1875 Italianate – Norwich, NY

Added to OHD on 11/25/16   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   46 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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54 Henry St, Norwich, NY 13815

  • $69,900
  • 5 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 3400 Sq Ft
3 unit brick multi family home with outstanding woodwork Tall ceilings and large rooms and original butler cupboards. 50 year rubber roof and newer furnace.
Contact Information
Patrick McNeil, Keller Williams
(607) 431-2540
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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

43 Comments on 1875 Italianate – Norwich, NY

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11866 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    More info on Zillow, “Amazing potential with this house. Restore back to former grandeur as a single family, or continue as a multifamily. Could also possibly be mixed use with office/professional space on 1st floor and rental income on 2nd. House features original woodwork, reverse center hall staircase, original plaster medallions/cornice work. Oak wainscotting in large dining room with pass through cabinets to butler pantry. Two large parlors with west parlor boasting a non working original fireplace along with a large single pocket door to center hall. East parlor has two sets of pocket doors, one set opens up to middle room creating a large space for entertaining etc. 10 foot ceilings were original to first and second floor. Upstairs west apartment is usable as is. East side needs to be finished. In 2012 the roof was stripped down to the original boards, all eaves/soffits were removed and rebuilt, roof was then sheathed and a 50 year commercial reinforced rubber roof was installed along with new gutters and downspouts. This was a $30k invesment alone. Good neighborhood with mixed rental and single family homes. Walking distance to downtown, parks, restaurants, shopping etc. Great opportunity for a very unique grand house.”

    • Jeffrey says: 1 comments

      I’d love to come see, but with the holidays now upon us I am I swirl as to when. I will try to look it up on Zillow but can u tell me how the. Editions are split into the separate units? Kitchens in all etc? Are u it’s side by side etc? Or kitchens upstairs if opened up could be extra bedrooms etc? Thanks for your help. My email zjazbbtt@aol.com My name is Jeffrey. Thanks if you have time also send me the link to the ad on Zillow. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  2. Don Carleton says: 261 comments

    It’s a sad commentary on the economy in upstate NY that the asking price for this wonderful house is not much more than double what the sellers invested in a new roof.

    I feel for them, looks like they made a good start on rescuing the place!

  3. bfish says: 84 comments

    I see a lot of work but it is a beautiful house with gracious, light-filled rooms. This could be very rewarding for the right person.

  4. StevenFStevenF says: 182 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1969 Regency
    Nashville, TN

    This place is amazing. the woodwork is dignified and surprisingly restrained, which is a huge bonus for me. The staircase is a graceful work of art. I want to immediately rip out the dropped ceilings in the upstairs rooms and that contemporary amber chandelier that the realtor took 4 pictures of. ugh.

  5. Desirae says: 1 comments

    Where is Nicole Curtis when you need her!!!! What a fab home!!!

    • BungalowGirl says: 129 comments

      Funny, I almost said the exact same thing. :)She needs to get her hands on this one. It has her name all over it.

    • Deb says: 9 comments

      So true! I am a huge fan of Nicole Curtis and her wonderful restoration work!! The world needs more people like her.

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11866 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        There are a lot of restorers out there. They just don’t have a camera to follow them around or publicity. 🙂

        • RossRoss says: 2411 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
          Emporia, KS

          Amen, Kelly! Amen!

        • David F. says: 45 comments

          There is a difference between restoring and rehabbing. Both have their places, but are different things.

          • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11866 comments

            1901 Folk Victorian
            Chestatee, GA

            Yes, Nicole is more of a rehabber, IMO. I was just saying that there are more restorers out there, Nicole isn’t the only one. 🙂

            • David F. says: 45 comments

              I absolutely understood what you were saying. I agree. Ms. Curtis is good at what she does. But IMO gets credit for restoration work that is definitely rehabbing. (No self-respecting Victorian would want exposed brick inside). There are many unsung heroes out there doing actual restoration work. God bless them!

              • RossRoss says: 2411 comments
                OHD Supporter

                1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
                Emporia, KS

                I agree, Kelly and David.

                Nicole’s show is called REHAB Addict for good reason.

                I enjoy her and her show, but often (well, a lot) cringe at what she does for I usually see history being carted off to the dumpster.

  6. Laurie W. says: 1705 comments

    I love this house! Says a lot that even after having been divided into 3 apartments, it still exudes elegance. The proportions are fluid, window- and door surrounds unique & very pretty, and look at all the built-ins. Many houses of this period leave me feeling oppressed but this one gives a feeling of space & refinement — I see happy families & warm parties in its past — and I hope its future. The exterior, balanced & solid, had me smiling at first sight. Wish there were a street view; I’d like to see its neighborhood.

  7. Laurie W. says: 1705 comments

    Hey, I also meant to say Happy Thanksgiving to you, Kelly — you & this site are things I’m thankful for! Happy all holidays to all Old House Dreamers!

  8. John Shiflet says: 5357 comments

    Having a good new roof is a good start because bad roofs and the water they let in destroys old houses. (rather quickly, I might add) Definitely a fixer upper here but fortunately many of the period details appear to remain. I think most if not all of the windows are more recent replacements. The original sash may have been simple double hung examples or two over two versions. With all of the white trim and sashes, the house looks rather bland. Some appropriate mid-1870’s colors would bring back some signs of life to this classic Italianate style home.

  9. Journey47 says: 15 comments

    Amazing old home…wish the size of lot was included and how much parking available. Great roofing already completed but prior to new roof looks like damage to ceilings which may be plastered. I really like plaster walls and ceilings but can be dangerous if compromised by water damage. Hate the modern, office looking ceiling they put up in wing that can supposedly be rented now. Looks like drywall being put on ceilings in some hallways or rooms. This house has a lot of beautiful woodwork. Potentially a jewel with hard work and deep pockets.

    • Laurie W. says: 1705 comments

      Zillow says about a quarter acre. No garage — there’s a parking lot in back for tenants, also seems to be shared with the building next door.

  10. Anne M. says: 899 comments

    So much to love about this house, including that incredible staircase & the ceiling medallions!

  11. Peter j says: 35 comments

    Beautiful house. Lot of potential.

  12. RossRoss says: 2411 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS


    Fabulous house blessed with a lot of original interior trim, doors, cabinets, staircase, and CEILING MEDALLIONS!

    I like the price!

    THE BAD:

    Was there a third-floor tower in the center?

    WHAT is going on with the very weird new eaves/soffits?????????

    WHY the tragic, new, likely vinyl, wholly inappropriate windows?


    The house still seems worthy of restoration. I would kill for an archival exterior image.

    • CharlestonJohn says: 1093 comments

      Agree with all of the above. I’m pretty sure an fine 1870’s Italianate house wouldn’t have pork chop eave returns above the middle bay on the front elevation.

    • JimHJimH says: 5101 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Don’t know if the corbels suggest a tower, but for sure it didn’t look like that. Did they save just one bracket for a pattern?

      Another Chenango County beauty for not much money.

  13. Tony says: 76 comments

    Good neighborhood?…Not at all! Norwich is a poor and depressed area with no jobs and a high drug scene…It is a shame because they have some amazing homes..I know this area because I live in the next town and travel through and do my business here….This whole area needs an economic boost.

  14. Janyan says: 29 comments

    She’s a beauty! The dropped ceiling made me cringe a bit. I wonder why when so much $$$ in terms of restoration has already been spent, the owners are selling. Always makes me wonder if they ran into bigger problems.

  15. Plasterboy says: 113 comments

    T-bar ceilings ……my favorite ( lol )

  16. Carolyn Eckenrode says: 65 comments

    It’s a beautiful, elegant house with a lot of potential. I would remove the drop ceilings and make the room consistent with the period. I would personally convert it to a one family, with plenty of guestrooms and use the bright light to encourage me to start painting again!

  17. Sapphy says: 377 comments

    I love it as is! I can visualize Miss Havisham rattling up and down the stairs in the dark hours.

  18. Angela says: 190 comments

    This is very beautiful even in it’s present state. I hope the original ceilings are still under the dropped ceilings. I just love the 3-D medallions for the ceiling fixtures. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of yard but then I am one who isn’t a fan of yardwork. New York has some very nice houses but it is too far north (too cold) for me. To bad it is expensive to move houses like this to a nicer, warmer climate.

  19. Sandra says: 302 comments

    I wonder if fully restored it would be worth, say, $160k. It’s upstate New York, not exactly a hot real estate area but there are wonderful homes up there nonetheless and I wouldn’t mind retiring in Norwich, the available street views look great.

  20. Michael Mackin says: 2661 comments

    So much potential. I like that they put a new roof on first to protect the work that they would do on the interior. I’m saddened by the missing brackets under the eaves. It most certainly changes the looks of the house.

  21. LW3 says: 5 comments

    Hi everyone, I am the owner of the this amazing house. The house was built in the late 1870s for Joseph S and Sarah Sturdevant. Joseph was a local merchant who was in business with his two brothers until their store on Main St norwich burned in a great fire at the turn of the century. Sarah Goodrich Sturdevant was a prominent figure in the daughters of the american revolution. I purchased this house in Dec 2004, It was a 3 family all rented. I was young, single and had big dreams. Shortly after purchasing and evicting the last tenant I decided to turn it back to a single family and to try to restore it back to its former glory. It had not been chopped up too bad. Most of the 1st floor ceilings had been dropped, so I removed them. Yes I did try to remove the milk paint on the woodwork knowing that it was originally painted. It was just so thick that it consumed the detail. Someone had replaced ALL of the windows in the house before I purchased it, I think there are somewhere near 40 windows. I did have the roof rebuilt. I had also thought it should of had brackets being an Italianate, but the original frieze and brickwork showed no evidence of that. We tried to replicate as close as possible what was originally there. I ran new crown and astragal molding for the eaves from rough cut lumber. Most people would have wrapped it in vinyl. I also did a ton of brick repair using lime rich mortar.
    I lived in the apartment you see in the pictures which is the left (looking at the front) west apartment. After I got started with this project, the house next door (56 henry st also on zillow for sale) came up for sale. It was another rental which had terrible tenants and was run down. I decided to purchase and restore as an income property and get control of the driveway and improve the neighborhood. This project at 56 henry consumed the next 4 years of my life. I had always planned on getting back to 54 Henry and finishing it up. Life changed for me after I met my wife and we had a daughter. We had moved to 56 Henry because it was newly restored and we wanted to enjoy the fruits of our labor. My wife is a teacher who was commuting 1.25 hours each way to work. She had always planned on getting a job closer to Norwich, but with the war on teachers in NYS a few years ago we decided that we would move closer to her job. We always wished we could pick up this house and move it, we did truly love it. But it just was not feasible so I have spent the last 3 years building a new house for us and we have moved. I own a car dealership and have decided that any time and money put into this house (54 Henry) would yield a better return if invested in my business. The neighborhood is decent, many people say Norwich is overrun by drugs, well that is an epidemic in many towns and cites these days. There are two home based daycares right across the street. So the neighborhood is fine. Just thought I would give a little history and answer the “wonder what happened” question. Feel free to ask me any other questions.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11866 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thank you LW3 for telling us about your home!

    • julie A.julie A. says: 148 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1914 foursquare farmhouse
      New Germany, MN

      Thank you for the history and what you had planned. I think a lot of times assumptions are made and there is no foundation for some of the comments. Everyone does to their home what they want. It may not be to your taste, but you can buy it and do what you want to it. It’s a beauty of a house and I hope that someone who loves it as much as you did LW3 will come along and finish what you started. Good luck to you and your family!

      • Lw3 says: 5 comments

        Thank you Julie. It is also our hope that someone loves it as much as we do. I wasn’t offended by any of the comments, I have pretty thick skin, most were positive and encouraging. Others are purists and I would love to see a purist buy it and restore it to absolutely original. But unfortunately the local housing market would never support such an undertaking. It would support someone embracing the detail that remains and making the rest usable by modern standards. I.E modern large open kitchen, master suite etc. Not necessarily period correct but detailed nicely. Thanks again for your kind words.

        • JimHJimH says: 5101 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Lw3, thanks for your efforts in preserving these old houses in Norwich, sharing your experience, and giving us a little history. The house next door is move-in ready and you’ve done work on this one to make it a manageable project for the next guy. Folks might do it differently though, as you say, preserving the old features and making houses livable is the important thing. Two gold stars for you!

          As for the speculation on what the house may have looked like 140 years ago, there’s nothing wrong with that either, and obviously some original details were lost in the 125 years before you came along. Perhaps old photos exist that could tell us exactly what’s missing.

          • LW3 says: 5 comments

            Jim, thanks for checking out my handiwork at 56 Henry. Its sad that 56 ended up with the time and money to be completed instead of 54. I am with you on finding an old photo. Also you are correct in that changes could of been made a long time ago. Among those being missing brackets. I had always thought that if they did exist they wouldnt of been that large because there is a dentil brick detail on the frieze that does not go down that far. The only way to know would be an old photo. I do know, the house originally had 5 chimneys two on each side middle and front and one in the rear. Most rooms had a protrusion in the wall for the flue and had a flue hole for a parlor stove. Also I think there was some sort of gravity hot air heating system because there are leaded tin ducts built into the sides of those flues which originate in the basement and terminate upstairs with cast iron registers in the walls. Unfortunately since this house was a rental, there was absolutely zero evidence left in the form of pictures etc. Also the attic is not a walk-up and doesnt appear to ever have been used for storage so no goodies up there….

  22. AudraD says: 6 comments

    Hi LW3. Thank you so much for posting and telling us about your story. I just *love* this house and you did an excellent job on the one next door too. Everything about it speaks to me. It’s hard to tell from pictures and I am located in NYC so it’s not an easy trek to come out and see in person, but how much work would you estimate is left to do on the house to make it livable for tenants? This would be my first home purchase, so I don’t want to get in over my head and you seem very forthcoming. 🙂

    Thank you!

    • LW3 says: 5 comments

      Hi Audra, thanks for you interest in the house. The upstairs west (left if looking at front of house) apt is usable as is. There is some wallpaper peeling in this unit so a light refresh would make it an attractve 1 bedroom apt for the area. The shower is water stained so possibly a new shower, but we were living here before we moved next door. The east upper apt (also 1 bedroom) is at stud walls, so it needs wiring, plumbing ceiling insulated etc. This is the furthest usable of the 3 units because I gutted it and that was a far as I got. I had planned on making it a master suite for the 1 family conversion. It could have also been 2 bedrooms and a large full bath with the master being on the west side instead. The downstairs needs drywall plaster repair/completion in the front of the house (both parlors and center hall) Upstairs hall also needs plaster, drywall repair. The dining room needs drywall on ceiling and wallpaper removed from walls, woodwork repaired, cleaned or refinished. Middle parlor east side and rear room on east side both need new drywall on ceilings and walls repaired. Needs a new kitchen, its there but old steel 1950s cabinets, needs a new bathroom, its also there but it is bugs bunny pink and really not usable. The downstairs needs some new wiring, i decommissioned any unsafe old cloth wiring. Also there is a pretty new furnace we put in along with central ac but the ac needs to be hooked up and charged/wired and there is only 1 furnace for the whole house. If you wanted tenants and to break it back up you would either have to furnish heat or install separate furnaces. I had planned on sinking another 60k or so into this house with me doing most of the work. If you need to hire it all done I could see another 100k to make it really really nice. Or if you just want to make it apartments that cost could be much lower. Hope this helps. Thanks

  23. AudraD says: 6 comments

    That certainly helps! I am absolutely IN LOVE with this house but I feel it’s just too much work for me to take on with living so far away. I hate to see it go though :'(

    Best of luck!

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