by Elizabeth Finkelstein
The best things in life are free, right? Houses included! Welcome to CIRCA’s new column, which spotlights wonderful old houses being offered entirely free-of-charge. First stop: Fargo, ND!
You never really know what you’ll find on Craigslist, but when an ad for a free historical house listed on the National Register of Historic Places pops up, you’ve gotta pause and read on! According to the ad, this turn-of-the-century home was designed by pioneering Fargo architect A.J. O’Shea. Fargo is a goldmine of great old houses, and there is a lot to love inside this beautiful home. What’s the catch? It needs to be moved by October 30th. But really, this is the kind of stuff you just can’t find in a newly-built house!
As per the ad:
Free and clear, just pick it up and haul it away. New owner converting property to green space for the neighborhood. A lot of life still left in this classic 2-story, wood frame, gabled Stick Victorian with wrap around front porch, styled after Midwestern 19th century homestead building traditions. Designed by famous pioneer Fargo architect A. J. O’Shea, and built in 1900, this architectural style is one of a kind. Restore this beauty to its former glory! Noted in the National Register of Historic Places and the NDSU Archives. Separate garage included, if desired. Recipient must be able to take possession of the building by October 30, pay for removal of the house, all concrete walks and driveways, as well as all permits, sewer, water and gas capping and the cost of backfill. The cost of moving and renovating an old house is much more affordable and earth sustainable than building a new one! An amazing fixer-up opportunity for people who love historic character homes. Maybe that lake house you’ve always wanted to have on that plot of land? Original solid hardwood floors, moldings, trim, doors, stairs, fireplace, stained glass and other beautiful features. Charitable non-profit organizations, this is an opportunity to help a special family in need.
For more information, check out the Craigslist post!
Know of a great old house being offered for free? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUTHOR ELIZABETH FINKELSTEIN
Elizabeth is the founder of CIRCA and a practicing writer, architectural historian and preservation consultant living in Brooklyn, NY. Elizabeth has loved historic houses for as long as she can remember, having grown up in an 1850’s Greek Revival gem that was lovingly restored by her parents. Elizabeth, her husband Ethan and their beagle Banjo remain on a relentless hunt for their perfect “Thanksgiving house.”