1875 Italianate – Cazenovia, NY

Added to OHD on 8/2/19   -   Last OHD Update: 6/20/20   -   Comments Closed
SOLD / Archived Post
National Register

2539 Ballina Rd, Cazenovia, NY 13035

Map: Street

  • $24,500
  • 3 Bed
  • 3076 Sq Ft
  • 0.75 Ac.
Interesting history in the Abill House which has been vacant for over 40 years. House is sold in 'as-is' condition. Interior is gutted, but, beautiful original 2 level grand staircase remains as well as many doors, pocket doors, granite block foundation and original wood that could be salvaged. It is unknown if this structure can be restored, but, bring your ideas and salvage mindset to see what the next buyer can come up with. Priced at value of building lot.
Contact Information
Bill Carroll, RE/Max Masters
(315) 449-9944
OHD Notes
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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

36 Comments on 1875 Italianate – Cazenovia, NY

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11791 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    The house you always pass by and say “Poor thing!” In this day dream you salvage what you can and rebuild what once was.

    Poor thing. 🙁

    49
    • Kimberly62Kimberly62 says: 1630 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1936 Cabin

      I was about to post on the share today, but I am glad you did as it will have a wider audience. Thanks

      5
  2. SherryLynnSherryLynn says: 94 comments
    Marion, AR

    I hope it’s saved for that staircase alone. 🙁

    36
  3. GardenStaterGardenStater says: 234 comments
    1865 Gothic Revival
    Charlotte, NC

    Interesting. Since it’s been abandoned for 40 years, I have to wonder if it’s still structurally sound. That’s an awfully long time to be exposed to the elements.

    24
  4. CandiCandi says: 69 comments
    Richwood, OH

    Wow that staircase! 40 years vacant, sad really. If it can not be saved I truly hope someone at least saves what they can out of it. I can’t imagine what it would take to move that staircase.

    16
  5. MysticMystic says: 111 comments
    Huntley, IL

    So sad, I bet back in the day it was stunning, why did they wait so long 🙁

    27
  6. RosewaterRosewater says: 6332 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    It’s sure a rare treat to see inside a place like this: and right up to the very top no less. Impressive. The agent clearly isn’t afraid of urbex. Fascinating.

    20
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11791 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Seriously, thanks to the agent for ever bothering showing the inside, many don’t bother.

      52
      • I agree, Kelly. This is a dream home for someone… the person who will disassemble and reclaim/repurpose what’s still good, and build a new structure around that unique staircase. Oh, to be young and healthy again.

        21
    • brigidbrigid says: 521 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
      Smalltown, OK

      This house is truly fascinating and beautiful in so many ways.
      And a true urbexer would do nothing, but take pictures. In many ways we’re all urbexers here, we just don’t have to put the physical exercise into it! 🙂

      6
  7. EileenMEileenM says: 290 comments
    Camillus, NY

    So sad. It is obvious that this place was once beautiful. Cazenovia is a lovely town in central NY and property there is very expensive by central NY standards, but worth it. This one looks like it may be past saving but wouldn’t it be nice if someone at least tried?

    12
  8. JimHJimH says: 5039 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Long known as Abell Corners, a wilderness when Jabez Abell brought his bride from Connecticut and settled here in 1796 – the family owned the farm well into the 20th Century. The house was built for grandson Jabez W. Abell (1841-1920), who left it to his son Jabez W. Abell Jr.

    It would be sad for any of the Abells to see the place as it is, but maybe most poignantly for Aurilla Whitney Abell (1800-1895), who ran the farm for years after her husband died, sent her son away to school, and then lived in the fine home he built for the rest of her 94 years. Without her, there’s no house, no Abell Corners, no story at all.
    https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/32603670/aurilla-abell#view-photo=100137006

    23
    • JimHJimH says: 5039 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Just found that the Jabez W. Abell Farm, with 95 acres, house, tenant house and huge barn were entered into the National Register in 1987. The house was damaged then, but not close to ruin. The Johnson family, which owns the large lumber business across the road, has owned the farm since the 1930’s and sold off just the house years ago. All the elements were there to keep it all intact except a lack of will.

      20
      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11791 comments
        Admin

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        From the National Register:

        “A more traditional inter- pretation of the Italianate style is the Jabez Abell Farmhouse, a two-story, three-bay, cubic-massed structure with a low-pitched hipped roof surmounted by a prominent cupola. A particularly elaborate hood with ornamental woodwork surmounts the entrance. The primary significance of the property, however, is the large frame cruciform dairy barn. The barn is a rare surviving example of its type: large-scale farm-related outbuildings were not often executed with such fashionable sophistication and elegance. Notable attributes of the structure include board-and-batten siding, saw-tooth woodwork at the cornice line, an ornate cupola and ornmental woodwork in the apexes of the gable ends.”

        https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/64000541_text

        I’m still looking for pics from when the report was written (I found the ones mentioned in the Wikipedia footnotes but no pic of this home.)

        9
        • JimHJimH says: 5039 comments
          OHD Supporter

          Photos here (I don’t know how to link it directly):
          https://cris.parks.ny.gov/
          Guest-Search-Criteria/National Register,Name=abell-Search-View-Atts.

          2
          • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 903 comments
            Admin

            1901 Folk Victorian
            Chestatee, GA

            Those were the ones I looked at, did I miss the posted house?

            2
            • JimHJimH says: 5039 comments
              OHD Supporter

              You must have. 9 photos of it there including one of a small girl and the big newel post!

              2
              • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 903 comments
                Admin

                1901 Folk Victorian
                Chestatee, GA

                Ok, not the file I originally saw then. Will add those photos as soon as I’m up. How sad, there was hope when those photos were taken.

                3
      • bathrickbathrick says: 45 comments

        Or, more likely, lack of money. The majority of upstate New York has been poor and overtaxed since the 1950s. Much of the state’s housing suffers from this.

        8
        • CarebearCarebear says: 1070 comments
          OHD Supporter

          I wouldn’t min d paying the higher taxes, if Albany would just organize better who benefits from all that money! Grants for restoring houses like this one, would benefit. NY’ers should be able to apply for, and get grants or very low interest, or no interest loans to turn houses like this one, back into homes.

          13
    • RosewaterRosewater says: 6332 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      🙁

      6
  9. DanielDaniel says: 29 comments
    Myrtle Beach, SC

    Wow! I know with enough money and elbow grease you can restore almost anything. But… Too bad, this was probably a nice middle upper class home back in the day.

    4
  10. GypsyGypsy says: 202 comments
    wrong for my taste

    I wish we had a crying button instead of only a thumbs up 🙁

    14
  11. Scott CunninghamScott Cunningham says: 393 comments
    1856 Tudor (fmr Victorian)
    Leavenworth , KS

    I have driven past this house more times than I can count… It is about 3 miles from where I’m sitting right now… It’s one of those houses that you always pass by and wonder “wow… What stories could that house tell?” The sawmill across the street became quite successful, but the house sat abandoned. This is what’s left. A tear down….

    7
  12. MarksmagicMarksmagic says: 11 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Fox River Grove, IL

    My heart is sinking looking at this poor house.

    6
  13. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 1018 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    That staircase is spectacularly beautiful. And is that a door opening onto the sixth step? Never seen anything like it.

    5
    • WishingAnDreamingWishingAnDreaming says: 134 comments
      Longview, TX

      Thank you for pointing out the door. I didn’t notice it on first scroll. Guess I thought it was just a hole in the wall. It is really neat though, love it!

      1
  14. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11791 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    The PDF: PDF download

    And photos from the National Register report from 1987.

    19
  15. curpocurpo says: 21 comments
    KS

    Always so sad to see homes in this shape. What a beauty. I hope someone has the time and commitment to bring it back to life.

    2
  16. Barbara VBarbara V says: 902 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1800 cottage
    Upstate, NY

    What a sad, neglected beauty! I cannot imagine why someone spent all their time and effort gutting the interior, when they would have accomplished so much more by simply repairing the roof…?

    7
    • FritzFritz says: 21 comments
      NY

      “they would have accomplished so much more by simply repairing the roof…” Sometimes there is nothing simple about repairing or replacing the roof. A new roof with all the rafters, beams, sheathing, underlayment and shingles can weigh thousands of pounds.
      There must be adequate structure to be able to support that weight. I just went though this on the old house I bought a few years ago. As much as I wanted to just slap a roof on it to stop the rain coming in, we first had to rebuild & repair internal and external walls to make sure the new roof did not crush the compromised house below it.

      Fritz
      https://pahouseresto.blogspot.com/

      4
  17. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5472 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    Fritz is right in that some badly deteriorated homes have reached a point where even repairing or replacing a roof requires preliminary work just to provide a stable surface for roofing materials to be attached to. But at the just under $25K price (with a large .75 acre lot) there’s a lot that comes with that modest figure. First thing would be to organize the site. Clean up the exterior around the house, collect and save any identifiable architectural elements for reuse or for replication. Next would be to go inside, use plywood for temporary flooring where the flooring is gone. This would be a time to sort through room by room and remove everything not part of the interior. Make an inventory for each room and neatly stack loose items so that when restoration becomes feasible, you know what you have available and what is missing. The immediate goal would be to strengthen the framing so it could again support a roof. Once a roof is back on the structure, (paying attention to the foundation as well) a room by room approach could resurrect and bring the house back to what it once was. But such a major project is not for the faint of heart nor shallow of pocket-the end result will likely cost as much as buying a similar house that is fully restored and move in ready.

    However, you would have the intangible satisfaction of saving a piece of local history and the before and after photos would make for wonderful conversation starters. Worst would be for someone inexperienced and hoping somehow they can pay as they go to start tossing out interior details into a dumpster while gutting it down to the studs. A more perfect recipe for disaster has yet to be devised, IMO. Better to salvage what you can or let nature reclaim the house than to put yourself into the thick of work and somewhere down the road experience a personal humiliation and total burnout.

    In summary, this house can be restored but it takes very good organizational skills, knowledge of how to tackle a badly deteriorated house like this one, and a never give up attitude that takes you through the worst experiences of this kind of project. A good approach might be to find a smaller RV that can be parked next to the house with utility hookups. Because of the climate, until the house is again enclosed and in the dry, it would be futile to try to do much in the winter months. Might be a good time to take smaller projects into a heated workshop and repair or replicate those items. To anyone brave enough to take on a project of this kind, I wish you the best of luck and nominate you as a Preservation hero.

    12

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