Monday, May 16, 2011

For just $339,000 in Fairfield

Though not especially interested in moving to Fairfield and without the $339,000 it would take, I do admire this classic 1896 George Barber-designed Queen Anne that turned up recently in an aimless search for "historic homes" on the market in Iowa.

Fairfield is three county seats east of here down Highway 34 and I couldn't count the times I've driven by this house at 441 E. Burlington Ave. (also Highway 34) three blocks east of the town square. It does tend to catch your attention.

The listing on the Web site describes the house as follows: "Grand 1896 mansion designed by George Barber, world-renowned Victorian architect. Lovingly maintained home, move-in condition, updated with historic integrity. Convenient in-town location in beautiful neighborhood. Enjoy a quick walk to parks, stores, restaurants, theaters, cultural events, and the new Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Three-vehicle parking plus extra room in the carriage house. James Beck house listed on the National Register of Historic Places."

It's certainly grand, but privacy on this corner lot --- if I'm remembering correctly --- is somewhat lacking. And East Burlington Avenue is a little too busy a street for me. Still, if you want to put on a show, this would be a good place to do it. Here are interior photos (and there are a few more on the Web listing) that accompany the listing.

Fairfield, you may remember, is the home of the Maharishi University of Management and a good many followers of the late Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi (think Transcendental Meditation) live there. Maharishi Vedic City, where all the buildings adhere to Maharishi Sthapatya Veda design principles designed to promote inner harmony and world peace, is just north of town.

This house does not incorporate Maharishi Sthapatya Veda design principles so far as I know, but it's interesting to speculate what Barber would have done with them had his consciousness been raised more than a century ago. Certainly a golden tile roof.

Anyhow, just looking is harmless fun and it's more than possible to admire this confection without actually wanting to live in it.


North and northwest Iowa turned blue overnight --- signifying on weather maps a frost warning. None here, but it's darned chilly for the middle of May. On the other hand, a few days of sunshine are promised, so it's time to finish up the planting and mow the lawn.


Ed said...

I live just a few blocks from this house and walk by it all the time on my way to the square. It has been fun to watch the owners fix it up from its former lacking state over the last seven years or so. It really is a show piece.

East Burlington isn't so busy anymore with the bypass now around town. I almost never have to press the cross walk button anymore at the stoplight right by this house, something I could never do before the bypass.

Frank D. Myers said...

I couldn't remember for the life of me if the bypass had opened --- it's been a long process. But now that you mention it, I did have to figure out how to "exit" the last time I passed through (I still like to drive through towns). Great convenience if you're in a hurry, though.

Ed said...

The bypass opened a year ago this past February.

A couple years ago I decided to drive up old 163 towards Des Moines and really had to tax my mind on how to drive through Oskaloosa, Pella and a couple of the smaller towns. It amazes me at how fast the memory fades which is precisely why I hate bypasses. So much of a town's dynamics changes upon completion of a bypass.

James Martin said...

What a gorgeous home! For that price is not bad at all. Also since its historic I am sure that there are many updates to consider, plus the insurance must be pricy. But nonetheless beautiful to look at and dream ;) I am in the process of finding my first home and got a huge reality check after using a mortgage payment calculator...I am now aware of all the things I have to take into consideration for home-ownership! Thanks for sharing!