How about another go of it? The auction of the 1872-vintage former home of Gottlieb Eisele, now a vacant and dilapidated former HPD office surrounded by parking lots and the Gulf Freeway, ended last night with no bids. But today it’s back on the block, with a brand-new item number and a new closing-gavel time of 8 pm tonight. For a minimum bid of $1,000, the opportunity to partially demolish, jack up, repair, move, restore, and then register this property can be yours.
- Auction #508526 – 1872 Bungalow Cottage (Historic Gottleib Eisele House) HPD-111710 [Public Surplus]
- Previously on Swamplot: Ready To Be Hauled Away: Under the Freeway, in the Back of the Parking Lot
Photos: City of Houston
I think they should give it up. And tear it down.
Or they have a Dutch auction starting at $0 and going down in price (i.e., the city paying someone to take it with all the conditions–jack up, repair, move, restore, and then register) until someone bids.
I think it is totally ridiculous on the City’s part. Moving the house is at least $30-40K, and then restoring it to its historical appearance is easily another $50K, and then the time and trouble of registering it as an historic building after that makes it a huge burden on someone, unless they just have money to blow on a project.
The City should make an arrangement for a house mover to relocate it for free as a charitable contribution to the City (tax deductible, of course) or at a discounted rate (still tax deductible on the discount) and promise to prepare the historic registration at no cost and then fast-track the approval.
That way the buyer is only into for the cost of a lot and the restoration work. Even at that, it would be a hard sell. I would love to do it because I love historic preservation projects, but the terms of the sale are just bad.
I wrote about that house back in January.
Sadly, it’s too late for this house. About the only thing original about it from 1876 might be the framing and nails. It would be different if it had the original fascia, ornamentation or interior fittings, but it has none of that. It looks like a rundown bungalow and the market already has plenty of those that don’t need relocation, as much rennovation or historical registration. What might be of interest are any artifacts found around or under it when the demolished rubble is carted off. Maybe if they go deep enough they’ll find more 16th century English colony stuff.
Thanks J.R., that clears up one question I had. So, there was something in the agreement with the city that dictates the house not be demolished, do you know *how* the city got the property??
Houston really needs a historic preservation foundation like the group in Galveston. Money should be raised and set a side to take on projects like this. Builders, architects, suppliers, etc. could all chip in with donated or discounted services and materials in exchange for idenification as an in kind sponsor. Money could be raised through membership, home tours and the usual through a bunch of rich people in a hotel ballroom affair. The Galveston group has taken on restoration projects that make this house look like a walk in the park.
I always wondered about that little house.
[I agree with HeightsGuy that the city needs to step up, to raise fund/awareness… What about putting it over by the GRB where those other two homes are? And btw what’s the deal with them?]
Good idea SL – I’d volunteer to trench and sift underneath it when it does get moved.
PYEWACKET2: I want to say the family sold it to the city with that condition attached to it, but don’t hold me to that because I’m having a hard time remembering. I don’t believe the city acquired it through eminent domain or anything of that sort.