my brother bought a run-down Tudor mansion

Pipersville_CarolJune 7, 2008

My brother just bought an incredible house (in a semi-blighted urban area).

It's a big Tudor, in pristine but neglected condition. Extensive original woodwork and stained glass are intact and untouched. The bathrooms are original and in working condition. There's even a conservatory room with a fountain in it!

The exterior is crumbling and the interior is filthy, but it is an amazing survivor and he'll be a good steward.

He was told it dates from 1880 but I think it's a Tudor Revival, which would make it slightly newer. So far the local historical society hasn't returned my call, I'm hoping to dig through their files for more information.

It's an old-house-lover's dream come true. Working transom lights... little tiny keys for the doors... leaded glass... beautiful tilework...

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johnmari

Pictures! Pictures! I'm drooling just from the description.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 11:00AM
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kim2007

Yes, I want to see this! Tell your brother what a great thing he's doing. If it's in a semi-blighted urban area, he may be viewed as a trail blazer in turning the area around. Others may gradually follow suit.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:01PM
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Pipersville_Carol

I'd love to post a photo, but I'm hesitant because it's not my house. I'll ask my brother if he's okay with that.

It is a blighted area, but the neighbors have been welcoming him with open arms.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 2:29PM
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jcin_los_angeles

What a treasure! Maybe your brother would like to post here with a photo. Crumbling exteriors and filthy conditions can be fixed; many of us have done it. And each renovated house means less blight. My urban neighborhood keeps improving more and more.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:48AM
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vjrnts

Amen. Some friends of ours bought a wonderful old 1908 house in a semi-blighted area of our city. They have made it into a gem over the last three years. Their neighbors have been friendly and welcoming from the start, but now they're stopping by for gardening advice (my friends have turned a neglected jungle into a wonderful garden), and trim is being painted and trash is decreasing. There's not much that will happen with the many rentals on the street owned by landlords hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away, but still, the whole street is starting to look better.

Oh, and add my voice to the request for pictures! You don't have to say where the house is located.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:25PM
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kec01

I was speaking the other day with a woman who told me that she was the first "decent" owner on her block of old homes. The first October, she went around to every building and planted 15 tulip bulbs in each yard. Come spring, all the landlord owners wanted to know who had planted the flowers. By the third autumn, she told me that all of the owners, whether on site or not, were doing regular yard cleanup and some amount of landscaping!

To me, she'd be a superb neighbor!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:50AM
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Pipersville_Carol

I'll send an email to my brother, asking if it's okay to post a photo. He's sensitive to the issue because years ago he was under contract for another cool old house when it got stripped by thieves. Mantels, stained glass, all of the copper stolen. Pretty heartbreaking. He didn't buy it.

An update... he ripped up carpet on the third floor, to find perfect inlay floors. A little dull and scuffed, but basically perfect.

It's like a dream come true, isn't it? I really do have dreams about moving into houses like this.

There's even an old "mystery" room above the (fully tiled) carriage house. The only access is through two small second-story windows. No stairs, no exterior ladder hooks or marks, no patch in the ceiling or floor. We climbed up a ladder and looked in... it seems like it hasn't been entered since 1880. Completely empty with a perfect floor. Even has the original screens on the windows.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:48PM
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Pipersville_Carol

I got his permission to post exterior photos, hooray. Remember, these are "before" shots.

The blurry green front windows on the second shot used to be a shrub... I Photoshopped it out.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 8:49PM
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sombreuil_mongrel

Wow!
That's something else. I think it's more of a Queen Anne victorian actually. I would also wager there's a porch hiding behind all of that enclosed "stuff" on the front. Will it ever be possible to open it up, though?
Your bro. has quite a task before him.
Casey

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:54PM
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johnmari

That is one cool house even in its dilapidated state. Personally, I'd lean toward a pastiche of Gothic Revival and Richardson Romanesque which would definitely put it more toward the 1880s rather than later... from the pictures some of the Tudor-y bits have a slightly "tacked-on" feel so I wonder if they were added later as they became fashionable? Either way, it's lovely, I'm green with envy, and wish him the best of luck in bringing this old gem back to life.

Were he ever to be interested in allowing some interior photos to be posted, even pre-restoration, I know he would have a very eager audience.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:30AM
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antiquesilver

Wow - what a great house! I'm envious.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:13AM
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mom2lilenj

That's a GREAT house! Thanks for posting pictures. I just love looking at old houses. Imagining what they looked like when new and how many people filed through a house like that!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:08PM
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katsmah

Beautiful! It looks huge. I hope you can post before and after photos when he is done with the restoration.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:43PM
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concretenprimroses

Gourgeous!
kathy

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 10:17AM
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kframe19

Nope, no way is that Tudor, although I can see how one could think it is.

Queen Anne fusion with strong Romanesque tendencies.

Unfortunately, it looks like someone tried to add a Swiss Chalet porch, and that's what's giving the illusion of Tudor revival.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 3:04PM
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baerbaer

Great house!

To find its age, go to the County Tax Assessor's Office and back-track owners/sale of the lot until you hit the end.

Good luck!
B

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Cassandra

Strip off the distracting Tudor elements and you have a 1880s home that looks very,very similar to many of those that line my home town's (St. Paul MN) Summit Avenue.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 7:57PM
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jcin_los_angeles

I don't care what it is, that is one gorgeous house!!!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 1:20AM
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baerbaer

Great house!

To find its age, go to the County Tax Assessor's Office and back-track owners/sale of the lot until you hit the end.

Good luck!
B

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:46AM
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allison1888

Fabulous! Great find. Keep us posted on what he does. Agree that it's not a Tudor -- Queen Anne with Romanesque elements. Great exterior detailing!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:09PM
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allison1888

I just found a great article on Queen Anne architecture and you can definitely see the influence.

Here is a link that might be useful: Queen Anne architecture

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:13PM
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Pipersville_Carol

The next time I'm down there, I'm going to stop by the historical society. The Tudor elements don't seem tacked-on to me... they're huge chamfered beams, well-integrated into decorative posts that protrude above the roofline.

And the porch seems (surprisingly) original to me, too, The doors inside on the main body of the house don't seem like they've ever seen weather. The inside of the porch is fully paneled with gorgeous old wood and has a coved ceiling, and the windows and doors are all loaded with leaded glass that matches the rest of the house. And the basement extends fully beneath the entire porch. Strange.

Wouldn't it be great to find a really old photograph of the place?

Apparently this week he's got a mason cleaning and repointing brick, and an exterior painter starting.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 7:44PM
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vivian31

Oh my word, that's entirely GORGEOUS!

I'd love to do a project like that one. Your brother has a MAJOR undertaking ahead of himself--but what a journey!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Daisy7

Can we get an update on the progress?

Love all those pictures and thank you so much for sharing them.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 2:02PM
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vjrnts

Yes, yes yes! What a great house. I'd love to see what's being done with it.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:34PM
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buddy1114

What a great project. My wife and I bought an old Colonial Revival Mansion that was built in 1910. We bought it in 1998 and have spent the last 11 years redoing every square inch. Today it is a showplace. But there was many a day I would sit on the front steps and say to myself "What in the world have I done?!!!!!" It is so much work and so very expensive but also the reward is beyond description. Not just in $ value but we have a really wonderful place to raise our children. Tell brother we are all indebted to him and brave folks like him for saving our heritage!!! Kudos!!!!!! (Be sure and document, who knows, he may be on "Rstore America" some day. Ours was!)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 11:00PM
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vjrnts

Hey, buddy1114, why don't you start a thread about your house? I'd like to know more about it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 8:49PM
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buddy1114

I had to learn how to do it but I finally figured it out. You can see a picture of it on the old house forum under "Our 1910 Colonial Revival Mansion restored"
I hope this will encourage someone in the midst of a great big project. Like "Carols brother".

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:22PM
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