c. 1890 – Texarkana, TX

Off Market / Archived
Posted February 2019. This home has been archived on OHD. The sold status is unknown.
Added to OHD on 2/1/19   -   Last OHD Update: 5/13/19   -   42 Comments
517 Whitaker St, Texarkana, TX 75501

Map: Street

  • $40,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 2 Bath
  • 4218 Sq Ft
  • 0.74 Ac.
Needs sold immediately or faces demolition.
Last Active Agent
Sean Howard,
OHD Notes
(Old Listing Description from 2017): The Whitaker House has been designated by the City of Texarkana as a Historical Landmark. It was completely restored in the 1990's, but is again in need of restoration. This property has beautiful, original wood floors, stained glass windows, and tons of other original woodwork. All this property needs is the right person or group to come in and restore it to its original grandeur.
Links, Photos & Additional Info
Status, price and other details may not be current and must be independently verified.
OHD does not represent this home.

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42 Comments on c. 1890 – Texarkana, TX

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    • RossRoss says: 2406 comments

      Wow. The single interior image is mighty tantalizing!

    • AvatarLucinda Virginia says: 59 comments

      1891 – Whitaker House
      Recorded Texas Landmark 1973 – Erected by Emmett Hargett and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Perkins. 517 Whitaker Street, Texarkana.
      Built before 1891 by Benjamin F. Whitaker (1845 – 1916), member of Texas Senate (1893-1897), partner of his brother in lumber business and a railroad that became part of Kansas City Southern line. He hand picked materials for this residence for his own family.
      Ex-Sheriff Bryant Hargett and family were living here in 1904 when a “souvenir” book featured the house as a Texarkana showplace. Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Perkins now own the property.
      (Note: House sold again in the 1990’s. Perkins family ran an antique store at the location; Whitaker House Antiques, until the sale. Mr. Perkins died in 1999.

      • AvatarKaren says: 626 comments

        Thank you for the link. There’s so much in there, that makes you realize how lacking most US history classes are. I never knew that American Revolution veterans settled in Texas. I always thought it was just the Spanish and later Mexicans who were the first non Native people to live there.

        • AvatarAmber B says: 1 comments

          This house is sooo fine! Proper tlc and restoration would do it justice. Needs a claw foot bathtub though 😁 I would so jump on the chance,if I could, to restore a piece of Texas history. But I am making a comment on the comment I just read. I do agree schools do not teach proper history. But as a descendant of the revolutionaries who did settle here, I can say that yes, they did make it here. The strongest survivors, I might add in light humor. I think they had to be to come to the farthest reaches of wild lands and forest to build cities and towns that still stand today.

    • AvatarGregory K. Hubbard says: 356 comments

      Thanks Hank!

  1. Avatarnycsmf says: 194 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1969 Regency
    Nashville, TN

    Thanks to Hank, we can see one interior shot taken through the window of the front door. Looks amazing. So simple and elegant. Seeing the historical pictures when the sickly tree on the left was in its prime makes me sad. Guess I’m feeling my age tonight. 🙁

  2. AvatarBosqueNorse says: 191 comments

    Just spectacular Victorian architecture. A very modest price, too.

  3. Avatarbill whitman says: 252 comments

    WOWEE! !!!!!
    This place has Victorian to the MAX. if the interior is half as spectacular as the exterior it’s really something. wonder why they shortened that amazing chimney and that fireplace must be a phenomenal one
    if it was restored in the 90s it must have been abandoned to get to this low a price. I would move in right away.

  4. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    Not that long ago somebody spent a TON of money installing a brick/iron fence around the property:


  5. AvatarColleen Johnson says: 1260 comments

    Oh this would be such a deal for a loving new owner, the fence alone has to be worth close to asking price, my goodness and Hank thanks for the link to at least get a peek inside. Gorgeous property.

  6. Avatarkathy stokes-phillips says: 212 comments

    spoke with the realtor, she told me thieves had cut holes in walls, and stolen all the copper wiring (what a shame) and a tree had fallen on rood, make a hole and so water damage happened…roof was never repaired. wonder how long its been like that?

  7. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Obviously, this former mansion grade home will need some work but that appears to be offset by a truly bargain price. Texarkana is one of those communities with a split personality due to about half of the town being in Texas and the other side being in Arkansas. The town is located in the far northeastern corner of Texas in a region with a slower pace of life than in big city Texas. The one interior photo (taken through a window) reveals beautiful millwork inside although others have mentioned some vandalism done to the house. One would need to see the house in person to make an accurate assessment of its present condition. Provided most of the original fabric remains, it might be a worthwhile project for someone. This is one house I would keenly like to see someone save before its too late. The history of this house appears to be well documented, another plus. I hope to see a “sold” on this one soon and now is the ideal time of the year to begin an old house restoration. It’s been in the 80’s lately in north Texas. (Dallas-Ft. Worth area)

  8. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    Here is another spectacular house in the same town:


  9. AvatarCarolyn says: 259 comments

    Wow! This one really tugs at my heart strings. I’ve never been to Texas but if I had the money I’d move for this house.

  10. Avatarsean says: 1 comments

    My in-laws bought this house with another couple with the intent the other couple would work on it. Sadly they did not, now the house is red-tagged and we’re looking to sell fast or demo this house. We need help to sell fast! 832-691-0401

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Demo? Well I hope they’ll just sell the home to someone else that can take over. If you’ll contact me I’ll see what I can do to share that it needs to be sold NOW. kelly@oldhousedreams.com

    • AvatarJoe_F says: 2 comments

      Flagged by the City, so the house needs to get a certificate of occupancy and inspection before you can move in, how long has the roof been damaged? Can you give particulars (maybe some current photos to Kelly) and deadline to sell before this property is demolished to help find a buyer?

  11. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Updated with interior photos moved to the front page. You can read Sean’s comment above this one.

    Disclaimer: I’ve not verified any information given except what was passed on to me so it must be up to interested parties to investigate everything.

  12. AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

    I would LOVE to buy this house.
    Notice in older black and white photos that someone at one time covered the house with “flat” siding. It looks to have been removed from the house exposing the “stick” style elements.
    The house has so much potential.

  13. TGrantTGrant says: 554 comments
    OHD Supporter

    New Orleans, LA

    What a tragedy if this is lost!

    • AvatarAndy Weaks says: 12 comments

      One of these days I am going to win the lottery and, except for the newest Porsche 911, I am going to spend all of it on fixing, repairing, reclaiming our heritage like this house. And upgrading to a better beer than Natty Light.

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 4561 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Yeah, sure, it may have a hole or two in it, but look at this porch: https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-waymarking-images/4426aae8-e350-4f04-868a-9b15f5bc666d_l.jpg
      Looks real good to me; solid and true. Vatta shame. Superb condition for $40K; of this quality. Dang. Times must be tough in Texarcana. This place would command the relatively big bux around here: and the flipper / “investors” would be chomping at the bit to outbid each other for it.

  14. RossRoss says: 2406 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    The house would be a knock-out if painted properly:

    Look at this detail!


  15. AvatarCindy says: 142 comments
    1866 Italianate/Queen Anne
    Brunswick, MO

    So sad, it’s unbelievable how this house has fallen into disrepair in less than 20 years. This house is beautiful and definitely needs to be saved. Just goes to show, that once a house is restored the job isn’t done. It must be maintained regularly. Hoping for the best.

  16. AvatarJeff says: 1 comments

    This is the place I would hole up in with Woody Harrelson and Juliet Lewis to make humanity’s last stand against the vampire zombie apocalypse. Who’s with me?!!!

    • RosewaterRosewater says: 4561 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      Leave the Juliet Lewis; take the cannoli. 😉 I’d rather live here in Steven Kings “The Stand”, and collect all the good people I could find to share it with me.

  17. AvatarBethany otto says: 2663 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Escondido, CA

    I think OHD needs a project house and this is it. We shall all make donations and go in on the purchase, and then sign up for weeks to go work on it 🙂 I’ll provide the RV to use as sleeping quarters 🙂

  18. realdaddrealdadd says: 38 comments
    second empire frankfort, NY

    Worth every penny for restoration! dream home!

  19. AvatarGregory K. Hubbard says: 356 comments

    Bethany Otto, you’ve got a deal! 40 of us at $1500.00 to $2000.00 each, and we’d be off to the races. We could get preliminary estimates to firm up the actual amount that needed to be invested. If we survived to make a profit, we could turn that over to the state-wide preservation organization for their revolving fund. Or not….

  20. AvatarAaron says: 2 comments

    This house has to be the most original and stunning house in this condition that I have ever seen. It really would be a tragedy if it was tore down. All of the exterior and interior elements are still there to save!

  21. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    Everyone’s positive comments are encouraging to read but it’s important to focus less on the selling price and more on the expected costs of restoration/renovation. From day one, this house will need a new roof, pronto! On a house this size, assuming there’s more than one layer of old shingles, (perhaps some wood rot as well on the joists, spaced lath, and/or framing) the cost of replacement may run $20k or more. The chimney off to the side needs reconstruction by a skilled mason experienced in period (lime mortar) brick work. I won’t put a guesstimate on the cost but it too would surely be in the thousands. Looks to be evidence of water leakage into the downstairs ceilings so there will surely be some upstairs flooring and perhaps floor joist repairs and/or replacements. In photo #13 from the top, there’s a gap in the baseboard and a large hole in the floor indicating there was probably a fireplace here at one time. Ideally, a replacement mantel could be found, but the damage around where the old mantel was could amount to substantial work. I think its reasonable to assume the two bathrooms need complete makeovers, either in Victorian style/flavor or more contemporary. It is probably also reasonable to assume some plumbing supply lines may need attention as well. I have no idea what the condition of the electrical wiring is…could be OK or may need total replacement and added capacity. (200 AMP or more) The kitchen, which is probably towards the back of the house, likely needs a complete makeover also either in Victorian style or to suit more contemporary tastes. Who knows what shape the foundation is in? It looks like a pier and beam type with brick piers under most of the house. They could be fine or need complete rebuilding. The only thing that probably needs just cleaning or refinishing is the nice Victorian millwork in the house. Some flooring probably needs repairs or replacement followed by (recommended light) sanding, staining, and refinishing. For Heaven’s sake, I hope the next owner(s) don’t put any synthetic flooring down with simulated woodgrain or a “hand scraped” look-this is an antique house and should look old but well cared for after the restoration work is completed. I don’t have enough information (a floor plan might be helpful) but the buyer should expect the costs of restoration/renovation to be multiple times the asking price. In theory, there’s no upper limit to how much can be spent on a house needing so much work but it wouldn’t surprise me when its all said and done that the costs were as much as a new house construction for a comparable sq. footage size.

    Almost of greater concern than the total outlay required to restore this house is the location. I toured around this neighborhood in streetview and found a few old vintage homes. I didn’t see any restored and some were literally abandoned while at least one was a burned-out house in ruins. I don’t think this is necessarily a dangerous neighborhood (but I don’t have the crime statistics) although it is a formerly dense neighborhood well on its way to abandonment. There appear to be more vacant lots where homes once stood than there are occupied houses. The present situation calls into question whether such a large investment required to restore it could ever be recouped in this locale?

    My advice to anyone seriously considering buying it is to put down the calculator and make this a labor of love. Try not to justify taking it on anticipating any potential profits down the road. That said, theoretically a developer could buy up much of this neighborhood, create a planned residential project, and make this house and a few others into historic focal points.

    It would follow that new infill housing should be visually sympathetic to the historic flavor that still remains. There’s already a Texarkana template for this kind of historic looking redevelopment along Milam Street: (streetview) https://goo.gl/maps/zjUFSxdcsDE2 and https://goo.gl/maps/ZrJKPBVcRwv new streets, new utilities infrastructure, and even a new park seen in the background. I would hope if a project of this kind happened close to the subject house that a little more architectural variety and upgraded exterior finishes would be part of the plan. But looking at this house more objectively, a caring new owner could probably save and restore it but only someone with very deep pockets could do a neighborhood makeover. I sincerely hope there is someone “out there” with the will and resources to take on giving this house a reprieve from demolition and oblivion; it deserves at least that much.

    I can’t end this comment without mentioning the 1894 Whitmarsh House at 711 Pecan Street on the Arkansas side of town (across the street from the McDonald’s: https://goo.gl/maps/nHudeP9YaDN2 ) It was supposedly sold a few years ago but its fate is unknown at present. The Whitmarsh house is arguably (or perhaps, was is a better word) in the same condition as this house unless recently someone has started restoration work. It too is a very important Texarkana period home on the Arkansas side of town.

  22. AvatarDianeEG says: 486 comments
    OHD Supporter


    John, Thank you for your comments – you could cut and paste almost all of it onto many of the homes we see on this site and it would be a much needed reality check for many. I do appreciate your wise acknowledgement, “My advice to anyone seriously considering buying it is to put down the calculator and make this a labor of love. Try not to justify taking it on anticipating any potential profits down the road.” Any of us who have bought houses in this condition AND totally restored them, have done it for love. Although I keep good records of how much things have cost, I don’t dwell on it because I can never get out of it what we put into it. And that doesn’t include the value of hard labor on our part. We hope the next person will love it as much as us but I’m also realistic enough to know that might not happen (as evidenced in this home.)

    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      Well said, Diane. Very true as well that expectations of buying an old house needing a lot of work and making a profit reselling it are unrealistic. Occasionally, the old house is located in a community or state where incentives (tax breaks and very rarely, outright grants) exist but most restorers have to absorb all of their out of pocket expenses. We badly need incentives for old house restorers and help for small towns across the country which are in the going..going..almost gone category. Perhaps someday they will be available but for now the spirit of altruism must be drawn upon to save most of these badly faded old gems. I can only hope there are enough caring people to save such a great number of old houses that will otherwise be lost in the coming years.

  23. AvatarKC says: 10 comments

    This poor house. It’s so sad to see something go so wrong in less than two decades, when this house had already survived a century. I hope someone will love her enough to restore her.

  24. msjeanne28msjeanne28 says: 27 comments
    Palmer, AK

    this one sold according to Zillow. I hope it was saved.

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