c. 1870 – Apalachicola, FL – $599,000

For Sale
Added to OHD on 11/6/18   -   Last OHD Update: 3/16/19   -   12 Comments
1 Scipio Creek Dr, Apalachicola, FL 32320

Maps: Street, Aerial

  • $599,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 3041 Sq Ft
Moved to present site overlooking Mill Pond from Apalachicola's Hill neighborhood in 1992, house has been redesigned by the great master of American residential architecture, Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Wonderful details include a 45'long entrance hall, 12' high ceilings, original black cypress walls and heart pine floors, modern professional kitchen, wood burning fireplaces, and spacious porches and decks. Owner has used chef's dream kitchen as a cooking school. Private setting with backyard path leading to picturesque pond. Half city block sold with house!
Contact Information
Shaun Donahoe,
(850) 653-8330 / (850) 227-7979
Links, Photos & Additional Info
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12 Comments on c. 1870 – Apalachicola, FL – $599,000

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I typed out the last article, tripping on a few words.

    “Originally built in the 1870’s, the Ziegler/White house originally sat on a full city lot in the Hill section of Apalachicola. In 1989, when I moved to town and was looking for a house to renovate, I noticed it hidden in an overgrown jungle. Clearly, it was vacant. The one story house was built of cypress and heart pine and the entire interior was bead board. It had wonderful proportions. It was owned by the White family who lived in Beverly Hills, California, having moved away from town many years ago. I offered to buy the house and the 10 lots and was turned down. Several offers later, I asked the family if I could buy just the house and move it. This time, the family said yes. To them value was in the land, not in the house. Buying it was no more complicated than purchasing a pair of shoes. I made out a check and it was mine.

    So now I had a building and six months to find a place to move it to.

    At that point the city of Apalachicola was in debt. My realtor, Ruth ? suggested that the city might be willing to sell me city land overlooking the shrimp boats where I wanted to be. After many negotiations with Jimmie Nichols, mayor at the time, once the site of The Cypress Lumber Company. Before we moved the house, we filled in part of the low lying land with dozens of truckloads of fill. I hired Dan ? in design and permit a pond and asked house mover Duckie Johnson to move the house to it’s new site overlooking the future pond.

    Then it was time to find an architect. I have done many renovations and have always worked with an architect. Every time I picked up a shelter magazine and saw a house I really admired, more often than not it was the work of famous Washington, DC architect, Hugh Newell Jacobsen. I figured why not ask him to redesign the house. All he could say was “No” as I had a hunch he might say “Yes”. I sent him a long letter complete with lots of photos. I was in Budapest working on an article when I called in for my phone messages. One was from Hugh. “Tell ? that she hooked (booked?) me.”

    Before Hugh will work with a client, you need to fill out your wish list-literally anything you ever wanted in a house. I told him that I couldn’t afford my wish list. He told me that was his problem, not mine, but he wanted to know what I hankered for if money were no object. He came to Ap. to take a look at the project. He wanted to keep the house true to the 19th century origins, but bring it up to date. He then headed back to block out the space, which included moving the roof line forward to allow for a second story, and a future master bedroom.

    Before Hugh had his ? clients such as Paul ?, James Garner and Jackie Onassis he was a renovation architect and I knew he would do right by the space. He reconfigured the downstairs-keeping the hallway, which he liked-but copying the front door at the rear. He completely changed the left hand side, adding a corridor, bathroom in the center and keeping two of the original three bedrooms. He converted two rooms into a large teaching kitchen. He kept the living room space but rebuilt the front windows, narrowing them and elongating them to the floor.

    The house had a kitchen extension. Hugh made this former kitchen a separate building. I brought in a moving crane and positioned the former kitchen parallel with the main house with a future deck to join the two buildings. Hugh sent his specifications (more than 40 pages) which were daunting to me as well as the local contractors. I was particularly lucky because Corky Richards and Charlie Ingle were willing to do the millwork, most of which was done in cypress. Corky and Charlie were amazing craftsmen. (In fact, Hugh liked Corky’s craftsmanship so much he used him on other projects around the country until Corky died.)

    As you might expect, I was assigned a junior associate in the Jacobsen firm who took the basic design and worked out the final phase. As we were building the stairway to the future master bedroom, I ran into a problem trying to make the stairway fit. Finally, I called Hugh. As it turned out the junior associate had designed an undecidable staircase. As a result, Hugh took over as the project architect.

    The junior architect’s mistake was a wonderful opportunity for me. I’m told by his staff that I have the most truly Jacobsen house in recent years. Hugh designed everything, even sketching out the cypress chandelier in the entrance hall on an envelope on one of his visits. He has signature design details, such as his “egg crate bookcases”, complex yet simple looking fireplace mantels, plantation shutters and old fashioned outdoor lights made by a West Virginia craftsman. Hugh believes symmetry is restful so if you look carefully there are many symmetrical details such as the matching doors in the entrance hall. Every place possible we recycled the wood, even taking the ? baseboards in the downstairs and using them as stair runners to the upstairs. They were replaced by custom poplar baseboards.

    The Jacobsen firm has complete design control over the interior furnishings. Hugh designed the living room furniture as well as the dining table. He said to me, “We should have Greek ? chairs.” When I asked where in the world we would get authentic ? chairs, he arranged for a Greek shipbuilding client to provide them as a personal favor to him. This gentlemen gave me the chairs as a gift and I paid the air freight. Hugh was right, they are exactly the right proportions for the table.

    Finally, I ended up with the home of my dreams. And every single wish I had on my list was incorporated into the final plans. What a joy!

  2. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Some additional photos on the Jacobsen site:

  3. AvatarStevenF says: 770 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1969 Regency
    Nashville, TN

    This person was lucky! One of my favorite floor plans is a 1960s or 70s Hugh Jacobsen designed single story home in Potomac Maryland. can’t find any pictures of it on the internet, but I ran across it in a monograph of his work a few year ago. His plans’ apparent simplicity usually belies a very well designed space for living/flow.

  4. AvatarGina Hill says: 78 comments

    Neat story. Thanks for sharing!

  5. AvatarDarragh Brady says: 8 comments

    This is a gorgeous renovation and Hugh Newell Jacobsen is an absolute master at this kind of classic simplicity. The only thing that would give me pause is the coming sea level rise- the house is nicely elevated about three foot above grade but you might have to use a boat to get to the grocery store.

  6. Avatarsunshinedoyle says: 10 comments

    Shiplap. Shiplap, everywhere.

  7. AvatarMJ Gonzalez says: 16 comments

    Kelly, thank you for writing out the letter. It sure is an interesting read. I went back and looked at each picture knowing a little more detail about what I was seeing. The home is lovely. I thought all the white in the home was brick. It’s beadboard. Beautiful remodeling. The owner is a very lucky person to have found the house and Mr. Jacobsen agreeing to help with the design.

  8. AvatarJRichard says: 231 comments
    1763 center-chimney cape
    Biddeford, ME

    My parents’ winter place was in Carabelle, not far from here, in a part of Florida which was ‘discovered’ not too long ago. Appalachicola is a lovely, rather sleepy, little town as I remember it. This must be the most expensive house there, I imagine, though description makes it clear why. Mom used to speak of the way the shrimp boats were being displaced by summer tourism. Apparently, the temperature difference between southern Florida and the panhandle is significant enough for people to want to come up there for the hottest months. As a New Englander, I found that surprising. The house is very beautiful and seems like a perfect example of the type.

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