1875 Italianate – Cornwall, VT

Added to OHD on 9/4/17   -   Last OHD Update: 11/7/20   -   33 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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2958 Route 125 Rte, Cornwall, VT 05753

  • $265,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 79.13 Ac.
This Historic Victorian home was once part of the Foote Farm. The current owners have restored the exterior to it's original splendor. The Cupola was rebuilt with a deck area on the roof. New Marvin thermal pane windows. Roof was repaired. Foundation has been reappointed. Perimeter drains for proper drainage were installed around the house. A new floor and subfloor have been laid down on first floor. The interior is ready to be finished as you like. Much of the original trim woodwork has been saved to reuse if wanted. Possibly could be used as Bed & Breakfast.
Contact Information
Lisa Marie Sargent, Addison County Real Estate
(802) 388-9999

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

33 Comments on 1875 Italianate – Cornwall, VT

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12146 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Some history: https://www.flickr.com/photos/i_dig_doug/8152841283

    There’s a reason it’s gutted…
    Before: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/300896818827915644/

  2. RosewaterRosewater says: 7180 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    Looks like the old slate roof is still on it, and no signs of water damage in the attic or otherwise. Some people just like to smash plaster. It makes “renovating” easier when installing new wires pipes and ducts, but turns an old house into a tract house with old boards underneath. Sad. Cool widow’s walk though!

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12146 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Did you not check out the link of the before photo above?

    • Cathy F. says: 2264 comments

      The lath appears to still be intact. Couldn’t they give it new plaster walls? (From the ‘before’ pic, I’m assuming the roof had a problem & original plaster a mess?)

      Yes, very cool widow’s walk!

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 7180 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Re-plastering is doable, though INSANELY expensive or unfathomably time consuming at this scale if you DIY.

        • RossRoss says: 2417 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
          Emporia, KS

          Actually, plastering is doable and not crazy $$$$.

          My 1894 house has areas of missing plaster, and I have been working with this company:


          • RosewaterRosewater says: 7180 comments
            OHD Supporter

            1875 Italianate cottage
            Noblesville, IN

            Would you say that your “areas” are equal in scale with the amount of work and materials necessary to return this entire house, walls and ceilings to it’s previous state? Of course, if someone just has some plaster missing or damaged, not “at this scale” completely missing in every room, that is another matter entirely. You’re lucky to have the money to pay people to do it for you. I’m in the middle of a BIG plaster stabilization and restoration job in two rooms at my place. Having removed the dropped ceilings, (hard framed), and false walls, it’s going to take some good bit of effort to make it right. The clown who did the re-muddle in the 70’s used a 10 penny nail as a stud finder so I’ve got bands of 6 to 10 holes at an inch on center at each stud in a continuous ring around both rooms; as well as all of the holes from the 10 penny nails he used to attach all of the false walls etc.: (that guy just LOVED his big ole and ring shank nails – grrrrr)! You would think the clown would have figured out they were evenly spaced and just measure it off after finding the first one – But Noooooo! 🙁 As a testament to just how solid an 1875 plaster job is, even with all of his carelessness, there is not nearly as much stabilization necessary as one would think, (thank god). Sure, it would be reeeeal easy to smash it all out and install gypsum board, but easy aint in the old house DIYer’s vocabulary when being faithful to original methods and materials and saving as much original fabric as possible. Easy is no fun anyway. 🙂

    • Joseph says: 435 comments

      My house did not have water infiltration problems, and had never been left abandoned. And still the majority of the plaster was weak, lifting, falling, un-keyed etc. Perhaps someone could set up a “plaster blank” for all the lovers of failing plaster.

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 7180 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Interesting. Sounds like it was a poor quality job to begin with. How did the rest of the house fair in regard to original construction quality?

        • Joseph Rice says: 435 comments

          1795 house; typical center hall Federal. One before that was slightly earlier cape – first plastering was directly on the inside of the sheathing.

          Possibly the proportions of original mix were bad, possibly some areas received a second plastering that pulled the first, but so what? I’m bemused by how many comments there are about the evils of remodeling these gems which apparently should be maintained as shrines to sand and lime mixtures.

          Do you really think I (and others) just hauled out tons of broken plaster bucket by bucket on a whim?

          • Polished Hippy says: 57 comments

            I can definitely understand not having the resources to repair very old types of plaster that are completely friable. Often later forms are more robust but people literally don’t understand that plaster of the later type that comes loose from the keys is in fact repairable. I’ve had quite a bit fixed in my 1929 bungalow by a skilled plasterer who used washers and bolts to re secure loose portions then overskim with a new layer of plaster. I have since had roof leaks that the original and repaired plaster just laughed at, that would have resulted in sheetrock coming crashing down on the wood floors. Another reason that people might remove original plaster is incompatible paint layers or periods of lack of heat that result in peeling and can be more difficult to deal with. But for late Victorian and 20th century plaster, repair is infinitely preferable to sheetrock, which is not only ugly, but not durable and prone to mold and mildew infestation.

          • Ross says: 2417 comments

            In my experience, most people tear out all the plaster in a house not on a whim but because they have no idea of how to repair it.

            And this is celebrated on TV shows like This Old House and the HGTV network. Gutting old houses to the studs is the fashionable thing.


            • Michael Mackin says: 2861 comments

              I did see an episode of Ask This Old House where they showed the proper way of repairing plaster walls and ceilings that have separated from the lath. I’ve lived in a small bungalow that had plaster walls and I have to say that I love them. One could take the cheaper way and use drywall but in the end, you get what you pay for!

  3. Margaret Kuberka says: 61 comments

    Wow, kudos to whoever saved this house from falling down. Not sure about the color but sure do appreciate the time and money spent to stabilize it. Great job.

  4. Brandon B. says: 1 comments

    They did a masterful job on the outside of the house, considering what the before picture looked like. Hopefully someone will do the same to the interior and make this house a home again.

  5. Brandy Mulvaine says: 56 comments

    It was a Mr. James W. Apgar who restored the exterior of the house, according to the link Rosewater provided. Irregardless to what has been done to the inside he should get a metal for preserving the outside, and the vandals will get what’s due to them. I wonder what has happened so that the owner is selling and not finishing?? Kinda sad that he’s not finishing it.

  6. Victoria says: 131 comments

    Copper theft in 2011: http://www.suncommunitynews.com/articles/the-sun/copper-theft-causes-collateral-damage-foote-mansio/

    A grand house, despite much needed work.

  7. DianeEG says: 561 comments

    What a wonderful exterior restoration. We also found an independent master plasterer and it wasn’t killer expensive. We had to remove some plaster because our house had been a “party house” for part of it’s abandoned unheated years. A frozen broken water bed on the 2nd floor can do MUCH damage to plaster. We saved what we could. Since some of the plaster remains in the featured home, as does much of the wood and because they did such a respectful restoration of the exterior, I’m guessing any plaster removed was necessary.

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 7180 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Diane, I’d say you did exactly the right thing by your old house in retaining as much of it’s original material as possible and replicating the bits missing or damaged. Ask any serious “preservation” professional and they will tell you that is the best way to treat any antique structure worth a hoot.

  8. BethanyBethany says: 3450 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    I groaned when I read that the owner had put in a roof deck on a gorgeous Italianate house, but it turns out to be more of a really cool widow’s walk with a great iron fence; pretty cool!

    • k9 says: 25 comments

      But that rail needs to be primed and painted before the rust stains start running down the roof and siding. Can be a major cleaning issue.

  9. Carla says: 3 comments

    Wow!! It’s hard to believe this is the same house. I love Italianates. If money were no object…… It would be amazing if any previous outbuildings were still standing.

  10. Kristina says: 3 comments

    Perhaps the plaster was cracking badly throughout the house? Maybe they wanted to remove all of the lead paint? Either way, I would just put up concrete backboard if I had that small fortune lol. My 1852 home had tons of water pumped into it during our fire and the plaster is dandy. The only thing affected was the paint.

  11. Scott Cunningham says: 393 comments

    Looks like they took on the noble task of saving this grand home, but then ran out of money or will after securing the exterior. The interior is gutted and ready to be restored. My only comment is that if you are ripping out all the plaster, why not also take out the lath, take the opportunity to redo everything behind the walls (HVAC, electrical, insulation, etc…) and then simply replace with sheetrock. In any case, its going to be a great house

    • Joseph Rice says: 435 comments

      You could probably do all the mechanicals without removing all the lath – they may have kept it to save the trouble of furring out the studs for the new wall board to maintain the trim depth against the walls.

      (it looks like they were starting on this in some of the photos).

  12. Flowerlady says: 73 comments

    WOW!!! Hard to believe that it was restored to look this good after I looked at the Pintrest picture. Must have cost a fortune to do the exterior.

  13. Karen60 says: 171 comments

    I am not familiar with this style of old house, but the staircase looks pretty unimpressive. Straight across from front door, right? You would think it would be a little more of a showpiece. Maybe this is typical for that style of house?

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12146 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      The first staircase is from the 2nd floor hall. The green staircase is going to the attic. So it doesn’t show a staircase in the entry hall.

  14. Joe says: 757 comments

    I hope that the realtor has subscribed to this post’s comments. I think that there should be a set of photos showing what, “original trim woodwork has been saved to reuse.” Before photos of the interior would be nice, so one could see what it should look like. I see no sign of an Italianate stair or hall in the photos. Is there one? Was one there and gutted out? If so were the parts saved? If not:

    For anyone who is restoring an Italianate/Second Empire house in need of balusters, I have a set of them made of curly maple, which my grandfather saved from a house being torn down sometime between 1940 and 1960. It had a cherry bannister and newel post of which I have the post. I dream of using them in a house one day for myself, but would mostly be interested in finding the right house for them. This looks like one.

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