Local Architect Paul Hohmann recently sent me pictures of three homes that Saaman Development LLC plans to raze. These are all located on Washington between Vandeventer and Sarah. Since they are not located within a historic district or preservation review district the Preservation Board did not get any review, the demolition permits have already been issued by the city. All three are located in the 18th Ward where Terry Kennedy is Alderman.
Here was Paul’s take on this property:
4011 is in the worst shape, with the floors sinking down at the center of the house. There is heavy visible deterioration of the joists and wall studs. Its hard to say if this one is too far gone without further investigation. The damage appeared to be concentrated at the center but extensive enough to make the floors unstable.
Re-building would involve extensive temporary shoring, sistering the joists and replacing the beams, re-building portions of the interior walls, not to mention jacking everything back up to level position.
That is a lot of work but we are seeing entirely new wood structures built within old masonry walls so it may be worth considering.
City records show 4011 Washington was built in 1889.
This stonework on this house is stunning. You just don’t see many of these and the new houses getting built just can’t come close to this. The following was Architect Paul Hohmann’s thoughts:
4019 is the one that has the partially collapsed front bay. Other than that, there is absolutely nothing structurally wrong with the house. The joists run east/west, so the collapsed bay although masonry was not a bearing wall, so the house is in no imminent danger of further collapse. Obviously the bay needs to be re-built above the first floor, but there is certainly no need for total demolition. The house has an absolutely beautiful stair and many of the rooms have beautiful woodwork (un-painted) and hardwood floors in excellent condition. With a little bit of work, this could be a fantastic house. I briefly considered the idea of making an offer on it myself.
So it has a missing bay. I would certainly think it would be more prudent to rebuild the bay and renovate the house than to raze then entire thing and start over. This house looks much worse than it really is. Think about the horrible house on Arsenal in Benton Park that was renovated and sold last year for in excess of $700K (see prior post). That house had a collapsed front wall that was meticulously rebuilt.
City records show this home was built in 1900.
4021 is a bit of a mixed bag. The huge main portion of the house seems to be in pretty good shape, with no visible water damage or settling. The stair needs some work, but structurally, everything looks good. The rear wing however is heavily water damaged and floors are settling due to the deterioration, but the exterior shell is structurally sound. I would say that this one is still a good candidate for rehab by either re-building the damaged portions, or by removing the rear wing (with over 4000 s.f., losing the wing would still leave a large house.
The city records show this home was built in 1883. It is a massive 4,837sf!
It is a shame that great structures like this in an up and coming area cannot be saved.