Unhipping? JPA Colonial Revival may not be revived
Last Week, the Hook's cover story [Extreme Makeover: rich edition] showed how wealthy property owners have taken advantage of the State's generous Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program, receiving hundreds of thousands in tax breaks for fixing up their old homes. Over on the east side of Jefferson Park Avenue, home to some of the City's most attractive residences (and where the parallel roads are now oddly traffic-free due to the bridge reconstruction), there stands what appears to be an ideal candidate for a rehabilitation program: a uninhabited circa 1912 Colonial Revival-style one and one-half story, 2,753 square-foot home purchased last September and in need of some TLC.
However, despite paying close to $400,000 for the property, its owner, local businessman J. Kermit Anderson, recently applied for a demolition permit. The Hook left messages with Anderson, curious about what he planned to build at what has been known as number 2424, and whether he had considered rehabilitating the place with the help of historic tax credits, but he has yet to respond.
However, according to City officials, Anderson has no interest in saving the old house.
"The property isn't protected. I spoke to Mr. Anderson to see if he would reconsider the demolition," says City Preservation Planner Mary Joy Scala, "but he says the building is in very bad condition structurally."
However, according to a historic survey done in early 2010, it was a "well-preserved" brick residence that contributed to the Fry Springs historic district and one of the few buildings in the neighborhood with a "jerkinhead" or hipped roof. Instead of rising to a point on the north and south sides of the house, the roof (standing-seam metal) appears to be clipped where the two chimneys rise. This was a popular feature on many Victorian-style houses and bungalows. It also has a modern, two-bay, one-story brick wing on the south side.
The brickwork is interesting as well, featuring a 7-course American bond layout and distinctive rusticated block corner cornerstones, known as quoins, which typically give an impression of added strength to the corners of brick buildings. Arches in a lighter color brick pass over the one-over-one sash widows and the front door.
The house also features a number of other interesting architectural details, like a central brick wall dormer that contains a door topped by a pedimented gable, a three-bay front porch with Tuscan columns, and Victorian-style turned wood balusters and a flat roof balcony. A rear hip-roofed wing of 8-course American bond extends to the rear and features a covered porch.
With the house set back from the street, and with a big magnolia and mature boxwoods on the approximately 1-acre property, it still looks rather stately, if not haunted, in its present condition.