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Memories of Houston's Riverside Terrace neighborhood


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In my younger days (1960's), my mom's boss lived on Laurel Drive. His best friends lived across the street - two houses, two different families, and they were both gorgeous homes. I would like to go there to see what everything looks like. I wonder how much it has changed. Anyone else remember the "This House Is Not For Sale" signs? In the 60's, the neighborhood was full of them.

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Riverside Terrace is a section of River Oaks........ :mellow:

Actually, the Riverside Terrace neighborhood was developed by wealthy Jews who weren't allowed to buy in River Oaks due to RO deed restrictions.

Some of the homes in Riverside Terrace may compare with River Oaks, but RT is not in RO...they're several miles from each other.

Edited by Original Timmy Chan's
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The (Houston ISD) schools that Riverside Terrace is zoned to include -

Four separate elementary schools:

* Lockhart Elementary School - http://es.houstonisd.org/LockhartES/

* Macarthur Elementary School - http://es.houstonisd.org/MacArthurES/

* Thompson Elementary School - http://es.houstonisd.org/ThompsonES/

* Turner Elementary School - http://es.houstonisd.org/TurnerES/

Two separate middle schools:

* Cullen Middle School - http://ms.houstonisd.org/cullenms/

* Ryan Middle School - http://ms.houstonisd.org/ryanms/

All residents are zoned to:

* Yates High School - http://hs.houstonisd.org/yateshs/

Profiles:

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Lockhart_ES.pdf

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Macarthur_ES.pdf

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Thompson_ES.pdf

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Turner_ES.pdf

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Cullen_MS.pdf

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Ryan_MS.pdf

http://dept.houstonisd.org/profiles/Yates_HS.pdf

I heard wealthier residents of Riverside Terrace get transfers to schools on Houston's west side...

Edited by VicMan
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I spent the first years of my life in the late 30's in the Riverside/Riverside Terrace area at 2655 Oakdale, just west of Ennis. I wonder what that house looks like now. Neighbors were Leon Jaworski, a young, up-and-coming attorney, and a very young Bill Archer, future congressman, both of whom some of you may know of. I attended kindergarten and first grade at Sutton Elementary, which was not too far from my house. I see there is now a Sutton in Sharpstown. I guess the original Sutton I attended was renamed.

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I spent the first years of my life in the late 30's in the Riverside/Riverside Terrace area at 2655 Oakdale, just west of Ennis. I wonder what that house looks like now. Neighbors were Leon Jaworski, a young, up-and-coming attorney, and a very young Bill Archer, future congressman, both of whom some of you may know of. I attended kindergarten and first grade at Sutton Elementary, which was not too far from my house. I see there is now a Sutton in Sharpstown. I guess the original Sutton I attended was renamed.

http://es.houstonisd.org/suttones/Sutton/History.htm - The school was "relocated" to Sharpstown.

Edited by VicMan
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  • 5 months later...
someone recommended the documentary "this is my home, it is not for sale," which is about the interesting history of the neighborhood (haven't had a chance to see it yet, though).

there is a thread on the documentary here

Yes, this documentary is well worth watching. Channel 8 runs it every now and then, espicially during fund raising periods.

The fact that the Weingarten family had their house demolished instead of selling it to a colored family shows just how bigoted

people were back then.

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  • 2 years later...
The fact that the Weingarten family had their house demolished instead of selling it to a colored family shows just how bigoted

people were back then.

It's been two years since your original post so I don't know if you're following it now. The family that had their house demolished rather than letting a black family live in it were the Sakowitzes. The Sakowitz house was located at 3553 N. MacGregor, next door (west) to the present day Quentin Mease Hospital. An apartment complex lies there now. The Weingarten house still stands at 4000 S. MacGregor. I don't know if the Weingartens initally sold their house to a black family or not, but white people live there now.

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The Weingarten house still stands at 4000 S. MacGregor. I don't know if the Weingartens initally sold their house to a black family or not, but white people live there now.

Now that you mention it, I noticed that there was a white lady sitting outside, when I drove by, when I backed up to do a double-take on that Weingarten gem, and get an address. Just thought, she must be used to this, by now. Frankly, I don't care what color the people are, as long as they love & take care of those beauties. :) That front beveled glass is what caught my eye initially.

Oh, and I would like to see that film you all talk about, heard of it many yrs. ago.

Edited by NenaE
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Now that you mention it, I noticed that there was a white lady sitting outside, when I drove by, when I backed up to do a double-take on that Weingarten gem, and get an address. Just thought, she must be used to this, by now. Frankly, I don't care what color the people are, as long as they love & take care of those beauties. :) That front beveled glass is what caught my eye initially.

Oh, and I would like to see that film you all talk about, heard of it many yrs. ago.

That house could use a little care. I'm pretty sure they know what a historic gem the house is, I hope it gets restored to its former glory one day and not replaced by a gaudy MegaMcMansion.

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Riverside Terrace is a jewel. Easily the prettiest setting in town inside the loop. The neighborhood really does have multiple ravines and compared to most of Houston, it's "hilly."

That said, on my last trip thru there, I've noticed that there have been some TERRIBLE McMansion builds. Some of the nastiest houses I have ever seen. I am glad that the hood is healthy enough for people to invest in, but it's a real shame to see historical gems being ruined by typical builder crap. Oh well, if it can happen in River Oaks it can happen anywhere...

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Riverside Terrace is a jewel. Easily the prettiest setting in town inside the loop. The neighborhood really does have multiple ravines and compared to most of Houston, it's "hilly."

That said, on my last trip thru there, I've noticed that there have been some TERRIBLE McMansion builds. Some of the nastiest houses I have ever seen. I am glad that the hood is healthy enough for people to invest in, but it's a real shame to see historical gems being ruined by typical builder crap. Oh well, if it can happen in River Oaks it can happen anywhere...

On my recent drive thru Riverside, I even saw a few large, long pieces of metal roofing bent around several trees, on a house lot that backs to one of those ravines. An eerie reminder of the strength of mother nature. I see trees everyday that were affected by that hurricane. Were many of Riverside's trees lost?

Houston is amazing, I am a native Houstonian, and see something new (old bldgs I've never seen before or terrain differences I didn't know were there) every time I explore to take pictures. This town is absolutely huge. I hope we don't lose too much history in the name of new development. I especially hate to see those very old downtown "ward" houses disappear.

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Now that you mention it, I noticed that there was a white lady sitting outside, when I drove by, when I backed up to do a double-take on that Weingarten gem, and get an address. Just thought, she must be used to this, by now. Frankly, I don't care what color the people are, as long as they love & take care of those beauties. :) That front beveled glass is what caught my eye initially.

Oh, and I would like to see that film you all talk about, heard of it many yrs. ago.

I managed to snag a copy from the director, Jon Schwartz, no less, when I went to its most recent screening last April (I believe) at the Museum of Fine Arts. I wasn't able to stay for the 2+ hour film but I did buy a copy from the director who was there to present his documentary. Last time I checked, you could buy a DVD from the MFA gift shop. It's worth a check.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I admit, my only knowledge of Riverside Terrace used to be on the rare occasion when i would exit UH to the south and wonder what those mansions were on the other side of the bayou.

If this neighborhood is so golden, why is there what looks to be a decent sized cleared corner lot across the street from some mansions going for under 55k.. History of this neighborhood aside.. that seems like quite a steal.

Edited by Highway6
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Speaking of lots:

Beautifully Landscaped lot perfect for redevelopment. The lot to the west was replatted and construction of fourteen townhomes has begun. The lot is fully fenced with many mature trees and functioning pool. The home is occuped and dogs are present. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WALK THE PROPERTY.

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;backButton=Y

I think this house was discussed as being haunted in another thread.

2rc3hjp.jpg

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I've been looking at that house, too, on HAR..."perfect for redevelopment"...uuuhhhhhh....what? I hate that term. They wouldn't tear that down, would they? Please say it isn't so...the house needs to stay, & some more big dogs to protect it. Townhomes, boo. :angry: I like to see Townhomes & Brownstones in certain locations...but Not there! I really hope Riverside doesn't get torn up with this kind of redevelopment, just because of it's location.

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well.. the lot i was referring to has already razed whatever it held to the ground.

There are 3 lots, 53k, 60k, and 70k in that neighborhood.... which compared to other prices I've been seeing, seem more comparable to questionable neighborhoods, or properties right next to RR tracks...

Like i said.. i know nothing about this area. To me its a transition zone of which I know nada... but it seems pleasant enough from a clueless google maps perspective.

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The problem is that this neighborhood is not a "transitional" neighborhood. It just is what it is. It would seem like it ought to be transitional... still priced low, close to everything. But many people living here really don't want it to change. Plus there are a lot of really trashy apartment complexes, and an awful lot of police activity.

Maybe it will turn out to be a model of healthy development... some plots, here and there, developed into denser townhomes, mixed with large single family houses, and apartments. There are certainly enough buses to make it a no-car urban neighborhood. But it is in serious need of decent retail, and I just don't see that happening with the perception (and reality? I don't know) of crime here.

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The problem is that this neighborhood is not a "transitional" neighborhood.

I wasn't clear, sorry.

I meant this neighborhood is roughly a mile or 2 from MedCenter/Rice homes and the same distance from Upper 3rd Ward homes.... polar opposites.. it's a middle (transitional) area of which honestly, I've never had reason to be curious about.

Course.. this is houston, so there are transitional areas everywhere.

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I wasn't clear, sorry.

I meant this neighborhood is roughly a mile or 2 from MedCenter/Rice homes and the same distance from Upper 3rd Ward homes.... polar opposites.. it's a middle (transitional) area of which honestly, I've never had reason to be curious about.

Course.. this is houston, so there are transitional areas everywhere.

Oh yes, sorry I misread you. But nevertheless, people do think of this as a transitional neighborhood, in the sense that I was talking about. And I'm not sure it is.

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link to Riverside ghost house talk, starts at post #14...

It is the one at 2615. I sure would like to know who the original owner was, and what year the house was built. Probably 1920's.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...showtopic=11222

House at 2615 Riverside, Yr. Blt. 1935 (HCAD, if they are correct), Good Quality, Fair Condition.

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That section of Riverside is under going a major make over with new townhomes ,condo's and a multi-million dollar project being built on the corner of N Macgregor and 288. Very little thought is given to save any of those beautiful homes in that area

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http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-5865:83

Anyone recognize this one?

Spanish style...who's was it, originally?

address?

Is it still there?

I think that one is gone, probably demolished for 288. Judging by the fact that the loggia is on the right side of the house, I'd venture to say the house was on the north side of the street (loggias & screen porches were almost always on the southeast side of a house to catch the breeze). Perhaps historicaerials.com could give us clues to a more definite location?

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I think that one is gone, probably demolished for 288. Judging by the fact that the loggia is on the right side of the house, I'd venture to say the house was on the north side of the street (loggias & screen porches were almost always on the southeast side of a house to catch the breeze). Perhaps historicaerials.com could give us clues to a more definite location?

I couldn't locate it on G.Earth or HistAeriels...perhaps you are right...will have to drive by...Too bad, it was a nice looking one. I did find an interesting (but not as ornate) very large house on the corner of MacGregor Way & Riverside Dr. (address may be 2506 Riverside Dr.), driveway is on MacGregor Way. Trees grown up around it, looks spooky. See google/earth.

And a new listing...wonder what it looked like, originally.

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;backButton=Y

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Yeah, this is all the information I could find on the Parten house...those block numbers don't seem to exist anymore or refer to something else completely:

File No: C491317

Grantor:PARTEN LEO W ETAL

Grantee:CAMPBELL JOYCE E

Date:19670501

Type:REL

Desc:RIVERSIDE TER 11L0024B0058PT/LT

Vol-Page:6746038

File No:

C177069

Grantor:PARTEN LEO W ETAL

Grantee:AMERICAN GEN INVMT CORP

FC: 039350298

Date:19651011

Type:ASSGN

Desc:RIVERSIDE TER 12 P L7 B61 &

Vol-Page:6101615

File No: C177069

Grantor:PARTEN LEO W ETAL

Grantee:JACKSON RICHARD A ETAL

FC: 039350298

Date:19651011 Type:W/D

Desc:RIVERSIDE TER 12 P L7 B61 &

Vol-Page:6101615

File No: V954983

Grantor:PARTEN JOHN R ETAL

Grantee:CRISWELL & ASSOCT INC

FC: 554301807

Date:20020723

Type:W/D

Desc:RIVERSIDE TER Section:10 Lot: Block:B0054 Misc:INSTR

Unfortunately, the Harris County Block Books are not accessible..

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Which one is the Parten house? Oh, nevermind, that's the modern one, below the Spanish one, in the pic. That's a very early mod home.

The spooky one at 2506 Riverside Dr. was blt. in 1955, according to HCAD. Lt. 1, Blk 32, Section 5, Riverside Terrace.

There are some on the block from the 1930's.

We need to be able to see the block books. :angry:

Edited by NenaE
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...

The spooky one at 2506 Riverside Dr. was blt. in 1955, according to HCAD. Lt. 1, Blk 32, Section 5, Riverside Terrace.

There are some on the block from the 1930's.

We need to be able to see the block books. :angry:

2506 Riverside Dr. was designed by Bailey A. Swenson in the year 1936 (AIA Arch. Guide). Where on earth is HAR getting it's information? "White-stucco surfaced, flat-roofed modern", mentions it was the first Ben Proler house. Wow, 1936, that was early for modern, wonder what the neighbors thought.

BTW, the block books are back.

http://books.tax.hctx.net/v061/AE1997_61-1_0071.jpg

Edited by NenaE
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I have another one, 3222 Oakmont. In Southland Terrace. French chateau style (what's the proper term?)...reminds me of the big Weingarten house, smaller scale, of course. Has a porte-cochere. This one's just sitting there, rotting. HCAD says it was built in 1949, renovated 2002. Huh? What a waste. It's open to the elements. A fallen yard sign said something about the "sale of the lot".

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So many people have bought that house and tried to restore it, only to flee from it. I think it has some very expensive issues that cost more to repair than the house is worth.

I don't think it's in Southland Terrace. Southland Terrace begins past Shenandoah.

I have another one, 3222 Oakmont. In Southland Terrace. French chateau style (what's the proper term?)...reminds me of the big Weingarten house, smaller scale, of course. Has a porte-cochere. This one's just sitting there, rotting. HCAD says it was built in 1949, renovated 2002. Huh? What a waste. It's open to the elements. A fallen yard sign said something about the "sale of the lot".
Edited by JLWM8609
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After reading so many posts about Riverside Terrace, I decided to take a drive and see it for myself. I drove down S. MacGregor, and honestly, it was kinda sad to see. Don't get me wrong - there were many well kept beautiful homes, but there were also other huge homes that were abandoned and unkept. I even saw homes with boarded up windows and overgrown grass, and these homes were huge, beautiful structures that are now wasting away - so sad. I enjoyed the beauty of the majority of the homes, but the ones that were abandoned really struck me.

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So many people have bought that house and tried to restore it, only to flee from it. I think it has some very expensive issues that cost more to repair than the house is worth.

I don't think it's in Southland Terrace. Southland Terrace begins past Shenandoah.

Yeah, sources are not always right...there are so many little sections within Riverside, many names. The Southland Terrace name came from the block books. Said something about resubdivided. I would like to see or make a map of the whole area, by each little subdivision. It's complicated.

Saw many home owners for that lot, and the list only went back to 1984. Sad...I would like to know who designed it. And how long ago were the train tracks taken up? The large apt. complex close to the rr tracks (on the north side) looks like it needs to go.

JLWM, You really know your neighborhood. I'm impressed. What a place to live, among these giants.

I'm surprised the Weingarten house doesn't have a nice iron fence around it.

Crescent Island was interesting, only slabs left now. Hermann St., as well. Looks like Hwy 288 or flooding took care of that. The creek on the map was interesting to see (It was by N. MacGregor Way & Riverside Dr.).

Cosmic08, now you see why I'm so fascinated with Riverside, I see so much architectural talent there. And the sloping land makes it even more interesting. In the 1960's-70's, my grandmother would take us down those main bayou drives in route to the zoo, and we would admire those homes.

Edited by NenaE
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Yep, I can totally see where you are coming from, NenaE. My imagination ran wild just thinking about what these once great homes looked like years ago. The abandoned homes looked frozen in time. It looks like an abandoned River Oaks or something

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I have another question, On the Weingarten lot, what was the white rectangular shape seen in the earlier 1957,64 historic aerial maps? I'm guessing a tennis court or a pool. Close to the side road, was slowly covered by the scrubs.

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Yeah, sources are not always right...there are so many little sections within Riverside, many names. The Southland Terrace name came from the block books. Said something about resubdivided. I would like to see or make a map of the whole area, by each little subdivision. It's complicated.

Saw many home owners for that lot, and the list only went back to 1984. Sad...I would like to know who designed it. And how long ago were the train tracks taken up? The large apt. complex close to the rr tracks (on the north side) looks like it needs to go.

JLWM, You really know your neighborhood. I'm impressed. What a place to live, among these giants.

I'm surprised the Weingarten house doesn't have a nice iron fence around it.

Crescent Island was interesting, only slabs left now. Hermann St., as well. Looks like Hwy 288 or flooding took care of that. The creek on the map was interesting to see (It was by N. MacGregor Way & Riverside Dr.).

Cosmic08, now you see why I'm so fascinated with Riverside, I see so much architectural talent there. And the sloping land makes it even more interesting. In the 1960's-70's, my grandmother would take us down those main bayou drives in route to the zoo, and we would admire those homes.

The train tracks were taken up in 1985. There's rumors that the tracks will be back in the guise of commuter rail to Pearland in 20-30 years, and that homes along Ardmore may be in danger of future acquirement by TxDOT for the purpose of adding a station or double tracks. Hopefully that's not true as I'm on Ardmore!

I'm not too surprised about an iron fence not being around the Weingarten mansion. The current owners of the Weingarten mansion aren't giving it the TLC it really needs. I hate to point this out, but in "This is Our Home...", the original white owners of the homes in the area believed that the black owners wouldn't give the houses the TLC they needed. In a twist of irony, the current owners of the Weingarten mansion are white and have been there for a long long time, just proving that race doesn't matter, anybody can let their home fall into disrepair.

That "creek" was actually the original alignment of the bayou until the 1910s or 1920s. Part of it still exists, as you can see it from the 288 feeder road driving NB between N. Mac Gregor and Riverside.

Those apartments on N. MacGregor should be history soon. The winds and flooding during Ike took them out.

I have another question, On the Weingarten lot, what was the white rectangular shape seen in the earlier 1957,64 historic aerial maps? I'm guessing a tennis court or a pool. Close to the side road, was slowly covered by the scrubs.

I think that was a tennis court.

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The train tracks were taken up in 1985. There's rumors that the tracks will be back in the guise of commuter rail to Pearland in 20-30 years, and that homes along Ardmore may be in danger of future acquirement by TxDOT for the purpose of adding a station or double tracks. Hopefully that's not true as I'm on Ardmore!

I'm not too surprised about an iron fence not being around the Weingarten mansion. The current owners of the Weingarten mansion aren't giving it the TLC it really needs. I hate to point this out, but in "This is Our Home...", the original white owners of the homes in the area believed that the black owners wouldn't give the houses the TLC they needed. In a twist of irony, the current owners of the Weingarten mansion are white and have been there for a long long time, just proving that race doesn't matter, anybody can let their home fall into disrepair.

That "creek" was actually the original alignment of the bayou until the 1910s or 1920s. Part of it still exists, as you can see it from the 288 feeder road driving NB between N. Mac Gregor and Riverside.

Those apartments on N. MacGregor should be history soon. The winds and flooding during Ike took them out.

I think that was a tennis court.

Have studied that 288 section of the bayou, recently, saw it on an early map, & drove by, it's interesting.

You're right, it's easy to stereotype...It's a shame the Wgtn house is falling into disrepair. I was wondering if deed restrictions had something to do with the fence. Would like to see it "somewhat" protected by an iron one, then we could still see it from the road. I would have thought such a prominent family house would have had one to begin with, especially with that cemetery in the back.

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You know, in all of my 22 years (all of them spent in Riverside), I don't think I can recall a time when 3222 Oakmont was livable. My relatives call it the "Monster House" because in its present state, it looks like something out of a horror movie.

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Thnx for the pic, Dan...By-the-way, this house looks the same, now. You could see that there were windows on each side of the door, identical to the ones seen on the front, bottom, bricked up now. Didn't notice on the drive-by that the left front window is longer than the right. What do you think the long piece across the front, above the door was? Maybe something ornamental, wouldn't have been a porch on a design like that. The middle porthole window is busted open, now. The long (staircase?) window on the side is a neat one. The roof looks fairly new. Wish it could be saved.

Too bad about the vacancy history, just know at one time, it was very grand.

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Thnx for the pic, Dan...By-the-way, this house looks the same, now. You could see that there were windows on each side of the door, identical to the ones seen on the front, bottom, bricked up now. Didn't notice on the drive-by that the left front window is longer than the right. What do you think the long piece across the front, above the door was? Maybe something ornamental, wouldn't have been a porch on a design like that. The middle porthole window is busted open, now. The long (staircase?) window on the side is a neat one. The roof looks fairly new. Wish it could be saved.

Too bad about the vacancy history, just know at one time, it was very grand.

Actually, I think that long piece across the front is the ghost outline of a porch roof. However, it was probably added after the house was built, and it was probably really unattractive, due to the fact that it clashed with the style of the house. I have a feeling that the entry is not original either, as it has this tacky patterned glass or plastic in it, very 1960s. Speaking of style, I'm not really sure what this house falls under; the design is kind of a mix of French and Georgian elements, but it's very attractive. The brickwork is amazing, but it's a shame that it was painted. JLWM8609, do you know what color the house was originally?

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Actually, I think that long piece across the front is the ghost outline of a porch roof. However, it was probably added after the house was built, and it was probably really unattractive, due to the fact that it clashed with the style of the house. I have a feeling that the entry is not original either, as it has this tacky patterned glass or plastic in it, very 1960s. Speaking of style, I'm not really sure what this house falls under; the design is kind of a mix of French and Georgian elements, but it's very attractive. The brickwork is amazing, but it's a shame that it was painted. JLWM8609, do you know what color the house was originally?

It's been painted as long as I can remember. I think I remember it used to be white at one point. I wouldn't be surprised if it has been painted its whole life.

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