c. 1890 Queen Anne – Mount Pulaski, IL – $19,900

For Sale
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Added to OHD on 12/6/18   -   Last OHD Update: 12/6/18   -   43 Comments
402 E Jefferson St, Mount Pulaski, IL 62548

Map: Street

Price

$19,900

Beds

4

Baths

1

SqFt

3388

Acres

0.31

If these walls could talk! Historic three story corner lot nearly 3,400 square foot Victorian home situated directly across from the Mt. Pulaski grade school. Property is packed with potential and could be an absolute showplace -- here is your winter project! Main floor features a gorgeous foyer host to a stunning beautifully appointed open staircase as well an original front door with etched glass, living room, formal dining room, family room with corner fireplace, den, and kitchen area. Upstairs, you will find a large landing that provides access to a neat exterior front second story balcony, four large bedrooms -- front bedroom boasts an awesome rounded sitting area neatly appointed by abundant windows, and a full hall bath with an older clawfoot tub. Property also features a large basement, unbelievably large and open floored walk-up third floor attic (oh the possibilities!), front and back staircases, transom windows, front and side covered porches, natural woodwork, several sets of beautiful pocket doors, and a large older two car detached garage structure with a second story that once served as an apartment. This iconic small town Mt. Pulaski, Illinois property has been gutted in various areas and is ready for a new owner to turn it in to the showplace residential dwelling that it once was -- call your agent of choice -- at $25,000, there is endless room to work with at 402 E. Jefferson Street! Inspections welcome at buyer(s) expense, but property being sold strictly "AS IS, WHERE IS."
Contact Details
Seth Goodman, ME Realty
(217) 735-5424
Links, Photos & Additional Info

43 Comments on c. 1890 Queen Anne – Mount Pulaski, IL – $19,900

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 9367 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    If someone checks out the (same agent) home in Lincoln, check this one out too! 🙂

    House in Lincoln: https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2018/10/01/1886-lincoln-il/

    8
    • Nancy C says: 114 comments
      abuts historic village Old Salem, NC

      This realtor clearly cares about these older homes he is representing. His blurb is so well-stated that you can almost visualize the property before you see the photos. It shows interest in each of these homes and a desire for them to be cared for and useful again. Of course he wants to sell it, but there is more here than profit.

      28
      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 9367 comments
        Admin

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        I wasn’t putting down the agent. I was mentioning it was the same agent because it may save time for them in showing both homes to the same person.

        10
        • Nancy C says: 114 comments
          abuts historic village Old Salem, NC

          Please don’t think I saw it that way — I appreciated the connection again to the other house and his presentation of them. You find ways to widen our world every day, dear Kelly.

          18
  2. Dan says: 16 comments

    Unbelievable!!! My sister-in-law is originally from Mt. Pulaski. It’s a pretty small, sleepy community. I will forward this to her and see if she can get any interior photos. I can’t wait!

    11
  3. RossRoss says: 2309 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    LOVE the tower finial, and the mostly extant roof cresting:

    https://goo.gl/maps/UkFois1u2aq

    And WHAT is this square thing????? A landing pad for UFOs?

    https://goo.gl/maps/dxYWyyxqC5S2

    10
    • Cody H says: 139 comments

      Ross,
      It looks like this one may have started life as an italianate, complete with a cupola, which would explain the awkward square thing. The corbels are a giveaway, to me. That, and honestly, the footprint is relatively boxy and simple. The bays and tower could have been easily added later, in an extensive turn of the century remodel. That wasn’t uncommon.

      8
    • Hoyt Clagwell says: 223 comments

      I’m sure there used to be cresting around that flat roof rivaling the finial on the tower for panache. The tower and gables have/had finials, and the gable peaks have cresting (which perhaps was once more elaborate as well), and that flat roof seems kind of empty without cresting of its own.

      4
    • Peter J says: 33 comments

      Hell of a drum riser!

      1
  4. CoraCora says: 1790 comments
    OHD Supporter & Moderator

    Clinton, TN

    This is may fav of all the bargains
    today. ❤
    Dying to see inside, of course. But I already know it’s fabulous. 😁

    1
  5. Jamesthegood says: 40 comments

    Hello the flat area on the roof is the roof access and observation area. I’m sure it had spindles and handrail all the way around. Our house has one with iron spindles and is safe but not an everyday place.

    8
  6. Gregory_K says: 307 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Chatsworth, CA

    Great listing, although I want interior photographs! Such good exterior photos. I’m just at the far end of the country….

  7. Woeisme says: 83 comments

    The platform on the roof has a hatch up there. Someone may have wanted a Widows Walk even though this town is totally landlocked. I would like to see the inside. Love the tower, love the corner lot a lot.

    1
  8. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4396 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    Because some of the details match George F. Barber designs, I’ve emailed Chris DiMattei asking for his opinion. I’m fairly sure this originally ornate towered Queen Anne once had art glass windows (stained, leaded, beveled) now missing. Of course, the cement (asbestos?) shingle siding hides some of the original details. As others have suggested, I too think the flat roof platform once either had iron roof cresting or a wood balustrade strictly for ornamental or stylistic purposes. The one thing that bothers me considerably is the mention of the house having “been gutted in various areas”. If the reference pertains to the kitchen or bathroom(s) then probably not much to be worried about. However, in the important downstairs “public” rooms like the parlor, dining room, or foyer/hallway, that could be unfortunate. Did anyone notice the pointed Gothic window on the carriage house/garage? (streetview takes you right by the garage for extra views: https://goo.gl/maps/nc1M5k7HTpD2 ) Like the Lincoln, Illinois house, this former impressive Queen Anne will need significant work. Fully restored and repainted in period colors, the restored house would be a visual gift to the small community of Mount Pulaski. I did some minor streetview touring around town and no other period house I could find approached this level of grandeur. In summary, I think the low purchase price would go a long ways towards bringing this house back provided there’s an ample budget for the rest of the work. For heaven’s sake, I hope that no one buys it with the aim to finish the interior gut and create a bland modern interior. An ornate grand Belle like this house deserves a respectful, sensitive restoration.

    10
    • Chris DiMatteiChris DiMattei says: 245 comments

      John, thanks for the heads-up on this one. I do also see the many Barber design similarities, in fact, it resembles several published designs. If only I could see some interior photos, I could look for clues there, as well as check the floor plan layout to see if it matches one specifically. I do agree that this is highly likely a Barber designed renovation to an existing, previously constructed home, as others have already indicated. I look forward to any interior photos that may be posted here in the future. In the meantime, I will continue to investigate this home further.

      3
      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4396 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1889 Eastlake Cottage
        Fort Worth, TX

        I appreciate your opinion Chris. The portion of the house towards the back looks as though it could be older. As we know, Barber welcomed renovation projects to existing homes or even porch designs. If I lived closer, I’d make a trip to Mt. Pulaski and see if I could take a few interior photos. Perhaps someone living nearer will be able to do us a favor and take a few for us. Keeping my finger crossed that this is a Barber design but even more importantly, I hope it can survive to be restored so that it once again becomes the pride of the community.

        2
  9. GypsyGypsy says: 122 comments

    When there aren’t any interior pics, it reminds me of the way I felt before a high school blind date 🙁

    3
  10. Kevin says: 28 comments

    Agent has added interior shots……you may find them difficult to look at. 🙁

    2
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 641 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Not as bad as I thought it would be. It’s a 20k house so I was expecting worse.

      4
  11. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 9367 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Added the new interior photos, moved to front page.

    1
  12. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4396 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    The good news here is that this house could be restored to look much as it did originally. The pocket doors are still in their wall pockets; the ornate staircase remains intact; hardwood floors appear to remain. I don’t see wholesale old window replacement either. I think I saw a surviving mantel five photos from the bottom of the photo collection. There may have originally been art glass windows and/or interior fretwork, now missing. Of course, a lot of insulation and drywall (recommend blue/green board humidity resistant drywall skim coated over with an 1/8 inch finish plaster for a more period sensitive treatment) remain to be installed. Remember, the asking price is only $20K so, for about the price of a new starter home potentially you could have a fine turn of the last century Queen Anne style Victorian house when all of the work is completed.

    Last, this house also serves as a lesson in the perils of whole house gutting. Better, in my humble opinion, to tackle one room at a time because when the entire house is in this partially demolished state, a lot of vision is required to see clearly what the finished results will look like. I’d also recommend for practicality to put down floor protective paper. Ramboard is one commercial product which holds up well to heavy foot traffic and demolition debris while protecting the flooring underneath.

    A big time saver before picking up where the last crew stopped would be to go room by room and ascertain what door and window trim (baseboards as well where they have been removed) go with each room so that any missing pieces can be obtained from salvage sources. A couple of mantels may be missing but they turn up frequently at regional flea markets, salvage yards, and antique shops. (the Wooden Nickel in Cincinnati posted on their FB page in recent days about salvaged fireplace mantel discounts-check with Patty or Mike for details: https://www.woodennickelantiques.net/ ) For mantels appropriate for the period, this 1900 Foster-Munger (Chicago) catalog has a 27 page section for mantels: https://archive.org/details/TheFosterMungerCo.CCA114238/page/n337

    Although this project house may exceed the resources and capabilities of a first time restorer, it’s probably within the scope for someone with moderate experience in (properly and respectful) old house restoration. For the next owner(s), he/she/they should honor and respect the house by not trying to make it look like the modernized interior of the latest HGTV show. Kitchens and bathrooms are less important in keeping to period but even there, a stylistic nod towards the Victorian era helps to unify the personality of the house.
    Finally, I recall the carriage house in back has a Gothic style window above the entry. (streetview https://goo.gl/maps/nc1M5k7HTpD2 ) I see a Gothic style pointed arched door with surround leaning up against what must have been the parlor mantel. Perhaps it could be integrated into a rehab of the old carriage house or serve some other purpose. Good luck to the next owners.

    9
  13. RossRoss says: 2309 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    Well, Kelly, the house had me at the exterior.

    But inside?

    Oh, yummy!

    Yes, it looks a fright but everything I see is fixable.

    The loss of so much plaster though is lamentable. WHY do people do this???????? I am fully rewiring my 1894 house, have installed central AC, and am installing all new plumbing, while saving almost all the original plaster.

    The staircase in this house is alone worth it! Stunning! Fabulous! I would lose SO much weight because I would delight in just walking up/down a dozen times a day for no other reason than the delight!

    While much trim and doors have been removed, I was thrilled to see mantels and trim and doors all resting about upstairs. So, all the original bits MIGHT still be in the house.

    The neighborhood looks fine with a school across the street.

    The exterior would be a KNOCK-OUT with all the later siding removed and the whole painted in period-correct colors. AND that tower finial! AND that roof cresting! Oh my!

    Oh! How I would love to get my hands on this faded beauty! A true damsel in distress!

    And for but $20K!!!!!!!!

    5
  14. RossRoss says: 2309 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    And look what’s in the back yard!

    https://goo.gl/maps/q3YXzh8qNw82

    3
  15. RossRoss says: 2309 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    I did a post on this house:

    https://restoringross.com/can-this-house-be-saved-402-e-jefferson-st-mount-pulaski-il/

    4
    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4396 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      Well written, Ross! Thanks for everything you do to save old beauties like the Mt. Pulaski Queen Anne.

  16. Karen SKaren S says: 6 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1923 Colonial
    New Rochelle, NY

    I love this house and I love that so many readers read both Kelly’s blog and Ross’s blog. I so love John Shiflet’s and Ross’s detailed commentary and there is another gentleman who I enjoy reading who often talks about Sanborn maps and brings us a lot of history about each house.

    Here in New Rochelle we have many old homes (mostly old homes here) from the 1920s and 30s. I have renovated/restored/maintained my 1923 house, but I would love to take on a project like this. I am handier than my husband, but I am no architect or expert. But I am a good project manager! I do hope someone buys this and restores it with love and respect.

    Thank you Kelly!

    2
  17. CoraCora says: 1790 comments
    OHD Supporter & Moderator

    Clinton, TN

    She’s ready for her spa treatment! This beauty could sparkle again. ♥ I so hope the right someone snatches it up and not flipper-floppers. 👿

  18. Tom Grabinski says: 22 comments

    Beautiful Staircase. Practice tip: if you remove woodwork and wish to reinstall when plaster is repaired or replaced by sheet rock, mark it and tie it to a map of the room where it came from. Without this care to note where the trim came from, you will never be able to put Humpty back together again. Most woodwork is cut to fit a specific space and is not interchangeable. We do this type of restoration work professionally and can rarely match woodwork to its rightful place if no marking and mapping was done when the trim was removed. Just sayin…

    5
    • MikeMike says: 163 comments

      Good advice, Tom; I currently have 3 rooms of trim numbered and bundled together, hopefully it will all be back in place by spring.

    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4396 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      Hi Tom,
      As you noted, it takes skill and patience to properly remove window, door, and base board trim from a room. Since trim was typically face nailed with finishing nails and then counter-sunk below the trim board surface, (then puttied over before shellac was brushed on) it’s best to use nail cutters to cut off the old nails flush with the wood on the trim board back side. If you try to hammer the countersunk finish nails out through the front they often emerge with a sizable chunk of wood around them.

      Better to reinstall by pre-drilling holes for new finish nails and then counter-sink them as was done in the original installation. Numbering or otherwise carefully marking trim boards to denote specific windows or doors saves a lot of time and head scratching. Bundling boards for specific locations is also a good practice. It doesn’t hurt to add pencil, ink marker, or chalk marks on the back of the board for “top”, “bottom”, or mark “R” for Right and “L” for left just to make sure everything goes back exactly as before. It’s also helpful to hold up a board and visually verify that the nail hole pattern matches the (cut off) nail stubs on the back of the board.

      On this house, a sort of trim board “triage” will have to be conducted but its almost inevitable that some pieces will be missing or otherwise damaged beyond the point where they can be reused. Hence my recommendation to seek out salvage sources for replacing missing or damaged items. In my experience, the best results always come from a deliberate methodical approach which is the antithesis of the kind of demolition seen done with wild abandon on the HGTV shows. It is closer to taking an archaeological or forensic approach to deconstruction than just ripping things out. (in other words, the opposite of replacing the old with new) In the best remove and put back practice, the finished result should not look like it was ever removed and put back.

  19. CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 703 comments

    As aborted reno’s go, this one doesn’t appear to be too terrible. At a less than $20k list price, there seems to be some value here for a strong DIYer to compromise with drywall and install modern systems and end up with a dream house still full of historic value. I checked a couple Sanborns, as I was curious as to original porch design. There never was a wraparound front porch, and the build date was between 1893 and 1900.

    1
  20. MichaelMichael says: 1137 comments

    I hope this home find the right person to love and restore it again. It is a shame they gutted so much of the interior when they should have gone room by room, as John stated. Ross, I do like your enthusiasm! I hope the next owners have the same!

    2
  21. kdar says: 74 comments

    Thank goodness most of the interior trim and millwork has been saved. Don’t mind seeing the old plaster removed, makes insulating easier.

    1
  22. Peter J says: 33 comments

    John, what a wonderful post. Your love and respect for these kind of property’s is an inspiration! I have lived in the US for 15 years and am in awe of the incredible Victorian housing stock here. Too many have been and are, being lost at an alarming rate. Homes of this quality will never be built again. I don’t know what your background is John but your posts are always insightful and educational. Thank you.

    Posting regional links to resources to help with the restoration?? Now that is just showing off!! lol!

    1
    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4396 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      Thanks for the kind comments, Peter J.. You are right on the mark when it comes to the dilemma of continuing losses of our 19th century architectural heritage. You’re correct in that it would be almost impossible today to build houses of this quality. The construction lumber and millwork lumber of that era largely came from America’s old growth forests which were being depleted at an alarming rate in the final decades of the 19th century. Giant vertically integrated (definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_integration ) house parts suppliers like Foster-Munger in Chicago even owned vast tracts of forests in Southern states to satisfy their insatiable need for wood products. By 1910, shortages in lumber supplies were common and the last of the old growth Pine forests were being cleared. Construction methodology was also different when this house was built as well. Even though the millwork was likely ordered from a catalog and shipped in by rail, carpenters still had to fit the doors, windows, mantels and staircases into the specified locations. Today’s contractors would be frustrated at the glacially slow pace of construction in the Victorian era. They did have (foot powered) table and scroll saws available but modern power (battery, electric, and air powered) tools have increased output exponentially. In summary, once these Victorian era homes are lost they will never be replaced with anything comparable. Too bad for them that historic preservation is not considered a priority by most local, state, and Federal entities. I’ve been involved with historic preservation and preservation construction/rehab since the 1980’s. In ancient times after graduation from college, I worked in mortgage banking and credit management before moving on to my true passion which is history and preservation.

      4
  23. MikeMike says: 163 comments

    I pulled up the county tax record on this property hoping for some older photos, but the ones they have are recent. Apparently the current owners bought the house in 2010 as a foreclosure for $40k, and I am guessing that it has been an ongoing project for the past 8 years. Sad that they would give up what was obviously a dream for less than half of what they paid for it…here is a link to the tax card: http://loganil.devnetwedge.com/parcel/view/0641200100/2017#SalesHistory1

  24. David Sweet says: 47 comments

    This house has so many original pieces to reassemble. I just love those kind of puzzles! This reminds me of how my current old house project started out. It took literally months to catalog all of the parts. Sure was fun though. Great price on this
    one, I hope the right person snaps it up!

  25. Ron G says: 130 comments

    Some really great commentary on this project house and I definitely agree with many of them. From what we see in the pictures, the owner didn’t have a hard plan in place when the demolition was started. Anyone who buys this place and wants to rehab it has to deal with all the salvageable trim and other parts that can surely be reused. Its going to be a big puzzle for someone who lacks experience in restoration.

    Assuming the house survives and everything is ready to go for new wall covering I wanted to bring up a topic that hasn’t been discussed here. If drywall is applied to the existing studs, the existing base and assorted trims that was removed will come up short in many places. We are dealing with the difference in thickness between old plaster and new drywall, which means the room will actually grow by an inch plus and we have to come up with a way to compensate for Door jambs as well as window casing that will now stand proud of the new walls. A couple solutions are possible for the door jambs and the window casing which I don’t like. You can remove the jambs and window casing, disassemble and trim them to the thickness of the new walls or you can build up the back side of the face trim to rejoin the wall. Since the base will come up short on some walls, your only option is to have new base made which will be expensive. There is a partial solution; reuse all the old base that survived in the community rooms. New base can be made and installed in bedrooms and closets where it wouldn’t be noticeable. Many times bedrooms and other nonpublic rooms used a less expensive wood and sometimes painted which won’t help if you come up short of base, etc, in the main living area.

    One more solution is probably the best way to try and stay away from the above. You can shim the existing wall studs before installing new wall covering. This is a solution I have used in the past and it worked out well. This is time consuming but does eliminate many problems when you have to reinstall the existing trim. I know I put the emphasis on the base but many times we deal with other trim product such as crown moldings, picture molding and wains coating as an example. If anybody wants to know how we shim these walls I would be happy to explain in detail how we accomplish this to provide a very flat, straight wall that will look like the original plaster when finished.

    • RossRoss says: 2309 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      An easy fix is to nail strips of the old lath to the face of every stud. This is quick and easy.

      Then attach 1/2-inch sheetrock.

      This normally works perfectly, with all the old trim fitting well.

      Or, one could also recreate the lost plaster/lath.

  26. Amy P. says: 212 comments

    The poor house!!! I will never understand how people can let these beauties fall into such states of disrepair. This house is so amazing… I hope the right person with a pure vision and enough money buys her and brings her back to life. What a treasure.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 9367 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Not all lives are blessed, sometimes it’s out of an owners hands or they’ve died and the home gets tied up or a number of other reasons why there’s not exactly a blame to be placed. It’s not always “I’ve decided to let this home crumble to dust, by choice!”

      1

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