Monday, August 10, 2009

The Giobbe House

This beautiful house had been sitting unoccupied at the corner of Summer St. and Benton Rd. for quite some time recently, with a "sale pending" sign on it. I've spent years walking by it and admiring the almost 2-story stained glass window that looks out over the back yard. It's one of the few houses in the neighborhood with lots of land around it, part of which slopes down in a rolling hill toward the sidewalk and the building next door. It's always been surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs where the sparrows hang out. Because there was some really crappy white vinyl siding on the outside, I'd always assumed that the house was probably equally disrespected inside, but to my surprise, and ultimate dismay, that was not the case.

The sale pending sign having disappeared now (I have no idea what the place sold for), workmen have been showing up and making a lot of noise and dust. Curious as to whether they were going to keep it as a single-family or condo-ize, and dying to have a look inside, when I noticed the side door open, I walked in and could not believe what I saw. It was so amazingly well-preserved inside, with all the original molding, framing, stained glass, built-in drawers and bookcases. The wallpaper was even in beautiful condition. The man working in there told me that they were in the process of ripping all of it out. They're selling all the wood and fixtures, including the banister for the central circular staircase, to contractors, and taking all the stained glass out to be sold, as well. They're turning the house into three modern condos, and even though the wood shingles under the siding were in pretty good shape, they're throwing siding up again for the new place. Not that it will particularly make a difference at that point, as it will no longer belie the true nature of the place.

I'm so sad about this. I've really loved that house and was hopeful that someone would buy it and lovingly restore it, but instead they've ripped out trees, torn off all the window and door frames, and all I've been hearing for the last week is the sound of power tools and falling lumber. Fortunately, I was able to get some pictures of the interior, which you can see below.

More pictures here.

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Anonymous G said...

Oh my, that's disturbing! I'm surprised they don't see the value in the turn of the century detail. Did you throw yourself in front of a guy with the Sawz-All in slow motion yelling NOOOOOO?

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why isn't the Historical Society stopping this. More specifically, why did they give them the permits to do this?

10:00 AM  

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