c. 1830 Greek Revival – Millville, MA

SOLD / Archived From 2017
Added to OHD on 11/14/17 - Last OHD Update: 4/24/18 - 40 Comments
Address Withheld

Map: Street View

  • $199,900
  • 5 Beds
  • 2 Bath
  • 3848 Sq Ft
  • 1.04 Ac.
Bring this beautiful lady back to life! They do not build homes with this type of detail and craftsmanship anymore. This amazing Greek Revival home was formerly known as the Thomas J. Lalor Residence, sits on over an acre of land in the center of town and is commercially zoned. Some of the big items have been completed (new roof, replacement windows, new septic) but the home still requires extensive work. The grand center hall and staircase greet you as you enter through the front double entry doors with very detailed and ornate woodworking detail throughout. The other period features include granite posts and stairs, hardwoods, fireplace surrounds, light fixtures and plantation shutters. The old servant quarters have been gutted and are awaiting the new owners vision to make as grand as the rest of the home. Being sold in AS IS/AS SEEN condition The condition of the home will limit financing options but they do exist.
Sold By
Lisa Scungio, Lioce Properties      (508) 422-9750
Links & Additional Info
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40 Comments on c. 1830 Greek Revival – Millville, MA

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  1. Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10360 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks RachelMed for sharing!

    4
  2. AvatarDonS says: 59 comments

    It has all the things one hopes to find in an old house. I sure would like to see the baths and kitchen, those tend to be the rooms most horribly renovated with trendy modern trash. It looks like something has already been started, but thankfully, they’ve stopped. Everything in these pictures makes me want to scratch and claw my way this place…it’s just wonderful.

    22
  3. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 795 comments

    What an elegant, stately house.

    Can someone tell me what those windows are called, sort of tucked into paneling? Is that a recessed window?

    Also, anybody else notice the Greek key molding on that delicious stairway?

    11
    • AvatarMarkM says: 8 comments

      Those are embrasured windows (with embrasured shutters!)

      12
      • Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 795 comments

        Bless you Mark! My architecture vocabulary is (obviously) quite limited, and while I have always loved this type of window, I could never research it properly. Now I know!

        Is it possible to embrasure a standard window?

        Thanks again!

        2
  4. Avatarpeeweebc says: 858 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1885 Italianate.
    MI

    This is a beautiful home. Those fire places are killing me. Sure hope someone will save it and restore not remuddle it. Too good to lose.

    7
  5. Avatarscott says: 65 comments

    interesting mix of greek revival and victorian… curious if the victorian elements were added recently or back in the day? Very cool house…

    4
    • AvatarKristina Byron says: 1 comments

      all of the Victorian elements were there when I was a child and it was pretty original then accept for the kitchen which was more 50’s

      2
  6. AvatarDr. Peterson says: 113 comments

    Very nice property. Seems the stairway is about all that escaped the paint brush. Good. While this property doesn’t display many of the design embellishments we see in other period properties, this is really a fine example of hand-mill-craftsmanship that can be brought back to life. I hope someone with vision will undertake the effort. Curious to know when the barn/carriage-house was removed and under what circumstances. With money and time, it might be worthwhile to reconstruct it (but only as it was photographed). With only an acre site, setbacks and current code enforcement may make it impossible which would be a shame.

    10
    • AvatarA. Phid says: 21 comments

      Does anyone know if painted woodwork is a more regional thing? I grew up in and around old New England homes, and painted wood was common, if not the norm, in the “middle aged” homes of the 1850s to 1900s. I associate unpainted woodwork either with the very old houses (1770s – 1800s) houses or with the later Craftsman influenced houses and the more ornate Queen Annes. I can think of a number of reasons why it would make sense to paint woodwork, from brightening up a pre-electricity house, to preserving the wood, to transforming a “coarse” product that came out of the woods into one that was more “refined”.

      5
      • Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 795 comments

        In South Carolina, painted wood seems very common in historic and older homes. I am partial to it, for the brightening note that you mention.

        3
      • AvatarConnie says: 24 comments

        When beautiful and expensive woods were used in a house, they were typically left unpainted so people could admire the different woods used. Private areas of the home sometimes had cheaper woods in order to save money. They could be milled to look expensive but we’re painted to hide the fact they were not as beautiful. In later years it became trendy to paint all woodwork to modernize and lighten the interiors.

        4
      • AvatarSteve Hickey says: 1 comments

        A Greek Revival should have painted woodwork, either white or fauxed. It wasn’t until Victorian houses was the woodwork left natural.

        2
    • AvatarKatherine Pearson says: 5 comments

      The barn and carriage house were removed about 2 years ago, the roof was sagging, and it was ready to fall in on itself. What it does not show it is abut the railroad (about a 25’drop on left of house- looking from street). I live one block walk from this home.

      18
  7. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Textbook Antebellum Greek Revival Temple form house here. Without listing information, one might assume this is a stately planter’s mansion in the Deep South similar to those around Natchez or along the Mississippi in Louisiana. Contrary to the popular notion that such Temple form Greek Revivals are exclusive to the South, this one is in Massachusetts. In reality, they are not so rare in the Northeast with many examples in places like upstate New York and even Maine.
    While I love the ornate details of Victoriana, I hesitate to praise the interior remodel that took place inside this house around 1900. Classic Greek Revival interiors from the 1830’s and ’40’s are well documented and I would be the last to object to any purists among us who would want to take the house back to the 1830’s. That said, those who are more tolerant of later changes could probably live with the later ornate Victorian touches. The tall mirrored mantel (with over-mantel) would look great in an 1890’s Queen Anne but a simple marble or classic wood mantel would look better, IMO. Ditto for the fretwork although it could probably be moved to the kitchen or upstairs. The ceiling medallions look OK but early light fixtures would be better. The staircase looks original except for the newel post. A proper slender Greek Revival example would look better, especially with the Greek Key flourishes at the side of the treads. Despite the later changes, there’s still enough of the original fabric to recreate an 1830’s interior. Such intact houses from this period are seldom found anymore so hopefully the next owner will recognize the historical and architectural significance of this house and will treat it with the respect it deserves. Outstanding house overall.

    15
    • Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 795 comments

      John, do you make house-calls? I would love to have an assessment of my 1905 Neoclassical, especially the kitchen. A man who lived in the house in the 1930s/40s and visited again before I bought the house said one of the things that disappointed him most about seeing the old home-place again was a kitchen remuddle that apparently took place in the 1980s. He could not be specific after so many years (and had no old photos to reference), but he said a wonderful butler’s pantry had been removed. I can’t figure out how things changed exactly (but somebody added a poorly sited powder room. Who puts a half-bath in a kitchen?!).

      1
      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

        House calls? Oh, perhaps if the need existed. We are currently surrounded by new apartments construction and every day brings new surprises. A front end loader damaged one of our century old Oak trees yesterday so I feel it necessary to be watchful as much as possible.
        By 1905 kitchens in the modern sense were largely non-existent. Those areas designated for kitchen use were almost universally spartan or even primitive as it was not until the WW I years that domestic help became scarce and the chores of cooking were being taken up by the lady of the house. That coincided with the introduction of labor saving features in kitchens such as improved cook stoves, cabinetry, and indoor plumbing as well as water heaters. Therefore, about the best that can be done to make the kitchen harmonious with the period and flavor of the rest of the house is to seek stylistic references in the trim, counters and cabinets. White was considered a “sanitary” color back then for both bathrooms and kitchens although clear finished cabinets were also popular. Several books have been published with ideas about making a functional modern kitchen look like it dates from 1910 or 1900 or earlier. Until the first world war years, in any household considered middle class or higher, cooks and domestic help were essential. The modern kitchen only came about because that era ended and households had to take on duties formerly performed by hired help. Butler’s pantries are very useful for storage where they remain but if missing then probably best to have period looking cabinets integrated into the new-old kitchen. The best examples I’ve seen look convincingly like they were created at the same time the house was built. Personally, I think half baths or powder rooms should not be in the kitchen proper. Sounds to me that a major kitchen makeover awaits down the road?

        6
  8. AvatarJoseph says: 314 comments

    While the house is wonderful, the location leaves a lot to be desired. Compare the historic view with the street view. Millville is another one of the Blackstone Valley mill towns. Not necessarily a bad place, but probably limits the upside to house requiring this much investment and commitment.

    3
  9. CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 849 comments

    Spinning the Streetview image reveals why this home represents a (worthwhile) challenge for a buyer. The “Victorianization” doesn’t bother me, and most potential buyers wouldn’t know or care.

    The build date is a little problematic…
    http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dcr/stewardship/histland/recon-reports/millville-with-map.pdf
    The Hall House is attributed in some sources to Edward S. Hall, with a
    construction date of 1854. Another source dates the building to 1838, before Hall’s
    coming to Millville, and speculates that the house was based on an planbook design by architect Asher Benjamin, but no substantiation for this has yet been found.

    It’s also mentioned in the NRHP listing for the Central Street Historic District…
    http://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=MLV.A

    3
    • JimHJimH says: 4208 comments
      OHD Supporter

      This house was most likely built before 1840 for industrialist Welcome Farnum (1796-1874), who operated a woolen mill on the Blackstone River down the hill from the house. In the spring of 1848, Farnum leased out his Millville operation to Edward Smith Hall (1814-1898) for a period of one year at a rent of $7,750. The leased premises included “the large dwelling house standing on the opposite side of the road and near said factory building, with the gardens and grounds around said house.” The description matches the factory and house shown on period maps. The lease was a trial for Hall, and at its conclusion he purchased the Farnum property, and later expanded the mill.
      In the same period, Hall commissioned New York architect Calvert Vaux to design an Italianate villa that was to be built on a beautiful site along the Connecticut River in his hometown of Middletown CT, a design later published by Vaux. The villa was never built and they stayed in Millville, probably disappointing Hall’s young bride. Her name was Marie Antoinette, né en France.

      Wonders could be done here with screening and gardens, selective backdating and refinishing, and reconstruction of the carriage house. It looks like a good area with high incomes and very little crime, and the property seems to be reasonably priced.

      1
  10. CoraCora says: 1893 comments
    OHD Supporter & Moderator

    Clinton, TN

    I’m in love. Can’t quit looking through the photos.

  11. Avatarjenni says: 20 comments

    So much thirsty wood and grimey trim. I don’t have to own it but can I please just clean it up? Imagine those floors shined to a mirror finish or the paint redone on the exterior, it would be blindingly beautiful. Honestly just a good deep clean might add thousands in value to this home.

    9
    • Avatarjenni says: 20 comments

      Also does anyone know if maybe this house was relocated? The bushes being gone I can understand but the sidewalk, fence, carriage house? The house seems to be in decent shape so I don’t really understand them tearing all of that out.

      1
      • AvatarHoyt Clagwell says: 262 comments

        In the historic photo near the barn door you can see one of the granite posts supporting the picket fence that shows up in the exterior photos.

        Sadly, the viewpoint from which that historic photo was taken is no more. Google Earth street view reveals that the road in front of the house has been raised several feet, and where there was a picket fence is now an industrial strength barricade.

        5
  12. AvatarKatherine Pearson says: 5 comments

    This was my friend Tom’s Uncle’s house, he remembers it in pristine condition as a child, he woyld spend holidays there. Rumer has it (here in town), the person who bought it 2 years ago, is turning it into studio apartment building. ..we are all upset! I wish I could have bought it back when it was for sale. I love this house and our town. I would love to have dual purpose as a coffe/tea room and my residence. But life isnot on my side for gainful employment or credit. But as far as I know it is not on market anymore.

    3
  13. Michael MackinMichael Mackin says: 1309 comments

    The house itself is a beauty, if not a little eclectic with it’s later remodels. The sad part in my opinion is what the street engineers did to the house in regards to the changes in the street.

    2
  14. AvatarBarbara says: 52 comments

    Okay, I’m ready to move! Love the woodwork! Those floors! The lighting fixture! A little stripper and sand paper, and that white paint would be history on the trim. What a beauty! Thank you for sharing!

    1
  15. Avatarmichelle ferrer says: 145 comments

    The floors are incredible under all the grime. Always makes me sad to see a house deteriorate like this.

    1
  16. AvatarMelissa says: 250 comments

    I keep looking at this place going “wow, it doesn’t look too bad”…. I like smaller, older homes, but this one has caught my fancy….

  17. AvatarLori says: 52 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Yukon, OK

    Can someone explain the reasoning behind the windows in this age/style of house? how they look recessed and you can step up into them. Was this just stylistic or was it utilitarian in some way? I personally love them, just curious as to the reason. I get the majority of my old house education from OHD readers and greatly appreciate all the wonderful knowledge you kindly share.

    3
  18. AvatarJohntique says: 28 comments

    Fabulous Greek Revival house – with all of the basics intact! The worst “damage” was effected in the remodel – where the hardwood floors were overlaid on the original wide plank wood. In the photo of the double parlors with the turn of the century mantel, you can see at the base blocks where the newer floors encroach upon the symmetrical design of the block; the fact that the floor was added AFTER the trim is a dead giveaway. I would remove the later flooring. It’s nice to see the two original marble mantels still intact. I’d replace the double front doors with a single door flanked by glass lites, which is probably the original configuration. Removing all of the later woodwork is an easy fix, and I am amazed to see that almost all of the original wood trim was basically left intact. I would opt for a slim acanthus carved newel to replace the later one. I’d also “gift” the fretwork arch to someone else for their later house! (perhaps they would also like the wood mantel – which I’d replace with marble …… a very fancy one for the double parlors). Some appropriate plaster ceiling moldings, period correct ceiling medallions, etc. – and you would have a true jewel. Much could be done in the front yard to soften the visual impact of the road, as well as to help muffle the street noise. I truly love this house – because there is so much to work with. I read that the electrical is tube and post wiring; that would be the first thing to go, followed by a thorough plumbing update. Are we done yet???

    1
  19. AvatarDon from Manassas says: 54 comments

    A majestic beauty to be sure. Its still there. Hope it happens again.

  20. AvatarDr. Francis Parnell says: 1 comments

    Very interesting comments.I grew up and lived in this house for over 20 years in the 1940s,50s, and 60s.My late mother, Dorothy Lalor Parnell was born in this house in 1911 and lived there all of her life until she sold it when she retired as a teacher and moved to Narragansett, RI in her final few years.My grandparents, Thomas J. and Johanna Ryan Lalor bought it in the early 1900s and lived there the rest of their lives.
    This house was built in the image and likeness of the Worcester house of former Massachusetts Governor Levi Lincoln who was a lawyer and political leader. That house was moved piece by piece from Lincoln Street, Worcester to Sturbridge Village where it became the welcome center outside the village because it was built between 1810-1815. The builder traveled by horseback to Mendon where he built churches and then was hired by the mill owner to build this house, probably around the early 1820s.
    The only difference was in the Lincoln house the front stairs curve uo to the left, and in the Millville house they curve to the right. It sadly deteriorated in the years after my mother sold it. This deferred maintenance now has resulted in a major financial requirement for the necessary restoration.

    6
  21. AvatarGregory K. Hubbard says: 356 comments

    Dr. Francis Parnell,

    It must be very hard to see a home for which you have such great memories in this condition. Fortunately it is impressive enough that it will be saved. It is too prominent to be missed.

    Your comments on the Governor Levi Lincoln House at Old Sturbridge Village are very accurate. Even the chimneys are in the same relatively uncommon position, the interior front wall. Did your family use the large room in the Millville house as a double parlor, or occasionally for parties? In the nineteenth century, it would have made a wonderful ballroom.

    The raised road doesn’t bother me. For a home this remarkable, I’d tolerate a trailer park, and it would be easy to reconstruct the missing fence. The fence would help set the home apart from the road.

    I’m not certain I’d return the home to a pure Greek Revival interior. The late Victorian fireplace is spectacular. If you did change it, that would leave the newel and the spindle-work screen as the most notable interior alterations. I think I’d move the screen and the mantle upstairs. You could use the newel in the Sturbridge house as a model for the replacement in Millville. Still, what if the bay window was added at the same time as the newel changed?

  22. Avatarpamibach says: 120 comments

    How do you get the paint off the woodwork without damaging the wood?

  23. AvatarSharon Leigh Wrobel says: 1 comments

    I lived in this house in the late 70’s… It breaks my heart to see it now. I hope whoever bought it loves it as much as we did…

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