c. 1863 Italianate – Rochelle Park, NJ – Auction

Auction
Added to OHD on 10/5/19   -   Last OHD Update: 10/5/19   -   56 Comments

49 E Passaic St, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662

Map: Street

  • Auction
  • 8 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 5616 Sq Ft
  • 0.94 Ac.
Subdivision Potential. Historic Captain William Tyson House situated on nearly one Acre is for sale at auction to highest bidder. Minimum bid is $400,000.Architecturally significant, this Italianate showcase boasts 3 floors and a cupola, with 10 bedrooms, 8 fireplaces, 10-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, and original moldings and details. Current zoning allows for single family residential use. Newer roof, electric panel, newer gas furnace, refinished hardwood floors, rebuilt chimneys. Barn/Detached garage is 2-story approximately 32 feet by 34 feet. Auction scheduled for November 14th.
Contact Information
Theodore Gustenhoven, Vikki Healey Properties
(201) 321-4402
Links, Photos & Additional Info


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56 Comments on c. 1863 Italianate – Rochelle Park, NJ – Auction

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  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Edit 10/5/19: Moved to the front page. New auction date listed in the description above. Comments below may be older and may reference an old auction date.

    7
  2. Buck's DaughterBuck's Daughter says: 113 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Once again, another fantastic example of Italianate, which I love. The chandeliers in pics 6-9 are awesome, beautiful closeup of the frosted glass globes in pic#9. Those appear to perhaps have originally been kerosene? The rest of the chandeliers look like they might be missing the globes? What a nice feature to have the solid entrance doors and then in summer set of doors with glass insets. Not a fan of painted woodwork, so that would take some time and work. That staircase is absolutely spectacular, and would definitely love to see more interior pics of this one.

    11
    • RossRoss says: 2501 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      The chandeliers were originally gas.

      They might still be, as they don’t appear to have been converted to electricity.

      Treasures.

      As is the whole house. I’m quite besotted!

      19
      • Buck's DaughterBuck's Daughter says: 113 comments
        OHD Supporter

        Sorry, I meant gas, guess I got carried away with admiration for the whole house. Those are the most beautiful chandeliers I have seen yet. I absolutely love the Italianate architecture and this one is a such great example. Thank you for the information, even better if they are still gas, love to see original authentic features of these homes, and hope to see more pics of the interior of this home.

        5
      • Buck's DaughterBuck's Daughter says: 113 comments
        OHD Supporter

        I must agree, love those chandeliers. Warms my heart to see something so very beautiful in its original state.

        4
  3. JimHJimH says: 4748 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The township purchased the house for preservation for over $600k in 2015, against great opposition. They tried to auction it with preservation covenants but didn’t get a minimum bid, so now it’s being offered without any protections at all. Hopefully, someone will step up to buy and restore the place. $400k buys you a dull 3-4 BR on a tiny lot in this area, so the minimum isn’t out of line.

    https://www.preservationnj.org/listings/captain-william-tyson-house/

    https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/rochelle-park/2018/08/22/tyson-house-rochelle-park-back-auction-block-reduced-price/942214002/

    14
    • JimHJimH says: 4748 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Here’s a report on the house prepared by a local architectural firm, with floor plans, etc:
      http://www.rochelleparknj.gov/Dated%20Material/2015%20Updates/Building%20Evaluation%20Report%2049%20E.%20Passaic.pdf

      The original owner, William Tyson (1797-1880), was a retired sea captain from Liverpool UK.
      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/131101434/william-tyson

      5
      • Nancy CNancy C says: 138 comments
        OHD Supporter

        abuts historic village Old Salem, NC

        If the townpeople couldn’t save this treasure, Jim, what hope is there for it?

        3
        • JimHJimH says: 4748 comments
          OHD Supporter

          I think the odds are fair to good that someone falls in love with it and buys it for their own home, maybe with a thought to donate it as part of their estate planning. I don’t know what the restrictions on the earlier auction were – it’s possible that some buyers interested in restoration got spooked for some reason. The township-sponsored plan to restore the house was dead on arrival given the political climate.
          It’s a difficult development site that would probably require buying one of the houses on the street behind the house for access, and there’s a limit to how much small SF lots are worth in that location.

          I’m going to stay optimistic as long as it remains standing! The house itself is so beautifully preserved that it’s not going to take a buyer with a great imagination to see what it could be. Some of the authenticity could get lost in the process, but maybe that’s a reasonable sacrifice if the original bits are preserved.

          7
          • jeklstudiojeklstudio says: 1089 comments
            OHD Supporter

            1947 Ranch
            OR

            I agree with you Jim, if it’s still standing, there’s hope. In my opinion its condition looks to be completely save-able–even if it would require fairly deep pockets. Although that kitchen floor is wrong for the house, I love it. I know from personal experience how gorgeous the old asbestos floors look when cared for. Scrub this one down, paste wax and buff, brilliant!

            2
        • ScottScott says: 295 comments
          1951 Grants Pass, OR

          I work for a small city on the west coast. If any of us floated the idea of acquiring a historic structure to preserve it we would be pillorized. If such a proposal moved forward, we would not only be pillorized, we would probably be drawn and quartered and/or burned at the stake. Many people look at historical preservation as a “nice to have,” not a “need to have,” or, at the very least, something someone else should do. (I don’t look at it in that light, but I’m not an elected official so what do I know about anything?) However, once the historic building is gone, the pearl clutchers come out of the woodwork and wonder why “someone” didn’t do “something.”

          In short, I’m not surprised that the township’s action, regardless of its noble intent, is causing strife in the community. Sorry for the rant, but it gets exhausting advocating to save places when no one else will enter into the fray.

          13
          • Barbara VBarbara V says: 592 comments
            OHD Supporter

            1800 cottage
            Upstate, NY

            I absolutely agree! In my experience, it is quite incredible that the town actually went ahead and purchased this property, particularly in the face of ANY opposition – how I would love to see decision-makers willing to do that in my community! I have tried to find local people interested in supporting a preservation advocacy organization, yet even with my commitment to doing all of the bureaucratic legwork myself, only three or four people endorsed the idea. And that is with yet another historic residence in our community facing demolition. It is worse than exhausting – it is completely demoralizing…

            6
  4. Buck's DaughterBuck's Daughter says: 113 comments
    OHD Supporter

    I do hope someone purchases this home with a true love for the period and keeps and make only necessary restorations where absolutely needed to all of the authentic and original features. Again, I truly admire this beautiful example of Italianate and think those chandeliers are oh so beautiful, I am awestruck with those chandeliers.

    7
  5. RosewaterRosewater says: 5341 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    Of course I’m enthralled. Who wouldn’t be?! 😉 Heheheheh.

    Here are some pix and bits I picked up digging furthur.

    All of the remaining gas fixtures, (gasoliers, sconces, and plain jets), are original to the house and are un-electrified!
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/32738518_853706768155351_5042402501559582720_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=aed2b36cc35045fdd0b99ce4b90914b0&oe=5D86FA2B

    The original gas supply was from a private acetylene generator, (no longer extant), which was housed in this small building between the house and barn.
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13782139_541374479388583_3676627843361407525_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=e8df40fba91702d5ab403e75043ea051&oe=5D7E9D84

    The house has a dumbwaiter. Here is a pic of one of the etched glass access doors!
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14054936_549993798526651_4814677386323418856_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=c8687612b1bb89252ab1a9cee1873a7a&oe=5D8B43A9

    Here is a shot inside the cupola!
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14040072_549994958526535_2465979974660153017_n.jpg?_nc_cat=100&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=3cd92cf8d798539efa4809020888552f&oe=5DB5839B

    Three shots of the family parlor, (mostly unshown in the listing)!
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14355728_565621066963924_2951832508152440366_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=ed21c85ccf3332722961bb7effd940b3&oe=5D84BD93

    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13924953_544880695704628_6814608917565265684_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=a6b3bf98102b92e19b6bb04d8916fbff&oe=5DC18FD4

    OH YEAH! Mmmmmmwwaaaaaaaant.
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13770402_538003906392307_4610626354762696057_n.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=fa9c4516f412d094960393fd66f20111&oe=5D86BD64

    Sme great antique shots!
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13938631_546490618876969_4350534787527201054_n.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=94f2fd1aea5720780304d6a30c4b416e&oe=5D8BB7E6

    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14045988_552894064903291_1774297327213410168_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=77bc132aa2eedfad76fe8e7b25473546&oe=5DB8F840

    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14364804_562379873954710_5540316195717159288_n.jpg?_nc_cat=111&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=232204b23cfa87ca4e881e6e1221a47b&oe=5DC349D3

    ++++
    Cool kitchen detail!
    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13934755_544883009037730_8600811497350273183_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=d51f590d1776dafc948d11336b04346f&oe=5D85B1FA

    That’s the best of the best IMO; but here is the Farcebook link if you’d like to dig further:
    https://www.facebook.com/CaptainTysonHouse/

    Choice! 🙂

    17
  6. RossRoss says: 2501 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
    Emporia, KS

    Oh dear.

    The street view:

    https://goo.gl/maps/VB3ziypyJ9KABe5k9

    6
    • RosewaterRosewater says: 5341 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      It’s right on a freeway on ramp: but that’s NJ, right? 😉 For me it would be beneficial since the noise made by the traffic would drown out some of my noise. Heheheh A freeway might be my perfect neighbor in a house with this kind or resonance. 🙂

      I get that it’s a tough sell. It’s a shame the township, or whatever, actually passed ordinances de-funding it’s re-use, and even it’s basic maintenance. It really is an asset to that community. It’s a shame the current regime doesn’t see it.

      8
  7. jillieDjillieD says: 93 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1952 Ojai, CA

    Be still my heart. What a beauty. Preservation covenants MUST apply.

    5
  8. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks for finding more details about this. I decided to publish this one so updated the publish date to today.

    9
  9. ScottScott says: 295 comments
    1951 Grants Pass, OR

    What’s happening in the room in the background here.

    https://www.oldhousedreams.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/19-49epassaic.jpg

  10. MJGMJG says: 1133 comments
    OHD Supporter

    CT

    Wow there is a lot of noise happening on this page about this house. I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts. At a quick glance this house is a masterpiece. Some of the rooms look to have their aesthetic movement era papers and frieze from the 1880s on the walls pictures 6-10, and possible other rooms too!

    SO much original architecture survives here! And the lighting and the windows and doors are just amazing.

    The exterior looks to have been cover in a “composite type” (usually only one substance type I’m not permitted to say on this site) flat shingle that should be removed. I wonder what type of original siding is under it.

    5
  11. Scott CunninghamScott Cunningham says: 391 comments
    1856 Tudor (fmr Victorian)
    Leavenworth , KS

    Great house!!

    The $15k+ per year in property taxes will limit who is interested in this place.

    • Barbara VBarbara V says: 592 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1800 cottage
      Upstate, NY

      Since somebody on the board in the town obviously had an interest in trying to save the place, maybe they would consider some sort of tax break if someone steps up with the means to preserve it…?

      3
  12. rennerrenner says: 7 comments
    1938 cape
    rochelle park, NH

    The house was owned by Edward D. Easton the founder of Columbia Phonograph Co. The house has a great history-Hopefully someone can save it.You can find out more about the house here-
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/467141213454964/?ref=bookmarks

    1
  13. CindyCindy says: 240 comments
    1866 Italianate/Queen Anne
    Brunswick, MO

    Another beautiful house, such original details. The grounds are picture perfect until you see the street view. But so worth preserving.

    1
  14. The hose is beautiful . I pass it all the time as I drive south on RT. 17. There are a few things in my opinion that will hinder the purchase :
    It’s right off of Route 17 and I mean RIGHT off which is always busy. It is the ONLY home of this style in the area . It’s North Jersey …crowded. The taxes were not mentioned (unless I missed it)
    I am sure they will be high . It’s a shame because it’s a truly beautiful property . I would love to see it become someone’s heart and soul.

    3
  15. AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 407 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1850 Italianate, classical
    New Haven, CT

    A comment and then a question that I doubt anyone can answer but I’ll ask it anyway for rhetorical purposes if nothing else:
    This is one of the few homes from that far back in time that appears to have its original finial on top of it’s belvedere/lantern/cupola/whatever you want to call it (but it is not a “widow’s walk” even if a sea captain built it). It is most obvious when looking at the google streetview photo and comparing it to the very old photos of the house. In many of the recent photos, it’s unclear whether it’s a finial or a lightning rod, but the streetscape view makes it very clear that it is the (presumably) original finial, since these are a decorative element that once graced virtually all Italianates that had a tower or a belvedere/lantern/etc.
    No, the question: Has anyone seen any documentation about whether the house was fitted for gas fixtures from the very beginning of its construction or did that occur later in time (thanks to Rosewater for clearly ascertaining that the estate, at least at some point in its relatively early years, generated its own gas on the premises since a large estate like this would have been too far from a public gas generation site for years to come following its construction)? The reason I ask this is because the gasoliers and sconces have globes that were not used until I think the early 1880’s (although it might have been the 1870’s altho I don’t think so). In 1863-4, globes made for gasoliers were normally 2-5/8 inches at the base, meaning that the circular metal piece (called the “fitter”) that the globe rested on that was part of the gasolier was this size also. If in fact the house was constructed with gas from the very beginning, the globes and fitters we see were added at a later date and are not original. However, if the house was fitted for gas during the time period when the fitters were more likely 5 or 7 (I can’t remember the exact size since I live in an Italianate built in 1852 and just know the fitter size for when my house was built) inches in diameter, then the gasoliers and sconces that we see were a slightly later addition to the house. But, as was very common, if gas lighting was original to the house, the gasoliers and sconces are original but the globes and fitters were changed at a later date which means they are very old but not original to the original house (and this is IMO the most likely scenario). A small detail, I know, but an issue to consider if the house is restored to the exacting standards of its actual construction date rather than allowing for subsequent updates it received over the years (just as the wallpaper and even the loveseats that we see are not likely the original furnishings of the house, but are more likely redecorations from a slightly later period).
    Sincerest thanks to all who so carefully researched the house and added their findings to our knowledge of it!!!

    • MJGMJG says: 1133 comments
      OHD Supporter

      CT

      HAHA! I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels that when regards to the cupola. I’ve done word searches and haven’t been able to date when the term Widow’s walk came from. I see it a lot on houses with flat open roof decks. Thomas Edison’s family in 1890s refer to the one on their roof as simply a roof deck from what I’ve read. I also see it in architecture books from the period called and observatory.
      I hate old wives tales. Every mansion I’ve visited that has one of these or an open roof deck, I get stuck hearing the docent or tour guide explain that this balcony or roof deck was built specifically for the widow or captain of the house. I want to say to them, You have a job to do, and that is to represent history in its facts, not conjecture or stories that your grandparents told you.

      1
      • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 407 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1850 Italianate, classical
        New Haven, CT

        Did you in fact find any reasonable version of where the term “widow’s walk” began? I’ve always assumed that the term originated in Salem, MA, or some other New England sea-faring port, but have always assumed they were open, unenclosed spaces whereas cupolas (like at Mt. Vernon) usually were enclosed. As were Italianate-era belvederes or “lanterns”, presumably so-called since they offered great views and were covered from the elements but the sides were glassed in and therefore they let in a lot of light over the stairwell area, right in the center of the house.

        • MJGMJG says: 1133 comments
          OHD Supporter

          CT

          I’m still researching this. I’ve not had a lot of luck so far. The oldest I’ve found for the term widows walk is a book from 1846 which is translated to English from French. However, the term means something totally different. Its the avenue of trees in the Champs Elysees. Many word or phrase searches I’ve done through online books brings many terms from the 20th century from the 30s on. Results are exactly what you are referring to and in the areas you suggest.

          Sometimes you find surprises. For years me as well as others assumed the term gingerbread was a term from the 50’s to describe ornate woodwork, but recently i discovered this in a book on archives.org from the 1880s. Its written “ginger-bread”.

          Let’s talk about the “fainting couch”. No such term or word exists in my research until the 50’s. Perhaps a Hollywood creation. That couch was never designed for the sole purpose of fainting women. It’s a chaise, or a in many books described as a lounge. And many candid photos show men and women on them. Its a less formal and relaxed piece of furniture. I also have yet to find anyone from the period talking about going to this couch for such purposes. “I’m about to faint, let me run to the couch that was built for such purposes”.

          Another one is the infamous “coffin door” or “casket door” That people love to assume a secondary exit door is on homes. No one shred of evidence exists to support that so far in my research. The fact remains, some furniture from the period is bigger than a coffin, so it’s important to have doors wide enough for furniture.

          I don’t think I’m allow to publish my email on here. So maybe I’ll ask Kelly to email you my contact email. This way we don’t keep going off topic here and irritating anyone.

          • ScottScott says: 295 comments
            1951 Grants Pass, OR

            In one town where I lived there was a large Italianate house with a central cupola, with a railed opening that looked down to the central stairs. Ringing this opening was a series of gas jets. The theory was that in the summer, the windows in the basement and the cupola were opened and the gas jets lit to create a ring of fire. The heat from the gas would rise and vent out the windows in the cupola while drawing cool air in through the basement windows and up through the house. I don’t know how effective it was; the gas jets have long been disconnected, but it is a neat idea.

            1
            • MJGMJG says: 1133 comments
              OHD Supporter

              CT

              Wow that’s a cool idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was experimenting with that concept. They really did everything to keep houses cool then. I’ve never heard of that. I wanna research that and see if there are any other people that did that. Or maybe it was just that one persons roque experiment. 🙂

            • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 407 comments
              OHD Supporter

              1850 Italianate, classical
              New Haven, CT

              My guess is that it was a rogue experiment. I can’t see any reason why heating up an area that was already hot would help to significantly create a draft from opened basement windows. In fact, my understanding is that all the windows that could be conveniently opened in the house should be opened to help ventilate all the hot rooms when the cupola windows were opened. Unless other windows were opened, you’d only get a draft from the basement to the cupola and the rooms around the edges of this draft with warm air would not get any ventilation–the windows in any given room would need to be opened to get cross-ventilation through that room because otherwise the warm air in the room would just stay there. In fact, it would make the most sense not to open the basement windows at all unless you were trying to cool the basement because doing so would just dilute the strength of the flow of the draft from the other rooms in the house (i.e., the fewer the number of windows that were opened, the stronger would be the draft through the windows that were opened). Either the experimenter did not know that (although I bet he figured it out pretty quickly once his experiment only served to cool the areas immediately around where the single draft flowed) or he was trying to do something totally different instead. For example, maybe (depending on how high up the ring of fire was) he was trying to light up the cupola for Xmas, like the star placed on top of a Xmas tree, or signal, a bit belatedly, to Paul Revere that the British were coming (just kidding).

              • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 407 comments
                OHD Supporter

                1850 Italianate, classical
                New Haven, CT

                As a complete aside, the architect James Gallier in the late 1850’s tried to vent the second floor of his New Orleans townhouse, which he had designed and built, by having air openings made in the ceiling medallion of his second floor bedroom and vented with holes in such a way that hot air could rise out of the room into venting pipes that would then create a draft that would take the hot air out through the attic and roof of the house. It unfortunately did not work…

                • ScottScott says: 295 comments
                  1951 Grants Pass, OR

                  Perhaps the windows on the first floor were opened, too. I will have to try to find the article where I read about it. It will probably be difficult as it was printed in the local paper about 25 years ago, but I’ll see what I can dredge up. (Also a distinct possibility is that I imagined the entire thing but have allowed myself to believe it’s true. I wouldn’t put it past me.)

                  • AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 407 comments
                    OHD Supporter

                    1850 Italianate, classical
                    New Haven, CT

                    Well, I think the fact remains that opening the windows in a room that you want to cool would be necessary to cool that room, wherever it was located. Otherwise, without a draft to pull the hot air up and out through the cupola/lantern/belvedere, the hot air would just sit there. Opening only the first floor windows would cool the first floor, but the second floor rooms would remain hot for the most part. And opening all the windows in the house would serve to dilute the intensity/speed of the draft created, whereas opening the window(s) in only one room of the house would create only one source for the draft which would thus be much more effective in cooling that one room much more quickly than if all the windows in the house were opened. This is all most effectively accomplished at night when the night air is at its coolest, and it is at its very coolest right before sunrise, when the earth is coolest before it starts warming up again, whereas doing this in the mid-to-late afternoon will only pull in very warm air if it is very hot outside. So, there are a variety of factors to consider when trying to maximize the cooling of a hot house using only windows and a cupola/belvedere/lantern. I just can’t see how heating up an already very hot cupola would increase whatever draft was generated by opening windows in the lower stories or basement. But maybe I’m missing something here, so I could be wrong!
                    Another OHD reader and I have been communicating by email about some of the hype and fake news that sometimes gets generated about specific old houses in an attempt to make them more marketable to the general public as tourist attractions. So, I think you may well have read what you recall as someone might have advanced a hypothesis about the house you’re speaking of to try to explain an otherwise unexplained feature of the house and make it more interesting thereby (and it’s also possible that the owner of the house really believed that he had a credible theory for cooling the house and wanted to try it out). All things are possible. But I think that the knowledge we have today of how to cool houses would preclude the hypothesis that a ring of fire in a cupola would create a better draft for cooling a house if only the basement windows were open.
                    In terms of fake news about houses, I do think the old wives tales that old houses sometimes generate are interesting when compared with the reality of the reports that get generated. One of the most egregious examples that I’m aware of has to do with the “secret passage” that goes from the parlor or dining room to an upstairs bedroom via the central-most chimney in the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, MA, the house which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel by that same name. I was enthralled by the secret passage when I first toured the house as a young boy. But not too many years ago, I read that the secret passage/stairway was actually created in the 20th C when the chimney was being rebuilt (I think in the 1930’s, but I may not be remembering this correctly) because it was structurally in need of being rebuilt. I don’t know if the tour guides now tell the truth about the secret passage’s 20th C creation when you go through it or not since I haven’t been to the house in many years (the early 1980’s would have been the time of my most recent, and I don’t think they were telling the truth about it at that time, if they even knew it). The other OHD person I’ve been communicating with has been researching and trying to debunk much of the fake news about the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, and the seemingly fabricated near-insanity of its builder, Sarah Winchester. So, maybe you were the unintended victim or recipient of similar fake news when you read that news story. Just out of curiosity, what is the name of the house and where is it? You’ve raised my curiosity about it since I like belvedered or towered Italianate houses so much, and I’d like to add it to my list of such houses in the US if I’m not already aware of it. There’s a great website picturesqueitalianatearchitecture.blogspot.com which is devoted solely to that topic if you are by any chance an old Italianate house aficionado. I always like to exchange information like this whenever I find someone who just might be an old Italianate house lover.

                    2
                    • ScottScott says: 295 comments
                      1951 Grants Pass, OR

                      AJ, it is the George & Nancy Turner house in Fremont, Nebraska. I went back and re-read the NRHP nomination form and it makes no mention of a cupola on the house, so now I wonder if I imagined the whole thing? I must’ve read it somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can remember where and about what house.

  16. AJ DavisAJ Davis says: 407 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1850 Italianate, classical
    New Haven, CT

    Thanks Scott, I hope you see this as there was no “Reply” button when I was looking at your last Comment and trying to respond to it.
    I did a little research on the internet, trying to find an old image of the Turner house in Fremont, Nebraska to see if it might have had a cupola/belvedere/lantern at one time. The fact that the NRHP did not mention one may simply have been because it was no longer extant. Alternatively, one might think that they would have mentioned it either way since it was such a standard characteristic of houses of this type, which almost always did have them when they were first built, altho so few have survived the ravages of weather, time and the declining prosperity of subsequent owners who could not afford their upkeep as the houses got older and required more and more repairs.
    As you may know, it appears that there were a couple of “bird’s eye” or panoramic lithographic views made of Fremont, Nebraska in 1876 and a somewhat later year that I have forgotten (I probably read it in the NRHP nomination form) that most likely would have shown the house with its cupola/belevedere/lantern if it had been built with one. Those lithos normally removed unwelcome things like trees in full bloom that prevented all that was man-made from being seen, even if what was seen was not a frontal view. I tried to find either lithograph on line but was unsuccessful. Made a good effort, anyway! But thanks again for the information and I suggest we both give up worrying about it any further, unless you can think of any other non-time consuming and potentially very productive avenue worth pursuing (but I don’t want you to waste a lot of time sorting through old newspapers or whatever)(if you live in Freemont, on the other hand, which I think you said you don’t, it’s likely that the local library, historical society or even the house museum itself may have one of those lithos that I couldn’t find a copy of).

    • ScottScott says: 295 comments
      1951 Grants Pass, OR

      I have a copy of a birdseye hanging on the wall in my office. I’ll try to remember to look at it on Monday. One of these days I’ll have an ‘aha’ moment and find that article.

  17. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11465 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    New auction date, moved to the front page. Comments above may be older and may reference the old auction date.

  18. RosewaterRosewater says: 5341 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    This house is just too, too rad. Sigh…

    1
  19. Daughter of GeorgeDaughter of George says: 938 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1905 Neoclassic & 1937 Deco

    I’d want it just for that linoleum floor!

  20. SadieSadie says: 42 comments
    OHD Supporter

    The possibilities are endless – if found and cared for by the right folks. Hope it happens. Love those light fixtures!

  21. JosephJoseph says: 333 comments
    1790 Northborough, MA

    If the town wanted to save this, changing the zoning or creating an exemption to allow business use would have gone a long way. Single family use for this property is unrealistic.

    My town bought a white elephant like this as well to preserve it. Same issues: no practical use for it and expensive maintenance (now deferred for financial reasons).

    • MJGMJG says: 1133 comments
      OHD Supporter

      CT

      I totally agree that changing zoning or creating an exemption to allow a certain type of business here could be a good win for this property. With limitations of course because you could get some clown to come in and demo it and built a modern dwelling if you’re not careful.
      As far as a single family property not being realistic, that depends on the person. I have known single individuals that live in 10,000 square feet of living space by them selves with a comfortable income. My ex’s sister was married to a VP and they had a 5000 sq ft house in West Borough Mass. Though I agree for most people 5000 sq ft of living space is not doable for most middle class folks ;-). Heck, I might even do it myself if it was closer to me. Rent out the third floor to offset the cost even.

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