Italianate – Brighton, IA

Originally a public post.
This home has been archived on OHD. The sold status is unknown.
Added to OHD on 5/9/19   -   Last OHD Update: 11/9/19   -   34 Comments
Off Market / Archived

100 W Main St, Brighton, IA 52540

Map: Street

  • $25,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 2436 Sq Ft
  • 0.15 Ac.
Attention Investors! Lots of potential for this 4 bedroom home located on a corner lot close to downtown Brighton.
Contact Information
Jenny Morgan, Elliott Realty Group
(319) 653-6612
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,
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34 Comments on Italianate – Brighton, IA

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  1. msjeanne28msjeanne28 says: 35 comments
    Palmer, AK

    *love* those arched windows. Looks like there is nice wood under that linoleum as well. Wish they had more pics.

    27
  2. TXJewelTXJewel says: 356 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1920 Thurber Brick 4 Square
    Strawn, TX

    Insert standard “Oh, that poor, poor house” comment here!

    I wonder if it was originally an Italianate design with roof brackets and a roof top feature. It looks kind of lonely and bare the way it is.

    9
    • msjeanne28msjeanne28 says: 35 comments
      Palmer, AK

      Wonder if there are some old pictures around. Something was torn down in the front as well.

      2
    • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 404 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1850 Italianate, classical
      New Haven, CT

      It may have been too small for a belvedere (cupola or lantern or whatever you prefer to call it), but that isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It almost certainly had wide, over-hanging eaves and brackets, judging from the quality of the windows and staircase. And it most definitely had an Italianate porch, even if the ghost porch around the door was a later replacement. And it should and hopefully will have all those thing again very soon!

      4
  3. SharonSharon says: 676 comments
    OHD Supporter

    2001 Contemporary
    Sedalia, MO

    We can do this!

    10
  4. RossRoss says: 2550 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    I was sold at the stair.

    19
  5. woeismewoeisme says: 138 comments
    1990 suburban
    Vacaville, CA

    What the…..? How did this happen to this grand old lady? Industrial ductwork, drop ceilings. Most of her old neighbors are gone. Can you buy the empty lot next door? I wonder what the IV drip in the backyard in the street view is for?

    4
  6. CateCate says: 236 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Milwaukee, WI

    This is just SAD! Wonder what happened in Brighton itself that figured into the despair of this home. There is a lot to be done but the old place could really shine again. Trouble is perhaps it would not fit in with the homes in the area once it was done. Would have to look into the demographics of the area. Someone once loved it, that’s for sure.

    6
    • SharonSharon says: 676 comments
      OHD Supporter

      2001 Contemporary
      Sedalia, MO

      Demographics? Well, it’s small-town Iowa. That’s about all the demographics you need to know. LOL. Population of less than 700. North of beautiful Fairfield and equally quaint Mount Pleasant. Going to be peace and quiet living in your very own lovingly restored Italianate.

      13
      • CateCate says: 236 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Milwaukee, WI

        No industry or commerce? I get that it’s a small town but how will streets be repaired, snow plowed or garbage collected? Is there any sort of police force (even 2 officers) and is the fire dept. all volunteer? Does it have connection to WIFI or cellular services? I once lived in a town a little larger and it died as people moved out because of the lack of work. I love small towns, and this little home could be a beauty.

    • DaveDave says: 288 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Queen Ann/Stick
      Des Moines, IA

      Sadly, you can drive through a dozen small towns like this in eastern Iowa. Most buildings left standing are in terrible disrepair. All of the hope left these farming communities with the coming of BIG AG. Not to mention the loss of all nearby factory jobs. About the only jobs that really pay in this area are at the State Prison in Mt. Pleasant. Sad:(

      2
  7. ScottScott says: 329 comments
    1951 Grants Pass, OR

    On the bright side, it has original staircase, windows, trim, and doors. I wonder if there’s no basement? Why else would the furnace be on the first floor? But it would be unusual not to have a basement in Iowa.

    3
    • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 404 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1850 Italianate, classical
      New Haven, CT

      It may have been too small for a belvedere (or cupola or lantern or whatever you prefer to call it), but that certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It may have had wider over-hanging eaves than it does now, although that roof does look like it might be the original, so I’m not so sure. It could very well have had brackets at one time, at least in profusion on the porch. But judging from the quality of the windows, staircase and the height of the ceilings, it may well have had many more decorative features like those than we see now. And it most definitely had an Italianate porch, even if the ghost porch around the door was a later replacement. And it should and hopefully will have all those thing again very soon!
      There are two things I find particularly curious about the house. The first is its relation to the section on the back. I don’t know Iowa at all, but wonder if the back were the original and older part of the house. It looks as though it may have vaguely been Greek Revival, although plain old regular American vernacular is certainly also a possibility. So, my question is whether the rear section was the original building on the site, and the Italianate front was an addition, or vice versa. Anyone’s thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
      The second thing I found myself thinking about is the height of the first versus the second story. I’ve pretty much concluded the stories were of near equal height. A casual glance at it today suggests that the 2nd floor windows are much taller than the first floor windows. I think there is only one interior shot of a first floor room, and the drop ceiling in it appears so much lower than those on the 2nd floor that such an impression might be reinforced. However, on closer examination, it becomes clear that the windows on the 1st floor have been blocked up towards their tops, creating a false impression of their original height. It now seems to me that the first and second story windows are more probably of equal height, implying that the ceilings of both floors were also. Does anyone see it differently?
      That staircase alone is worth the cost of the house. Hopefully, no one will buy the house just for its component parts, but I could see someone doing that and making a tremendous profit on the east coast by reselling those parts individually or in parcels. I hope I’m not instilling evil thoughts in any of our readers as I write this… a curse on your own house if I am!

      2
      • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 404 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1850 Italianate, classical
        New Haven, CT

        I would greatly appreciate it if someone familiar with Iowa domestic architectural history would hazard a guess about the age of this house. As a CT resident, I would guess about 1870, primarily judging from the windows and staircase and in the absence of any mantles that might be helpful in making such a judgment. I do see the tell-tell circular pie plate like circular coverlets high up on the walls in a couple of rooms suggesting wood or coal-heating stoves were in use at one time, but am uncertain about where exactly these might have exhausted to, or at what time those might have been in common use in Iowa.

        3
        • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5658 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1889 Eastlake Cottage
          Fort Worth, TX

          The best book I have encountered for Victorian era architecture in Iowa is by William Plymat titled THE VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURE OF IOWA. I bought my copy about two decades ago and appreciated the huge collection of photos and easy to navigate geography as well as various styles organized in chronological order.
          As for this house, I would date it no later than about 1875 with it possibly being a decade older. The town was established in 1840 and was an important railroad junction (Wikipedia) of the Chicago & Rock Island, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, and Minneapolis & St.Louis railroads. I did my usual streetview tour and discovered this local brick landmark-a book bindery from 1863 that was used for over a century: https://goo.gl/maps/WA1Lo8b3ofYGPw28A I also noted about a half dozen or so fixer upper looking homes around town. As others have noted, some decline is evident but from my travels and experiences, folks in small towns like Brighton, once they find your intentions are good, are almost universally friendly.
          The (probably walnut) staircase seems rather fancy for a house without mantels but there were elaborate nickel plated cast iron (coal burning) stoves that cost as much if not more than a fancy mantel and since they stood out from the wall, they distributed heat more evenly throughout the room. The ceiling pole jack seen in one of the photos does call into question what purpose does it serve but overall, a superficial look doesn’t reveal too much to cause concern. I see an A/C compressor outside the house indicating it must now have central air and heat? Also questionable is the utility building behind the house-it has some heavy duty electrical conduit and large breaker boxes indicating an industrial use? As for roof eaves brackets so ubiquitous on Italianates, perhaps this house has had a couple of roof replacements since built? An early photo might show it once had brackets on larger overhanging eaves. As for a porch, sometimes Italianates had full width porches at the entry-all the old house plan books from the 1860’s and ’70’s showed them or, some had smaller portico type porches that just sheltered the entry area. If this one were mine, I’d be tempted to recreate a full width version with simple 6 x 6″ posts, chamfered at the edges, and adorned with equally simple scroll sawn brackets to either side of the porch post as seen in many examples from the period. Some basic landscaping and perhaps an ornamental wood fence around the front would complete the picture. I noticed in the city stats that 6 people moved to the town increasing the population by that number between 2010 and 2017 so the population seems stable. There’s a BP gas station of modern vintage; a bank, funeral home, a Dollar General store that doubles as a grocery store, a restaurant, and several other businesses. I saw a canning factory also of recent construction on the south end of the town. As for high speed internet, cable services, one would need to talk to locals. Overall, the streets appear clean and in good repair and though not different from many other farming communities across the Midwest, the town has its individual pluses and minuses. I’m not sure about the nearest medical facilities or other amenities found in larger towns. Last, the property seems reasonably priced for what is offered.

          3
  8. SharonSharon says: 676 comments
    OHD Supporter

    2001 Contemporary
    Sedalia, MO

    Folks, it’s not that bad! It’s an old house in a tiny town that’s had some ups and down. I don’t see anything catastrophic here. On the contrary, all I see is potential, especially at just $25,000!!!! So y’all dry your eyes. There are thousands of old homes in far worse shape much more worthy of your tears. This old Iowa farm girl is gonna be just fine!

    19
  9. tomdg1-7gmail-comtomdg1-7gmail-com says: 71 comments
    1890 Three Bay Italianate
    Grinnell, IA

    Ok, the Iowan weighs in. Not all Italianates had roof brackets. Probably a partial basement, but maybe not adequate for a furnace or may be damp depending on water table. I would venture that both portions of the house were built concurrently. I would also venture a build date from 1865-1890. The ceiling heights were originally the same, up and down. Biggest issue is foundation. A heavy brick house can, in time, settle into soft earth if foundation is not beefy.

    5
  10. JoeJoe says: 741 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1820 Federal
    Baltimore, MD

    If you look at the street view on Google, https://www.google.com/maps/@41.1739926,-91.8214978,3a,75y,184.59h,92.57t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sXcIXfO9A5r__WUpeHsQB6A!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DXcIXfO9A5r__WUpeHsQB6A%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D360%26h%3D120%26yaw%3D175.14993%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656, you can see that, in 2013 the front was mostly covered in weed vines. The “front porch” that people have noted has been removed is still intact and appears to be an enclosed entry.

    2
  11. Gregory_KGregory_K says: 451 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Chatsworth, CA

    This is a perfect example of ‘Just what were they thinking?’

    Perhaps they were living in survival mode, and any makeshift repair would do. The prop for the ceiling may well be for the dropped ceiling itself and not failing floor joists. The second floor floors seems to be pretty level.

    While the cracked and patched plaster on the second floor may indicate unequal settlement of the interior walls, these cracks could also result from water damage.

    In both the exterior and the interior photographs, the first floor sash meeting rails are very high up for replacement windows. I believe that these windows retain their original sash, which might be restorable.

    Enlarging the exterior photographs, there is no evidence of there ever having been brackets. Of course it is possible that if they were removed 50 or 70 years ago, there would not be much evidence left to see in a general photo. However, the cornice does not appear to have been altered. In my opinion, the narrow fascia boards are not tall enough for standard brackets, and they appear to be original.

    This house has handsome interior woodwork, but with no fireplaces, and dependent on stoves for heat, I suspect that this was simply a very nice budget conscious design.

    It is a great price, if the town can pick itself up.

    2
  12. AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 404 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1850 Italianate, classical
    New Haven, CT

    I greatly appreciate all the comments offered that helped to contextualize this house so much better (history of the town, sinking foundations, etc.), particularly for those of us who know very little about Iowa. My one remaining question is: Where did the heating stoves ventilate to if there were no chimneys? Straight out of the walls? Or were the chimneys taken down after central heating was installed? I honestly don’t know but would like to…

    1
    • ScottScott says: 329 comments
      1951 Grants Pass, OR

      I believe that the chimney flue was integral to the wall, like a commercial building, and vented along the top. Originally chimneys would have extended up above the roofline.

    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5658 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      AJ, I’d want to get up into the attic to see if the chimney tops were removed during the last re-roofing. One room in our 1889 home had this kind of wall vent and there is evidence of a small chimney that was an integral part of the wall that previously went above the roofline. All heater stoves of that era had vent arrangements of some kind as rising heat in the stove pipe also heated the room as well as creating an updraft to draw in fresh air for combustion. On a well finished brick house like this one, I’d be surprised to find stove vents going directly outside the walls.

  13. AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 404 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1850 Italianate, classical
    New Haven, CT

    Addendum to the above: And what is that thing behind the toilet that looks like a very slender chimney, although it begins a foot or so above the floor and stretches up to at least the ceiling if not beyond?

    1
    • TXJewelTXJewel says: 356 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1920 Thurber Brick 4 Square
      Strawn, TX

      I was wondering about that too.

    • ScottScott says: 329 comments
      1951 Grants Pass, OR

      Two possibilities. First is that the toilet flange is quite a ways from the wall because of an old-style wall mounted toilet tank. When the toilet was replaced they built a box to fill in the gap between the back of the tank and the wall. Second possibility is that the soil stack and vent is running up the inside of the exterior wall so a false wall was built to cover up the stack.

  14. AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 404 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1850 Italianate, classical
    New Haven, CT

    Thanks to Scott X2 and John Shiflet for answering my very specific, technical questions! I’m much more knowledgeable about the historical and design aesthetics of houses than their mechanicals (as is obvious by the comments I make as opposed to the questions I ask). But I know the latter is very important and am trying to become more proficient, as you guys clearly are, in understanding that aspect of things. I am grateful for you assistance in helping me meet that goal.

  15. StacyStacy says: 413 comments
    1900 Maybe Craftsmen
    TX

    This home has so much potential! I actually like these small towns! When travelling I like to take the country roads so I don’t miss them!

  16. Someone put in an offer but it’s listed again. I wonder why?

    1
    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5658 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      Tasha,
      Not all real estate deals are completed. In any old house where there are a lot of condition issues to be addressed, its often impossible to get any kind of financing although HUD’s 203K rehab loan https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/203k/203k–df is available although not very common because you have to find a participating lender in the program to approve the loan. For a badly faded property like this one, cold hard cash is usually the best approach along with an adequate restoration budget Very few people are relocating to small Midwestern towns like Brighton, Iowa, these days. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one!

      1
      • ScottScott says: 329 comments
        1951 Grants Pass, OR

        A 203(k), while cumbersome to administer, is a lifesaver for old houses. I wish more lenders and contractors knew how to work with them.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12029 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      It could have sold. There’s this weird thing that happens with listings on occasion where the offer is accepted, it goes to close and for a day, a week or however long it’ll go back to “active” status when really it isn’t. I don’t know the reason. It’s showing off market at this moment.

  17. JoeJoe says: 741 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1820 Federal
    Baltimore, MD

    I am writing this from memories of my experience when I sold residential real estate in the late eighties. Some of this may no longer apply.
    There are many different contingencies and addenda that can be included in an offer. Some allow the seller to continue showing a property and accept back uo offers if the first offer falls through. Some contingency addenda have what is called a kick out clause that allows the seller to ask the buyer to withdraw. If the buyer can’t show that they can close without that contingency and aren’t willing to remove it, the contract can be voided so a back up offer can be accepted. If a buyer removes the contingency and the sale falls through, the buyer is at a much greater risk of losing their earnest money deposit to the seller.
    Real estate offers can ask for anything to be included or excluded, no matter how bizarre. As long as it is written in legally enforceable language, both parties must follow the agreement, unless the other party decides to void that portion in writing.

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