1887 Second Empire – Tiffin, OH

Added to OHD on 8/24/19   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   9 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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5320 E County Road 38, Tiffin, OH 44883

Maps: Street | Aerial

  • $57,000
  • 4 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 2532 Sq Ft
  • 3.7 Ac.
Rural setting on 3.7 acres of land. All windows have been replaced. Pond on property needs to be treated. Upstairs bathroom is not completed. No central heating system. Beautiful all natural woodwork and doors throughout this large home with high ceilings. Lots of potential. Home is being Sold As IS. Motivated Sellers
Contact Information
Ann Ott, Generations Realty
(419) 447-1703
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,
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9 Comments on 1887 Second Empire – Tiffin, OH

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  1. ZerberbabyZerberbaby says: 36 comments
    1967 cape cod

    What a shame…so much water damage! It could be saved and I hope someone with the money and skills to do a proper restoration picks up this beauty before it becomes too late to save it!

  2. BethanyBethany says: 3431 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    Wow. Love at first sight. And that turquoise sink is a keeper.

  3. tomdg1-7gmail-comtomdg1-7gmail-com says: 67 comments
    1890 Three Bay Italianate
    Grinnell, IA

    No problem. From the few photos, there appears to be plenty worth saving. Great woodwork. The lack of central heat is a plus. We can do the best system now with great technology. (For the purists in the audience, this can be done without ruining the 1880 vibe, so chill out).

  4. AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 379 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1850 Italianate, classical
    New Haven, CT

    I don’t see any windows in the mansard roof. Maybe I don’t understand it correctly, but I thought the point of a mansard roof was to create a usable 3rd story in what otherwise would have been attic space (and many mansard roofs were built on top of pre-existing earlier houses exactly to create more bedrooms while appearing more modern or stylish than the original house had become). Possibly this house does have windows in its mansard roof somewhere (but the space would have been usable only where there were windows), but I guess I haven’t seen too many other houses (if any, in reality) where a mansard roof was truly just a roof and not a third story. I’m not completely sure how tall this mansard roof is and if it actually was built high enough to serve as housing. But maybe some (?few?) people just built mansard roofs to be fashionable and with no practical purpose in mind, as seemingly as expensive as that prospect might have been. I always thought that the Bates Hotel “mansion” in the movie “Psycho” seemed fake because its mansard roof only had one window in the taller tower part of its mansard roof, and that round window was clearly more for ornamentation than function. That roof also did not look tall enough to contain a true third floor of rooms. But since that was a movie, I figured Hollywood was just taking liberties trying to create or conjure up an Addams family-style mansion by creating a set that really wouldn’t have been that big of a house if it were real. Anybody else have thoughts on the posted house in terms of this issue?

  5. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5356 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    AJ, I think you’re on to something. I’ve seen a number of Queen Anne turrets that served no practical purpose except to identify the house as belonging to that style. Perhaps that applies here too. True formal Second Empires have dormers jutting out from the Mansard roof most of the time. Since this house sits out basically in the middle of nowhere, perhaps the owner or builder saw no need for attic windows to look out of. Or, as you mention, there’s not enough usable attic height for additional living space. Windows do let in natural light and attic spaces are easier to navigate if you can see where you’re going. It’s true that during the Victorian era folks appear to have been very house style conscious and sometimes spent money to remodel a house in what was then a more modern style. I do see potential in this house if its not allowed to deteriorate further.

    • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 379 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1850 Italianate, classical
      New Haven, CT

      John–Thanks for responding. Coming from you, the observations you made are particularly validating regarding my immediate reaction to the apparent uselessness of the mansard on this house, even though it looks to possibly be just barely high enough to have been usable space. I don’t know if you’ve seen other houses with “fake” mansard roofs or not, but I do think this was a first for me (aside from the “Psycho” house, which was not a “real” house–just a set designed to create an effect; I actually researched the set design for the “Psycho” house and there was no third floor plan in any of the materials I saw, which made clear just how few rooms the house set actually was intended to have; the back view(s) of the “crazy mother in a rocking chair” scene may have been intended to have occurred there or in the basement or possibly even in her bedroom but I saw the movie so long ago that I don’t remember for sure, though my recall was that the setting of the scene appeared very uncertain but most likely in the attic). Do you recall seeing other specific houses where it was obvious that the mansard was just for decoration (I’m sure you’ve seen far, far more houses in person than I have in any context–I’m an armchair architectural historian book and internet viewer more than a seeing a house “in situ” traveler like you are, so houses you’ve seen many mansard roof houses that may never had made it into books or onto the internet since their “fakeness” may have rendered them untenable as true examples of Second Empire houses.
      Anyhow, thanks again for your response and would love to know if you remember if you’ve seen other fake mansards in your travels or otherwise!

  6. brigidbrigid says: 598 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
    Smalltown, OK

    When I see a mansard roof I always think of Edward Hopper’s painting “House by the Railroad” One of my favorite paintings.

  7. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5356 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    Edward Hopper was the master of moodiness. His paintings evoke atmosphere of loneliness and isolation. I also like his “Nighthawks”
    and “Early Sunday morning”. He was a great American painter up there with Grant Wood.

    • brigidbrigid says: 598 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1930 Eclectic Lake Cabin
      Smalltown, OK

      I like Grant Wood, also.
      I like Early Morning Sunday and Nighthawks (and even Helnwein’s parody!),too, but I like most of Hopper’s architectural paintings. Maybe because I love old houses!


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