don’t count Salem out! Thank you.


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