1866 Second Empire – Rockford, IL

Added to OHD on 2/14/17   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   52 Comments

1401 Clifton Ave, Rockford, IL 61102

  • 2 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 1557 Sq Ft
  • 0.94 Ac.
Investor opportunity! This property is being offered at Public Auction on 03-20-2017. Visit Auction.com now to see the Estimated Opening Bid, additional photos, Property Reports with Title information, Plat maps and Interior Inspection Reports when available. Auction.com markets Foreclosure Sale properties throughout Illinois for banks, financial institutions and government agencies who are very motivated to see these properties sell to investors. The majority of these properties are priced below market value. Don't miss this special opportunity to buy homes at wholesale prices! In addi...tion to this property, 60 other properties are scheduled for sale at this same Foreclosure Sale. In our online auctions and live Foreclosure Sales, Auction.com currently has 36 properties scheduled for sale in Winnebago County and 1097 throughout Illinois. All properties and sale details can be found with a simple search at Auction.com. Create a FREE account today to find more properties like this one, save searches of properties that meet your investment criteria and have the properties you're looking for emailed directly to you when posted in an upcoming sale event. To view the complete details of this exact property, click the Auction.com link below or paste the Property ID 2297646 into the search bar at Auction.com

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52 Comments on 1866 Second Empire – Rockford, IL

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  1. BethanyBethany says: 3547 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    One of my all-time favorites!!!!!

  2. KarenW says: 15 comments

    WOW!!! I want it!

  3. evers310evers310 says: 109 comments

    Looks more 1890’s than 1860’s to me.

    • evers310evers310 says: 109 comments

      Ok, after going back over the pictures I think the 1866 date for the house is possible. If so then the interior had a major makeover in the 1890’s. The floor boards are very narrow, something that didn’t become popular until the late 1800’s. The doors are also of an 1890’s style. The stairs appear to be mid-1800’s, except for the newel post, which is definitely late 1800’s. It doesn’t match well with the rest of the staircase IMO. The 1 over 1 windows are also turn of the century, as is the window at the bottom of the stairs.

  4. LadyBelle says: 61 comments

    So pretty, but needs so much work. Hopefully an experienced person will buy to fix up and it won’t become a tear down.

  5. AnnaP says: 38 comments

    This house could really be an adorable and cozy place! There’s a lot to be done, but for $44,900 a person might be inclined to give this ol’ girl a makeover.

  6. JimHJimH says: 5769 comments
    OHD Supporter

    An important house associated with one of Rockford’s industrial leaders, though not the home of the Sock Monkey!

  7. KarenB says: 348 comments

    Oh, how much fun and how rewarding it would be to bring this house back to it’s former glory. My fingers are itching and my head is full of color schemes, wallpaper, etc., etc. etc! Rockford is not that far from Chicago. I think this would be a labor of love. Hope someone appreciates it.

  8. Wendy says: 44 comments

    WOW! I adore this place. It’s so cute and so clearly needs loving care to fix it up to it’s former glory. This is really the kind of place I’d love to rehab, if only I had the time and money!

  9. Paul W says: 464 comments

    Ok the porch is “probably’ a later addition, but I don’t see a elaborate top over the doors so it may have been a small Bracketed Porch over the front. Great the realtor mentioned the “new roof”, bad news is the “hatch” has been shortened and needs to be several inches higher to prevent water from coming in in heavy rain events.

    The ‘bigger problem’ is the chimney which needs to re ‘deslathered with mortar’ and properly tuckpointed and you can then fix the structural issue. The central chimney has settled and is pulling all the floors towards it. This can be seen upstairs in the bedrooms. This is putting street on the brick pockets the floors are tied into the exterior walls with. Also it looks like some supportive interior walls may have been removed and rooms reconfigured on the first floor. It is fixable but its not cheap and its not the sort of thing you can ‘live with’. Bring an architect or engineer with you to get a better idea of just what you have to do. That later brick fireplace and eth removal of the wall between the parlors is a contributing part of the problem. Putting some walls upstairs in the attic will help re-sructure the roof structure which is likely under some stress due to spans and snow loads over the years.

    Of course there is the usual restoration too, like the wiring (is that aluminum wiring) Figuring out a new kitchen which was probably originally in basement or a separate summer kitchen.

    But, given all that “Second Empire” , nice lines and worthy of restoration, it just wont be cheap.

    • Michael Mackin says: 3583 comments

      Paul, the porch looks as if it’s missing a column and has some serious structural issues as well. I wouldn’t bet on it holding out for another winter!

  10. says: 84 comments

    What it could be!

  11. Countrymom says: 9 comments

    Paul, how is a central chimney that has settled fixed? Just curious.

    • Paul W says: 464 comments

      Its involved, but I imagine when that later fireplace was added the mason ‘tied’ it into the framework. What happens is that when a brick house is built they did the hole and start on the outside wall and the “chimney core” As you get to the floor the joists are ‘pocketed in on the outside and may,or may not, be pocketed in the fireplace flues. Usually they frame around them so the floor is ‘independent’ of the chimney. If you have a sloppy brick mason they get mortar on the wood in such a way it ‘locks’ the wall to the chimney. If the basement gets wet (they usually do) the ground under the chimney core can soften causing the core to sink. If the floors are tied to the chimney they are pulled down with it causing the sloping you see.

      There are two approaches to a solution. You can call in a company like Ram Jack and they can pump concrete under the core and maybe raise it, or two you go in the basement cut away the framing next to the chimney and reframe it so its independent of it and you slowly jack the floors back. Once they are where you want them you build a wall starting in the basement to properly support the floor above it. Going all the way up. Since they removed that partition wall between the parlors that would be the time to put it back and put the fireplace in its original corner location.

      At the same time you want to correct any water issues in basement that caused contributed to the sinking. Its time consuming and its the sort of thing that absolutely needs to be done with this house.

      • Tara Terminiello says: 22 comments

        I really enjoy reading the comments here especially those such as yours, they really give you an insight into what it takes to adopt one of these beauties. Often its a disappointing shot of cold water to the face but thats what I need to cool my jets once in a while…I have this fantasy of waltzing into a fixer upper at a bargain price{who doesnt??} and picking out the wallpaper and reproduction mail boxes….but wow, theres SO much I dont know about 170 year old house structure!!!!

        My husband and I were looking at Mt Laurel NJ and fell in love with a fabulous 1840 home on Main Street in Lumberton…its still for sale for 450,000 maybe Kelly has posted it already in the past?? white stucco, colomns, floor to ceiling windows,drop dead fireplaces, cupola, double parlour, 2 apartments out back to help with the mortage….

        It was totally refurbished but had a LOT of issues still to go, and the 1930s sunken swimming pool {that was filled with 80 years worth of ivy} caused us to back off.Plus it was too far from MT Laurel. And it was on a busy busy county road with a parade of traffic going by non stop. And wedged between two ugly brick businesess.We settled on a 1968 house which is a time capsule of the period{which is fun and easy to update} and I content myself with ogling this site.

  12. Melody says: 490 comments

    That crooked fireplace would drive me insane. Why would anyone purposely put in a fireplace at such a weird angle? And those stairs look killer. It might just be the camera angles, but they look steep!

    • #lovingthisoldhouse says: 1 comments

      Hello Miss Melody I spent the majority of my life in that house. The stairs aren’t that steep. The basement stairs are though 🙂

      • says: 164 comments

        #lovingthisoldhouse: Would you have any stories or thoughts to tell us about the history and living in the house? I would enjoy it, and others may as well. Thanks.

    • Ross says: 2457 comments

      It appears as though two rooms were combined into one. The two rooms were of a slightly different width, and each perhaps had a corner fireplace.

      When the rooms were combined some ding-dong decided that having a fireplace NOT parallel with the wall was a good idea.

      Image #7 shows the mismatched floors, evidence of alterations.

  13. Cassandra says: 12 comments

    Gorgeous! I hope someone restores it, my dogs would have a hard time with those stairs though, but clearly they are the centerpiece!

  14. Fanny lee says: 1 comments

    I live in the area and went and looked to purchase it as I absolutely fell in love with it. Sad thing is it’s located in a very unsafe part of the hood.

  15. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12809 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Posted in 2015, that’s where the photos that show the porch still attached and interior are from.

    The old listing description: Roof recently replace. Front porch unsafe-please stay off, upper roof has access but locked for safety reasons.

    Moving to the front page, now available on Auction.com

  16. BethanyBethany says: 3547 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Still an all time favorite! Somebody save this gorgeous lady!

  17. Ross says: 2457 comments

    To me, a greater concern than the condition of the house, and lost original porches/details, is the neighborhood.

    • H.Bucket says: 24 comments

      Unfortunately you are correct.
      We have actually looked at the property in person because we happened to be passing through the Rockford area.

      I know this is probably a sacrilege to say this…but this houses only hope (to remain standing) is to be turned into apartments.
      The surrounding neighborhood continues to change and sadly not for the better.

  18. says: 164 comments

    If you view the Google Maps Photos for the early year and the later year, you
    will see the house in a more favorable upkeep of the property, than the
    photos posted here. Also, the neighborhood does not appear to be in such a bad condition either.

  19. L Adams says: 55 comments

    Oh, please let this beautiful house get the restoration it deserves! A porch can be rebuilt, and even the spirea *might* come back…Spirea can sometimes come back from roots if it’s cut to the ground.

  20. John Shiflet says: 5917 comments

    Sad to see such a fine home reaching this stage of deterioration but the surrounding neighborhood looks to be in decline as well. I don’t know what the solution is here…perhaps apartment conversion is one possibility. In a better location (Rockford has a beautiful historic district called the Brown’s Hills/Knightstown along S. Second Street where this house would fit in perfectly) I could see this house fully restored and contributing to the district’s historic character but moving it would cost a small fortune. That so few options remain to save it makes the situation seem even more dismal. It would not be the first prominent vintage home posted here that is facing a bleak future because of its location. Some temporary stabilization of the porch would have been preferable to removing it completely although the original porch would have likely been smaller. A urban pioneer type might be able to do something with the house provided it sells at auction for a lower price.

  21. SueSue says: 1100 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    This home is elegant and beautiful. Breaks my heart to see it like this. I could also cry at the loss of the very old and beautiful bridal’s wreath that was dug up in front of the house. Old growth on any property is worth it’s weight in gold. It sits on a nice piece of land too. I am just sad for this forgotten beauty. So much is up for auction in this town makes me wonder if the town is in too much of a decline for a turn around.

  22. Michael Mackin says: 3583 comments

    This grand lady is still struggling to stay standing! I hope someone comes along who will give it the love it needs!

  23. Jules2Jules2 says: 24 comments

    I want that bathroom sink!

  24. Diane says: 603 comments

    Although there may be crime stats to say otherwise, the neighborhood looks mixed and not overly run down. When I see decent landscaping, there’s a good chance the home is owned by someone who cares about their home and the neighborhood. The lot has been pretty decent especially if the bobcat hasn’t totally nuded up everything. Shame about the porch but it does give the next person a chance to put a period perfect one. We’ve all seen houses in worse shape and brought back – here’s hoping this will be one.

  25. Leila Ammann says: 20 comments

    So much potential for this lovely home

  26. Momof9 says: 82 comments

    Please save this beautiful home!

  27. Cleo M. says: 19 comments

    There’s a lot to love about this house.

  28. Nathan says: 8 comments

    I drove by today. It looks as though the place is being taken apart for salvage. Two walls of brick are completely off. The roof is half gone. It breaks my heart to see my city losing so many treasures!

  29. LisaLou says: 99 comments

    This beautiful old house is exactly why second empire style is one of my favorites.

  30. reenaroc says: 18 comments

    Poor thing. I think she feels lost without her porch… but a smaller one may look better anyway. I can picture equal amount of wrap around on each side instead of so much on one side & maybe only 6 or 8 feet wide would look more balanced with the height. Someone commented on the location…. Clifton AV is not that bad. It’s almost out of town. If you shrink down the google map you will see that it’s almost on the edge of the SW side of the city and by no means a very high crime area anymore & do a street view and you will see a pretty decent neighborhood. Anyway I was born in Rockford and that’s one area that wouldn’t bother me at all to live in… pretty quiet by city standards. Also I think 1866 is right on the money as far as the age goes. I picture her all by her self for many, many years. A nice comfortable home in the country and I bet some farming was done. The West side of Rockford developed 1st, and the very oldest homes will be found there. I almost bought a Victorian home in Rockford just east of the river built in 1878 but I lost my job the day before closing lol. Oh well, wasn’t meant to be. Anyway, just had to add my 2 cents after reading all of the wonderful comments. I pray that someone will save her. I’m sure she could be wonderful again.

  31. Sandra says: 285 comments

    This house made me get teary-eyed. The first two pictures did it, the first one looking so bleak with a piece of machinery next to it like it was going to be torn down, and then the second with the flowering shrubs as if the house were saying “I’m still viable, don’t tear me down”. I don’t really think houses are alive or have souls or spirits or anything 🙂 but I do talk to my new old house and tell it I will take care of it while patting the plaster walls, and I hope someone does the same for this listed house. Rockford has some bad areas but this neighborhood looks OK. The house is on a nice big lot with lots of pretty trees. Once restored I think any family would love to live here.

    • Reena P Bergstrom says: 18 comments

      Yeah! Someone bought her. I am so glad! You are right houses do respond to love, everything does. I found this in my old mail and just had to share it w/ you 🙂

  32. Nathan says: 1 comments

    I actually had a suggestion that the city of Rockford could move the house to Midway Village so the museum could use it to provide more education for future generations.

  33. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12809 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Demolished. link

  34. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5917 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    Sadly, I’ve seen a number of old house that were remuddled beyond belief with this one being one of the worst. I can’t imagine anything from the original structure is visible inside-probably just as well. Rockford does have a nice historic district near the northern part of the city with well preserved homes.

  35. I fell in love with this house in the late 90’s/early 00’s when it came up for sale. The seller was (according to the realtor) “an old lady in (iirc) Arizona, who won’t budge on the price of $33K”. Wife and I toured it several times, once with a friend that did home inspections to give it a once over as a favor.
    At the time it was in bad shape, worse than the photos above. The floors in the first and second floor main rooms (south side of the house front to back) were buckled badly from water dammage; at least 6-9″ up. I’m glad to see that those had been fixed. The brick chimney, as has been stated, needed drastic and extensive point-work. Most of the radiators for the STEAM heat were physically broken. Some of the rafters in the attic were soft when probed, showing begining of dry rot. I’m also glad to see that the marvelous marble bathroom sink was still there.
    On the north side of the house, there was a flight of stairs going to an add-on door in the kitchen. It was that concession to modern occupancy codes that kept it off of the National Historic Register (we were told).
    When we were there, it was on 2 full acres of land, wire-fenced, though since it was across the street from a school, it had become a shortcut for neighborhood children.
    I had heard that it was finally bought, and I thought I’d seen that some pointwork had happened, so I hoped for the best.
    I’m heartsick that what renovations that happened didn’t last, and that it was eventually demolished.
    As much work that this old gem needed, with the owner being inflexible in the price we had to pass, though it’s still in our hearts. I probably won’t tell my wife of it’s demise.
    RIP dear old lady.

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