by Amanda Davis
Happy Valentine’s Day, old house lovers! This year I’m sending flowers and chocolates to my very special Valentine down south in the wonderfully-named Glen Alpine, North Carolina. She’s eclectic and an old soul, but she could use a little cheering up these days.
And just who is my Valentine? The beautiful old Aerie House at 53 Hennessee Street, for sale for $119,000. Built in 1905 for Doctor Emanuel Augustus “Gus” Hennessee II, the house has sadly fallen into major disrepair. Dr. Hennessee was a native of Glen Alpine, born in 1863, and seems to have been involved in a rather unfortunate feud with another family that ultimately led to his demise in 1918. Nothing like a little local history to add some spice to the mix.
Historical images courtesy of thehennesseefamily.com.
It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happened to this house when you compare it to historic photos of a century ago. Someone please swoop in and rescue this beauty!
The house itself is quite stunning with that central stone and wood tower. It seems so unusual against the more traditional looking wood clapboard house behind it, but fun quirks like this are why I love a great old house. I could see myself gazing out towards the mountains from those windows at the top floor (and it would be a great space to cozy up with a good book). And how enchanting are those Gothic-arched openings at the porch? I also love this stained glass; how could my day not be brightened just by seeing the light shine through it in a rainbow of colors? This door looks like it’s located on the porch just to the right of the tower.
One of my favorite features in old houses are room dividers like this one. Simple yet elegant tapered pilasters over built-in shelves (filled with books or trinkets to your heart’s content!). This kind of architectural feature really opens up a space, but it also adds lots of character in the process. Not a bad deal right there.
I’m in awe of the woodwork in this house! I can’t get enough of the patterns used to accentuate these walls, and all with one material. Can’t you just imagine how amazing this room would be fully restored?
And here we are back again in my secret hideaway. I’d love to know how this room was originally used. Somewhere in the house Dr. Hennessee had an office, and if I were him I’d place my desk right here.
Please help get the word out about the Aerie House before it’s too late! There’s lots of TLC needed here, but with just the right amount of love I’d like to think there’s a happy ending in this Valentine’s future.
Ready to roll up your sleeves? Check out the full listing on CIRCA.
AUTHOR AMANDA DAVIS
Amanda is an historic preservationist living in New York City with a particular fondness for fixer-uppers. She can be spotted checking out quirky historic details here, there, and everywhere in her handmade dresses. Every time Amanda sees a cozy room with large windows and beautiful built-ins she can’t help but imagine her very own sewing nook with oldies music playing in the background.