Specially selected historic real estate for old house enthusiasts.

c. 1886 Romanesque in South Bend, IN

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Added to OHD on 1/31/22   -   Last OHD Update: 7/25/22

803 W Washington St,South Bend, IN 46601

Maps: Street | Aerial

  • 8 Bed
  • 5.5 Bath
  • 7220 Sq Ft
  • 0.32 Ac.
The historic Kizer Mansion located in the historic West Washington neighborhood is now available for your consideration! This property needs work to be habitable. The home features over 7,200 sq feet in the main home. The main level features a large parlor with fireplace and grand staircase (second stairway in back), sitting room, living room, office, half bath, and kitchen with huge pantry and dumbwaiter. The second level features 5 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The third level is currently split into three, 1 bedroom 1 bath apartments. No load-bearing walls on the third level, all walls could be removed to create a formal ballroom! Full unfinished basement has been separated into multiple rooms and has individual electrical breaker boxes (one for each unit). The carriage house has a 3 car garage on the main level, full unfinished basement and an approx 1000 sq foot, 2 bedroom apartment on the second floor. Home Places like this don't come up often, schedule your private showing today!
Listed With

David St. Clair, Weichert/Jim Dunfee & Associates :: Office: 574-277-7444

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Mansion Grade
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14794 comments
1 year ago

Beautiful Mansion! I thought the Indiana Landmarks Association bought the Mansion to restore and make into a regional office? Wonder what happened?

Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14794 comments
1 year ago

I well recall this house, and what happened a few year back when Indiana Landmarks sold it to a young couple…

…and then, with no explanation, purchased it back.

The couple ended up buying another old house, gutting it wholly, and rebuilding it. Then, with no warning, they stopped blogging and the domain is now suspended.

I always wondered if their stated plans to gut this house alarmed Indiana Landmarks and, hence, their stepping in to take the house back.

In the above images in seems unlikely that Indiana Landmarks did the partial gutting. Is this what the young couple did?

Does anybody know the full story?

Reply to  Ross | 2516 comments
1 year ago

I’m not positive but here is an article that states the couple started work on the house.


Still, the work seems rather drastic. I’ve visited your own house many times in your blog and can’t help but think they should have taken a bit more gentle approach to the restoration……but then again, I have never restored a house. Your thoughts?

1 year ago

Well based on the article’s in the previous posting…lots of the heavy lifting was done on the exterior so this would save the next owner tons of money and headache…

1 year ago

 😍  put something like this on 3-5 acres and you’d almost have my version of heaven  😍 

1 year ago

That house is across the street from the Oliver Mansion, part of the Studebaker Museum. My wife and I drove by that, when we went to see the Studebaker place. Very nice old homes in that part of South Bend!

Reply to  Dave | 88 comments
1 year ago

Like Katherine Hepburn said, “South Bend. It sounds almost like dancing.”.

Reply to  Gregory_K | 1427 comments
1 year ago

And Grace Kelly in the musical adaptation of The Philadelphia Story, called High Society.
Probably the most notoriety South Bend has ever gotten!

1 year ago

An interesting history of the Kizer family and the house, including its 1975 listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and its 2012 purchase by Indiana Landmarks, is here: https://autopsyofarchitecture.com/kizer-house/

1 year ago

There have been a number of couples who buy fine historic buildings and strip the interiors, then disappear. Is that what happened here?

Paul W
1 year ago

I was in this about 5 years ago when Indiana landmarks sponsored an antique show/sale and we were set up in the dining room (red room) with an antiques display. I do not remember the interior in this current state at all. Overall its in a nice neighborhood is just the neighborhoods we had to drive through to get to it were very “sketchy”. I know a great deal of money was spent on the outside and that was professionally done. I don’t see this evaluation given all the work it needs at this point and the relatively weak market in South Bend,

1 year ago

My first thought was “offices.” It’s too much room (in my opinion) for a single family, so why not rent out each floor for a separate small business? Insurance? Optometrist? CPA?

Reply to  MissRedpen | 8 comments
1 year ago

It looks like it was either offices or was being converted into some type of office judging by the edits being made. Sad. For me? A house this big is not too much room for just me. I love a big house and having lots of rooms. I’m a home body and spend so much time home, it’s great to have a lot of spaces for different things, collections, functions etc. Just my opinion.

1 year ago

I wonder if that newish house next door was built on land that was part of the original estate. It would be so nice to have a nice side-garden there.
It would also be very nice to have an extra million or two and a good reason to move to South Bend.

1 year ago

I looked at the old listing and the comments, and can’t believe that was seven years ago. I had to laugh at the comments about The Walking Dead. And yes, I still love this place, but some of the interior shots make me very sad.

Warren Stewart
1 year ago

I could write 5 pages about this house. I only live 35 miles from it, and at one point felt like it was my destiny to own it. The style, the work it needs, and its urban setting fit my 35 year resume of restoring old houses to a tee. But one thing I want when I buy an old house is to actually “OWN IT”. I am not a believer in what Indiana Landmarks does. Everyone on this page believes in saving old houses, but once an organization of salaried people becomes involved in legislating what you can and can’t do to your own house, the market for that house is severly damaged. That means less chance of finding the right buyer, and a reduced chance of saving old homes, not more. I passed on the Kizer mansion after I read Indiana Landmark’s covenents, and you can see what’s happened with the buyers who found them acceptable. At least they improved the exterior before they jumped ship. The worst failure is a few miles away in Laporte.The splendid Orr Mansion, one of Indiana’s most significant homes (and in a prime location!), now sits vacant, badly deteriorating 5 years after Indiana Landmarks produced “just the right buyer”. https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2017/01/25/1865-gothic-revival-endangered-demolition-by-neglect/

Reply to  Warren Stewart | 89 comments
1 year ago

Yes absolutely agree! We looked into purchasing the Orr Mansion when it was for sale years ago and just couldn’t handle all the hoops we’d have to jump through. I understand wanting to make sure it goes to good hands but now seeing it still sitting and rotting years later 😢 I wonder how that is a better option 😩

Warren Stewart
Reply to  HipGingeMama | 7 comments
1 year ago

Thank you for the support. One other couple who were turned away had done an award winning restoration to Montgomery Ward’s daughter’s house in Chicago, and wanted to retire in the Orr Mansion. They had the know-how and the resources to do job coorrectly, and actually make the house their permanent home. The covenents were the only obstical. They even told the agent they’d pay more if they were removed. BTW, if the house pictured in your header belongs to you, Congratualtions! I know it well, having looked at it for myself when relocating to this area back in 2009. 🙂

Penny Lane
1 year ago

I live in South Bend and there are so many gorgeous Victorian homes! We own a masonry company and I believe we actually did some work on this exterior! Crazy to know see it on here. I hope whoever buys it doesn’t choose to gut it, it’s absolutely stunning and deserves the extra care of preservation while upgrading (electrical, plumbing, ect..)

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