The oldest homes in St. Paul are found just West of Downtown in the West 7th neighborhood. They date back to the 1850’s and 40’s which pre-dates Victorian-era architecture.
In the 1850’s St. Paul homes were small and simple, with floors made of fir or maple. The ceilings were high and there weren’t many closets. People did not have as much stuff or as many clothes to cram into closets in those days. Sometimes bedrooms had hooks on the wall and no closet at all. That doesn’t work anymore. (See what is a bedroom?)
The John Lewis house at 412 Goodrich is a great example of a historic home or an old house depending upon your point of view. It was built in 1856 and is one of the oldest houses in St. Paul. It has about 1000 square feet of living space, two bedrooms, one bath and no garage. The most recent sale was in 2015 for about 30K.
We lost quite a few of these old/historic houses during the great recession and we almost lost this one. It will cost about 45K more than it can be sold for to fix it up.
It often costs more to fix these houses up than they can be sold for which is why they end up being bulldozed, which is a shame. They really do not build them like they used to and they won’t because builders need to build large houses in order to make a profit.
This house didn’t do anything wrong and really doesn’t deserve the death penalty but it is in disrepair and cannot be inhabited.
Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association and Historic Saint Paul are collaborating to preserve and rehabilitate the property. An event to raise money in support of the project will be held on Sunday, November 5, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bad Weather Brewing, located at 414 West 7th St. The event will feature beer specials, a silent auction, raffles and other activities, including information about the Lewis House.
To find out more or make a donation online go to the Historic Saint Paul web site
There is also a Facebook page for the project
To see what the house looks like in color click on the image below.