1863 Second Empire – Frankfort, NY

Added to OHD on 10/1/18   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   41 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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128 Cemetery St, Frankfort, NY 13340

Map: Street

  • $104,900
  • 5 Bed
  • 3 full, 2 half Bath
  • 5728 Sq Ft
  • 1.2 Ac.
Historic Gates-Mayer Mansion or Balloon Farm.
Contact Information
Despina Raucci, Town & City Real Estate
(315) 735-9850
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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

41 Comments on 1863 Second Empire – Frankfort, NY

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12127 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    See old listing photos here: https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2016/10/11/1878-second-empire-frankfort-ny/

  2. Zann says: 520 comments

    I know about this house!

    Mr. Myers was a real character and super neat. He was a bit of a genius.

    Excerpt from his Wikipedia page regarding the house:

    Frankfort “balloon farm” and mansion –

    In 1889 Myers purchased the Gates Mansion Victorian style house with five acres of property that was located near Frankfort, New York, previously owned by Fred Gates of the Diamond Match Company. Here Myers and his wife went into the business of manufacturing passenger balloons and specialty purpose gas balloons, many for the US government. The balloons that had just been assembled were partially inflated outdoors to test if they held the hydrogen gas properly. Because of the large balloons half inflated and laid out on the property grounds, it gave the impression they were growing large mushrooms or some unusual new farm crop. In time some people realized they were really making balloons and it became known as the Frankfort “balloon farm.”[7][8]

    The three story mansion house was broken up into workshops and living quarters. The workshops were a chemistry lab, a print shop, a shipping room, a carpentry work area and machine shop facilities. The attic above the third story was devoted entirely for all the machines and associated tools necessary for the construction of airships. One first floor room was a large library with many books on aeronautics and science, where Myers researched often and brainstormed with his wife. There were out-buildings scattered throughout the five acres that contained gas engines, chemical labs, and furnace facilities.[9][10]

    There is a little more about the house and a lot more about his life on the site. He and his wife were eccentric in a great way.

    14
  3. julie A.julie A. says: 146 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1914 foursquare farmhouse
    New Germany, MN

    I would restore the staircase, i bet that if you took off that ledge and sheet rock, it’s probably hiding underneath. they might’ve had to do that to make it to code. This is a beautiful place and what a price!

    1
    • MichaelMichael says: 2841 comments
      1979 That 70's show
      Otis Orchards, WA

      The building department doesn’t come back and make a staircase meet current codes. Once it is built and passes inspection, it’s legal. However, if there were any changes made on the house that involve the stair in any way, they would have to meet current codes. I think there was a different reason for the change. Owners wanted a more modern look? Missing or damaged railing and cheaper to cover? Request by the insurance company?

      I do agree with you about restoring the staircase. It needs to be brought back to it’s former glory!

      2
  4. RosewaterRosewater says: 7126 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes a house with a fretwork detailed, gabled, Mansard roof. Huh? It certainly is different.

    4
  5. Sheila says: 4 comments

    So many chimneys missing! Just think of all the fireplaces they removed or that are non-functional!!! Second Empires are the love of my life…why do they all seem to be in the North East!?!?! πŸ˜‰

    • BethanyBethany says: 3451 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1983 White elephant
      Escondido, CA

      Me too; their style just satisfies me in a way no other does. This one had roof cresting as well as more chimneys as you can see in the old photo.

      2
  6. David F. says: 1 comments

    It looks SO much better with the dark trim in the old photo. Suddenly all of the disparate pieces seem to fit together–even the fretted gable disappears and loses its oddness.

    2
  7. GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1909 Arts and Crafts
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Well hi folks! I’ve been creeping this site for a month. I have saved several homes and begun evaluating them (did someone say spreadsheet?) and this Second Empire as well as the other one about half hour away are on my list to view πŸ™‚ I’ll be flying out within the next few weeks.

    I am a photo junkie, if I decide to pass on this one I’ll share all photos. Fingers crossed I find a keeper and can negotiate a deal this month!

    Funny it was the balloon farm, as I spent some years providing harm reduction services at music festivals and I used partially inflated, LED rimmed parachutes to create the “spaces” for people. I’d fit right in with the old photo!

    https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/fr/cp0/e15/q65/12019779_451834961687009_1883117897156490518_n.jpg

    1
  8. GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1909 Arts and Crafts
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Sorry, the link pasted in incorrectly in my previous post!

    https://www.facebook.com/ElectricJellyfishChillLounge/photos/a.430578797145959/430591757144663/

    2
  9. LaDona says: 33 comments

    You might to call and talk to the listing Agent. I did that and what I found out is you must show proof of funds and this is cash only and price is not Negotiable, so just giving you a heads up to call her !! Good Luck in all your Adventures!! Sounds like you have a Fascinating Job !!

    1
    • GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1909 Arts and Crafts
      Scottsdale, AZ

      I should have followed your advice and contacted the listing agent directly, I mistakenly thought the agent I was using would have done that in the weeks or even days leading up to my flight. So I missed out on this wonderful summer home. Got here with cash ready to go, just to find out someone had JUST put in an accepted offer.

      I won’t make that mistake twice.

      2
  10. GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1909 Arts and Crafts
    Scottsdale, AZ

    I’m a cash buyer, I already spoke with one of the agents who knows this property πŸ™‚

    2
    • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
      second empire frankfort, NY

      i just purchase this unique property, so very excited to turn it to show place!

      2
      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12127 comments
        Admin

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        As in you just closed on the posted home, you have the title in your hand kind of purchased?

        2
        • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
          second empire frankfort, NY

          no deed or tittle, Not yet, we both just signed the offer me and the bank since it is foreclosure ” owned by the bank… lawyer on it executing the offer…

          2
          • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12127 comments
            Admin

            1901 Folk Victorian
            Chestatee, GA

            Cool, keep us updated then. πŸ™‚

            2
            • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
              second empire frankfort, NY

              I will, thank you Kelly.

              2
              • GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
                OHD Supporter

                1909 Arts and Crafts
                Scottsdale, AZ

                Oh man, well hi. You beat me by one day. The realtor I was using has known for weeks I was coming up, cash in hand, for this house but she didn’t let the listing agent know. Flew in from AZ for it, got here (Utica) the 5th to view it.

                If you change your mind, please let me know!!! I’ve been just sitting in my hotel room bummed out.

                I’d still love to just look at the house since I came all this way, can that be arranged? I drive back to Rochester Sunday night for Monday morning flight.

                Thank you.

                1
                • LaDona says: 33 comments

                  This is why I always call the listing Agent before I get my Realtor involved. I am Not so keen on second hand information !! I was hoping you would get with your background, but at least it went to someone who will show it Love ❀️

                  2
                • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
                  second empire frankfort, NY

                  Hi there, sorry that you missed on this one, i am in CA, i don’t know anyone yet in Frankfort/N.Y to ask to show you the place, the agent said she is extra busy… sorry! if i was there i wouldn’t hesitate to arrange a visit for you! i am going to make one more offer on the other ” second empire property” with 5 acres ! did you see it ? has 2 nice structures, low price! you should since you are in the area… good luck tho, what mint to be will be!

                  2
                  • GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
                    OHD Supporter

                    1909 Arts and Crafts
                    Scottsdale, AZ

                    Hi! I changed my flights after this morning, so on my way back to AZ already.

                    I did view the other one in Waterville. Honestly, don’t bother. It was heartbreaking to see the extent of disrepair and modifications made. If you have an extra several hundred thousand dollars to dedicate to it, then go take a look. But at one point it was converted to apartments, then sort of unconverted, and there are partially completed mods that are not value-add and do NOT bring the house back to original form. And the carriage house? No bueno. Even worse.

                    I love taking photos, I didn’t bother.

                    I feel badly for the owner, she may never get it sold unless it’s by a buyer who does it sight unseen and just goes off the posted pics. OR someone who wants a huge, years long project.

                    Did you view the Frankfort house? And bring a contractor to bid out the repairs on it?

                    • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
                      second empire frankfort, NY

                      Thanks for input re ” waterville” property ,re ” 128 cemetery” by talking to the bank who owns it , they did show and just few days before accepting my offer expenses of close to 11k of cleaning the entire property from debris, mostly 2nd and third floor, it took them days and days to clear everything out, and then the price was so low already, money no object, just wanted this house since 2016, but since i have so many properties AND LOANS in CA , so no bank wanted to help… but and finally it meant to be i guess! i am doing the roof and fencing entire property first, then electrical and plumbing, restoration while i am living in it, day per day, it is not an investment house for me, it is a personal project, might takes a year or two, but i am loving it already! also i came to find out that the lot is not 1.2 acres it is 1.7 acre, it is also corner lot!

                      2
        • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
          second empire frankfort, NY

          Just closed Kelly, deed recorded and title in hand.

          3
      • Nancy says: 1 comments

        That’s great! I almost went to buy it two years ago but found another beautiful home in Little Falls instead! I’m from CA also! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

        3
        • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
          second empire frankfort, NY

          Hi Nancy, will keep you posted, thank you! and hope that you are very happy with your property in “Little Falls”
          just 20 minutes from frankfort, great houses with little money that you can not pass, sure need a lot of repairs! still worth it!

          2
          • GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
            OHD Supporter

            1909 Arts and Crafts
            Scottsdale, AZ

            Hey! Thinking about this beauty of a house and wondering how the restoration is coming? Dying to see!!

            • JoeJoe says: 756 comments
              OHD Supporter

              1820 Federal
              Baltimore, MD

              Hi Geargirl,
              *I was glad to see your comment/question in my inbox. I love this house too. Just checked, Google maps has not updated the street view since 2008, so we will have to wait to hear from the owner to tell if anything has been done. Seems like G Maps driver/photographer should be one of the jobs that can be done while still not violating the Covid 19 restrictions.
              **I will now ride my personal hobbyhorse without in any way knowing if what I have experienced is the case here. In my experience, local government can, in flexing their legal rules, cause major projects like this one become untenable for new owners who want to make a difference.
              NOTE: I have no knowledge, either public or secret, to make me believe or disbelieve that government restrictions or regulations are slowing the restoration of this property.

  11. GearGirlGearGirl says: 206 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1909 Arts and Crafts
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Site doesn’t give the option to reply lol I guess we made that part of the thread too long. So you HAVE personally gone into this Frankfort property as well as the Waterville one? If you haven’t visited Waterville yourself, I’d save the money and put it into Frankfort.

    Yes, a corner lot. I was tempted to see if I could change the address so it lists the adjoining street instead, if I purchased the Frankfort house. It was to be my summer home πŸ™‚ Like you, I planned to take care of immediate roof, systems, and structural repairs first, then add a nice iron and brick fence all around the property. More vegetation to help screen out the cemetery next door. At some point, the house will outlive the occupants and I wanted ease of resale (hence the address change, etc).

    1
    • realdaddrealdadd says: 34 comments
      second empire frankfort, NY

      I did not see EITHER properties yet, i will, just after christmas, so i will be able to hire someone for the fence and put security system, i already send someone for the roof, but due to slippery area up there could not be checked properly, will be done and cleared when i get the keys and the deed first… you are right, first need to concentrate on frankfort, then when all settled will think of the other one if it is worth it… The” Balloon Farm ” will be without any doubt my little VERSAILLE ! with or without changing the street address, in FACT the street address and cemetery beside this majestic structure drew me to live in and make it my own , and yes, iron fence with 4 stone posts , 2 electrical old style gates will give it immediate wordly statement.

      4
    • Joe says: 756 comments

      Hi Gear Girl,
      -A new house just came up on OHD that reminded me so much of this one that I searched this one. When I saw all of your posts, I thought , maybe this one would suit you. No idea if it will, but Balloon Farm came to my mind when I saw this one in Hillsborough NJ. If you are still looking try: https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2019/02/07/second-empire-hillsborough-nj/

      1
  12. LaDona says: 33 comments

    I am so Happy for you !! I can feel the love that you have for this Wonderful Historic Property!! Can’t wait to see your updates !!

    3

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