I believe the tilt of this house (and several others on the same block) may in part be due to the abandoned train tunnel that runs under the street. Can anyone who has done renovation work in this area confirm or deny whether that is the case? Very curious…
The train tunnel is a little bit south of that corner. John’s map from an earlier posting shows the entrance and the direction of it fairly well. I’m working on the house next door (with the partial paint job – long story). That end of the block was an old landfill when the city was filling in the streets to create Jefferson Avenue and to adjust the street grades for the trolleys that ran up Marshall Street. Those plots have a lot of river rock and river dredge. Unfortunately, they did not understand the principles of soil compaction when it was filled in prior to 1880. That row of houses was built around 1880 and probably started settling not long after they were built. Luckily, the other houses in the row are connected so they held each other up! The one on the corner is the free-standing one and wasn’t as lucky.
Michael – Yes, that is the reason it’s tilting. Some of the houses on that same block are affected but not as severely.
I tried to tour the house when it was on the market. I could not make it from the living room through the dining room pocket doors because of the “fun house” effect. All of the ceilings, door jams, casings and floors were tilted this way and that. I was instantly dizzy. The feeling lasted for a few minutes even after I walked out.
It’s got a great location on the corner there and an awesome night time view of the city. I hope someone takes care of it.
Well, it is amazing what a contractor can do to un-funhouse a house. Remember the house in the 300-odd block of N 21st when it was poopoo brown and ever-so-tippy?
Bill – Thanks for the clarification!
I was told when I toured the house that it was tilted because of the tunnel!
Jennifer C. #4, yes, I remember the house in the 300 block of N. 21st (now blue and no longer tippy), it was redone by Restoration Builders of Va (RBVa), as was the one at 3002 East Broad Street which leaned at least as much as the one pictured here does. David Cooley and his crew at RBVa did a nice job of fixing both of those.
It actually looks less tilted in the photograph than it does in real life. Must be due to the slope of the street as it ascends the hill to the east, with the house tilting to the west in the other direction. It is a neat house, though – great detail on the porch. I can’t tell from the photo – is the “for sale” sign still out front?
This post links to this map which gives some good indication of the route of the tunnel.
For appreciation of change, here is a photo taken from about this intersection circa 1890ish (click to see larger & uncropped):
I live across the street from this house. As far as I know, it is not up for sale. Back in early fall 2008, someone had cleaned out the front yard & tore down the fence after some city notices had been posted. I look at this house everyday, and truely leans more than the photo shows. It’s a shame that it has been in this condition for so long- not to mention the hazard it poses for those living nearby.
And one more winter has been really tough on this house. I walked by yesterday & was surprised at how bad it looked.
I pulled the online public property records information and the house was apparently purchased by the following individual on 8/6/2007:
Mr. Brandon Middough
12413 MCALLEN CT
MIDLOTHIAN, VA 23114
Does anyone know Mr. Middough and what he intends to do with this property? If he doesn’t do something soon the house is going to end up as a heaping pile of debris in the middle of 22nd Street.
I agree – that thing is about to go…
The landfill effect may be playing a role, but I looked at the posted map and it DOES appear that the old tunnel runs right under – or very close to – the tippy house. I used to rent right down the street from this one (also on Marshall, but closer to Jefferson Park)and my place also tipped like this.
Hey, what’s with the “telephone” poles in the (cool) old pic that someone posted. Not for telephones in that era, I would imagine – are those for lines to power the trolley?
The telephone was patented in 1876, so those could be telphone poles. The street cars were electrified in 1888, but I wouldn’t think they used poles for power? Mebbe?
Lest we forget the blue frame house at the NW corner of 22st & Jefferson!? It used to lean WAAAAAYYY more than it’s cuz pictured above on Marshall St. I believe the address is 2115 Jefferson Ave…and it was restored by Matt Elms/Atlantic Crest in 2002. They had to jack the hell out of it to get her straigh n’ level, but it was worth it. It won the ACORN Golden Hammer that year for residential restoration.
I know what you mean about the one on 21st… BUT this one is really bad too.
And stuff (like siding, porch posts, and railings) are starting to fall off onto the sidewalk…
I’d love to see someone fix this tipper up, but I gotta admit it looks pretty spongy / mouldering / waterlogged / rotten in addition to leaning. I think it’s now or never for this old home.
Sadly, I agree Bullwinkle. A “solid” old house costs a bit to restore. It’s gonna take a small fortune to bring it back to life as it is… time is only making it worse.
isnt it good that its watterlogged so that if someone jacks this thing up the wood will be able to bend cause it is wet, and then stabalize the building. do they call fixer-uppers like these tipper-uppers?
and now, thanks to this blog, a tv station is destined to run a story on “Church Hill Houses are falling down”.
Just like the Killer cat hysteria story it caused 2 years ago
and like the “Something Stinks in Church Hill story” it ran last year about skunks. I particularly enjoyed that one, because the first shot was in front of my house before they went deep into the hood for the skunk citing
be careful what you blog about, because lazy tv journalist love to use this as a source to bash Church Hill
Did you watch the piece? I thought that they did a good job with it. David Cooley spoke well about the possibility of fixing this, there really wasn’t anything sensational about it.
So great, it’s going to be set straight and fixed up! I almost didn’t want to post here on this thread, want to keep the new one going….Chimbo @#19, watch the restoration please!
And BTW Chimbo, the dogs killing cats a couple of years ago was very real, two of my neighbors had kitties killed by those dogs, I’m glad the dogs are gone. ’nuff said, as Tina Turner once sang….
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