A historic opportunity in Kirkwood

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 29, 2014
This 1910 Craftsman Bungalow in Kirkwood, located at 1677 Standwood Avenue, recently found a buyer who wants to restore it. Source: Real estate brochure from The Business House Inc.

This 1910 Craftsman Bungalow in Kirkwood, located at 1677 Standwood Avenue, recently found a buyer who wants to restore it. Source: Real estate brochure from The Business House Inc.

A concerned Kirkwood resident send Decaturish the real estate brochure.

There was a Craftsman Bungalow, constructed in 1910, on Stanwood Avenue SE listed for sale starting at $135,000. It had the original well on the property.

It was offered as a rehabilitation or a tear-down. The resident who sent along the brochure was concerned about losing a link to Kirkwood’s architectural past.

The listed agent was Stuart Brady, owner of the Kirkwood Carwash. He said on July 28 that he’d found a buyer.

“The folks that won out in the bidding process are going to restore it and bring it back to life,” Brady said. “It’s under contract. We should close this Friday.”

Brady said the single story, 1,300 square foot house has been vacant for 23 years, and looks that way, too. He said half of the interested buyers wanted to restore it and half wanted to knock it down.

“If you walked through it, you’d wonder what is salvageable here,” Brady said.

Doug Wood has some experience with rescuing historic homes. He restored his residence on Howard Street, a home that dates back to 1894. He said the new buyers should look into tax credits to offset their costs, as Kirkwood is a designated historic neighborhood.

“It’s really important to go through the state historical site and understand the tax credits that are available for the restoration of a house before you start work,” Wood said. “It takes a little bit of time to get the certification from the state. … Anyone who is doing a historic home is going to want to do it to a historic standard anyhow, so it’s not really a stretch.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Chris Billingsley

    Thanks Dan. I think this is a beautiful house and if I were 21 again, single and full of energy and vision, I would buy this house as is and slowly fix it up. And after a few years of hard work, and I’m lucky enough to meet and marry someone who appreciates an old house, we would continue to make improvements, maybe adding a screened in porch in the back. Finally we would landscape the yard and add a picket fence. In our older years, we would sit on the front porch in the fall or spring, sipping a cocktail or beer, wave at the young passerby-ers and say, “How You Doin’?” and be thankful that we live in the greatest country in the world that allows so much freedom.
    And that’s the way I hope this goes but if not, and the cost of the renovation is too excessive due to termite damage, structural damage, or any other problem, then the new owner should be able to make the decision to tear it down and rebuild. The City of Decatur is considering a 90 day moratorium for all tear downs to allow the “community” time to offer other solutions. What will really happen is that a small group of activists will organize protests to force the homeowner to change their decision. And just like the recent tree ordinance debate in Decatur, that almost turned violent when zealots brought guns to prevent a tree removal on private property, the 90 day moratorium will accomplish nothing but further divide our town between the “Smart Growth” elites and homeowners. It should be opposed as well many of the other proposals in the United Development Ordinance.

    • underscorex

      or, you know, folks in a neighborhood of 1950s bungalows get completely bummed out when someone comes in, demolishes one, and puts up an architectural abortion that sticks out like a sore thumb. The stuff they put in to replace tear-downs is utterly lacking in charm or character. It’s about cramming the maximum available house onto the lot, with no consideration for the neighbors, the neighborhood, or aesthetics.

      • hubergal

        So….are you saying that only people with the exact same taste in architecture as you and existing homeowners should be allowed to own and renovate houses in Decatur?

  • Melissa

    I feel that it is not so much a liberal issue but more of a community thing. It’s one thing for people to buy a house then make changes or for people
    who have lived in a house to make changes but for builders who don’t or
    won’t have to live in the community. . . to come in and build the
    biggest house possible in order to make as much money as possible
    without understanding the needs or dynamics of the street or neighborhood is
    something else. For example, I know
    if taking down a tree will wreck my neighbors privacy or utility bill or
    if she wants me to because she’s afraid it will fall on her house and
    has been begging me. . . but a builder doesn’t. And doesn’t have to live
    with the consequences.

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