Carla Like It Is

An Estate Sale With An Old House Tale

Kayd Roy21 Comments
Is there a house you often pass by that you wish you could see the inside of?
There are several on my list but, this one was near the tippy top of my list and last Sunday my wish sort of came true. Before I can tell you about the experience I have to explain a little more first....
 I've covered some of the history of Homewood (the neighborhood we live in) in posts a while back, but here's a quick background just in case... Homewood was once an affluent Jewish community where families and businesses thrived from the 1920's well into the 1950's and part of the 60's. 
Then in 1967, racial tensions grew and riots broke out along Plymouth Avenue resulting in many families fleeing out to the suburbs.  Much of North Minneapolis began to deteriorate in the decades that followed, but thankfully Homewood didn't fall into a similar state of disrepair.  Instead, many homeowners kept their homes within the family or at least maintained their history and beauty before selling to the next owner.
This home along with three others, sits on the street that borders Theodore Wirth Park. Theses four homes were known as the "Homewood Mansions". I am not 100% certain, but I also remember hearing once that these four properties have the biggest property lots within the Minneapolis city limits.  Anyway, when Alex and I would wander the neighborhood I would always say, "Ugh, I want to see what the inside of that house looks like!"  Yes, it looked like it needed some TLC, but we have a soft spot for old homes and can see the potential in anything that holds history and character.  One thing we never knew was if anyone lived there or not.

Sadly, last year's tornado that came through on May 22nd, 2011 didn't help the home's condition (or the property around it).  So many trees gone, boo!

The photos show that the roof has been replaced, but the windows still remain boarded up.  Even after the tornado, we still couldn't tell if anyone was living there.

Which leads us back to the present....
Thanks to a couple well informed neighbors (Hammers & High Fives for Brian and Chris!), I was going to finally see the inside!  They told me that Birkeland & Associates were holding an estate sale at the house.  So, wish coming true AND there's tons of vintage goodies for sale?!?!  I had to race over! 

I brought my camera along and took a few pictures inside.  The Birkeland staff didn't stop me from taking a few photos, so I assumed it was okay.  The sale was only on the main floor and basement, so I wish I could have snuck upstairs!  When I laid eyes on this grand staircase I nearly melted.  It was so beautiful, and it made me think how elegant and enchanting this home must have been back in it's early days!
Each and every little original detail seemed to remain intact in this home- the floor tile, woodwork, doors, door knobs, light fixtures, wallpaper, just everything... even appliances!!!
The kitchen was probably one of the most amazing rooms.  It had it's original built in breakfast nook, apron sink, oven & stovetop, and cabinetry.
The photo below is a view from the formal dining room into the living room.  The glass door to the left opened to the solarium which had amazing flagstone flooring.  I've never seen anything like it!
During my walk through this home, I eavesdropped a little bit on other people discussing the details of this home and it's unfortunate current condition. Someone at some point even said to their shopping buddy, "This home just has so much character and detail, it's a shame that it'll probably get torn down since it needs so much work." Now, I didn't know this person at all and I wasn't going to turn into a crazy lady in front of them but I wanted to scream, "Over my dead body!!!!" I thought, if someones going to tear this place down I'll put a stop to it by chaining myself to the front door Jessie Spano style!
"Stop the drilling! Stop the Oil!" Haha, anyone else remember that Saved By the Bell episode?

Now, I still don't really know the status of the house but the story I heard is that the home was owned by an older couple and the husband passed away last fall.  They didn't have any children and they were not living in the house so now the home for sale but to agents only for a bargain price.  Again, this all may or may not be true.  I'll just put this public plea out there just in case...
To Anyone out there with a really rich relative/ sugar daddy/ sugar mama/ who ever- just someone with lots of extra dough to throw around....
Could I please have like, I don't know, one million dollars so I can save this old house???  I promise to pay you back if possible, but if given the opportunity Alex and I (along with skilled professionals) would restore the house and save every bit of original character that it has to make it the gem that it once was in Homewood all over again. That should make you feel warm and fuzzy with all of your money.
XOXO Carla
Desperate public plea complete. 
Had to do it, you never know what could happen :)
Aside from the Old House Tale, I did take home some goodies from the estate sale!  I spent a total of only $36 and got three great finds.  The first was this old steamer trunk priced at $48, BUT I got there on the last day of the sale and they cut the prices in half.  So this trunk was only $24!!!!!!!!!
Amazing steal right?!?  You're jealous, right?  It really is a helluva deal!
The next item was this chair, again 50% off so it was $2.50.  I thought for $2.50 I will be able to use it as my first experiment with full on reupholstery.  That way if I mess it up, it won't be a big waste of money.  I see potential with it, love the wood legs!  I'll definitely share my experience tearing it apart :)
The last item was this vintage garment rack for $10.  I was on the hunt for a vintage garment rack last year and NEVER found one.  I'm still unsure where it will go, but for $10 I couldn't pass it up.  Who knows, maybe I could use it in "that little ol' shop" that I have always dreampt of opening.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the "Old House Tale"!

Did you love the detail in the home?
Would you want to save or restore the house if you could?

See you tomorrow for Head Over Heels Friday!