Happy Ending Stories for the Holidays

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History

I always enjoy reading “good news” stories around the holidays, stories that have a happy ending. I happened to come across a few old house stories with happy endings, and thought I would share them.

The first is an old house in Maryland. As we have mentioned before, there are many beautiful old houses just waiting for someone to save them. In many cases the homes are purchased and restored, but the general public never gets a chance to see inside the home. A lot of these old houses have beautiful trim and woodwork that old craftsmen lovingly created, and its a shame only a few lucky people will ever have a chance to view it. That will no longer be the case with this home, which was built in 1768. The owner of this historic old house works with crafts, and she is opening it up so that people can stop by and see the home, and the crafts that she and her friends have worked on.

I don’t know how many times I have seen a beautiful old house, and wish I could see what the inside looked like, and this is one I will now be able to.

The second story has even more of a happy ending. This beautiful old house was built in Winter Park, Florida in 1933. The cost at the time was $28,000, which is hard to believe. The house was built by a prominent architect who designed many of the homes around Winter Park, and is credited with the neo-mediterranean look that Winter Park is known for. In 2000 the lovely old house was sold to a gentleman for 3.4 million, and he promptly made preparations to begin tearing it down to make room for a mansion he planned to build.

Evidently Winter Park had not done their research before issuing the gentleman a demolition permit, but they made up for it by quickly rescinding the permit. Of course a lawsuit was threatened, but the gentleman agreed to spare the house if someone would purchase the house and move it. Thanks to many groups of generous people, people who love old historic houses, the house was moved, and has been restored. Many people and companies have worked on the house, and in a lot of cases have donated materials and their time to bring this old house back to its former splendor.

Seeing how it is now makes it hard to believe that it was so close to being gone forever. Now, generations to come will be able to see this old house that helped to define the style of an entire area.