At 524 Bluff Street, Beloit WI 53511, the Lathrop Munn home in the Bluff Street Historic District was built in 1848. It’s not only the oldest home in Beloit, it holds a significant place in Beloit’s history. It’s river stone construction in the Greek Revival style is distinctive and increasingly rare in the region. Additionally the home has benefited by single-family, owner occupied loving care and maintenance for the last thirty years by its former residents.
For a community that once boasted the single largest concentration of river stone constructed homes and commercial buildings in the region totaling over thirty, Beloit is now down to just four. (The Racey house another river stone house) We’d love to see this wonderful historic home continue as an owner-occupied family home in the hands of an appreciative owner.
For Sale By Owner – Historic Beloit WI Home.
- Bedrooms: five (5)
- Full Baths: two (2 – one main floor, one upper)
- Half Baths: none (0)
- Estimated Age: Built in 1848
- Total Assess: $75,600
- Net Taxes: $1,669.90
- Living Room: 13′ x 13′
- Dining Room: 14′ x 13′
- Kitchen: 22′ x 9′
- Family/Rec: 13′ x 13′
- Mstr BedRm: 15′ x 13′
- 2nd BedRm: 16′ x 13′
- 3rd BedRm: 14′ x 10′
- 4th BedRm: 15′ x 13′
- 5th BedRm: 11′ x 9′
School District: Beloit
High: Beloit Memorial
Fireplace: Wood burning/ living room
Garage: 2+ car, detached
Fuel: Natural Gas
Heating: Hot Water
Water/Waste: Municipal water, Municipal sewer
Barrier-Free: Open floor plan, 1st floor BedRm
Notes: Historic 5 bedroom home located on Beloit’s Westside. Beautiful wooden staircase welcomes you ot the warmth and character this home has to offer. Large kitchen with second staircase to upstairs adds charm. Many original features take you back in time. This is a must see property!
To make an appointment to view this home call 608-290-0108
Or email the owners at: jbzamorris(at)aol.com
Additionally, as this home is within the historic district the home owner will be eligible for the Wis State Historic Home Owners 25% Tax Credit on approved upgrades and maintenance. You’re within walking distance of the increasingly vibrant riverfront and downtown.
“The Wisconsin Historical Society’s Division of Historic Preservation (DHP) administers a program of 25-percent state income tax credits for repair and rehabilitation of historic homes in Wisconsin.”
If you’re interested in pursuing the tax credit we’ll (the Beloit NPA) even give you a hand with the application. It’s really not so difficult.
Had an exceptional “Old House” day today.
A couple months ago we attended a conference in Madison for Historic Preservation Commissioners, in the case of Beloit it’s the “Landmarks Commission”. There we had the opportunity to meet folks likewise involved in other communities across WI. Among those we met was Rick Fletcher who chairs the Janesville Historic Preservation Commission. Rick provides guided walking tours of various historic areas around Janesville. Today we had the good fortune to attend Rick’s tour of the “Old 4th Ward”. It was WONDERFUL!
There were ~70 people in attendance following Rick around getting some insight into Janesville history as well as period architecture. We finished up with being invited, all 70+ of us into the fine home of one of the residents. It was a -very- cool house.
While there we were reminded that today was the Janesville Garden Walk. While sponsored by and for the Rotary Garden it consisted of eight residential gardens, five of which were in the “Courthouse Hill” historic district. Keep an eye out for this next year and go. It was… amazing!
To cap it all off, being “Old House” home owners and enthusiasts ourselves we really enjoy meeting and talking with others who share this interest. We had a chance to meet several homeowners in the Courthouse Hill historic district. Big fun.
Now, Janesville’s historic district house walk is coming up in August. I forget the date but will be broadcasting it here. We went last year and it was very enjoyable and we’ll be attending this year as well. It might be fun to get a group together to attend. Lemme’ know if you’d be interested or simply comment below.
~Rick M rick@BeloitNPA (dot) org
And we’ll be welcoming some new neighbors!
Just heard yesterday that the Preserve Beloit home at 617 Harrison has sold and folks are moving in!
This is great news from multiple perspectives. If you don’t know the story this was a “problem” house on the block. At one time perhaps even the worst on the block. It was in bad shape and there were those who wanted to see it demolished. Who knows what we could have ended up with as far as infill?
Thankfully Preserve Beloit LLC (a Hendricks co.) in partnership with the First National Bank & Trust Co. were willing to invest in our neighborhood and turn this house around. Virtually all of the original woodwork, doors and trim was saved and restored making for beautiful interiors and classic period charm. Thank you to Preserve Beloit LLC and First National Bank & Trust Co. for having the sensitivity not to gut it and engage in wholesale rip-n-replace.
We’ve been inside this home and they’ve done a wonderful job for the new home owners. Importantly, they’ve also done us all a favor having provided a wonderful service to the neighborhood and Beloit’s historic district. They took on a tough project any individual “flipper” would have either avoided or done with considerably lower standards IMO.
THANK YOU to Preserve Beloit LLC and First National Bank & Trust Co. You’re great Neighbors to have.
Historic Home Owener’s Tax Credit
Have you heard about the “Historic Home Owner’s Tax Credit” program?
Interested to know what its about and how to take advantage of this significant benefit?
What if you could get a tax break on projects such as (but not limited to)…
- - Work on the exterior of your house, such as roof replacement and painting, but not including site work such as driveways and landscaping
- - Electrical wiring, not including electrical fixtures
- - Plumbing, not including plumbing fixtures
- - Mechanical systems, such as furnaces, air conditioning, and water heaters
- - Structural work, such as jacking up floors
Well, this month we’ be talking about tax benefits for those living within Beloit’s historic districts or individually landmarked homes. If you don’t live within the boundaries of the historic district you may be eligible to apply. If you’re not sure if you live within the gerrymandered borders of the districts we’ll help you find out if you are.
Joe DeRose from the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Offices will be joining us to discuss what the tax advantages are, whats involved in taking advantage of these significant benefits as well as how to apply. Additionally, we hope to have some neighbors on hand who’ve actually taken advantage of this program.
We’re meeting this next Monday evening, June 22nd. 6:30 at bushel & pecks. (328 State St.)
From the onset when there were first discussions about forming a neighborhood association for Beloit’s Historic Districts various people asked, “Have you met with Neighborhood Housing Services?”. Not having yet done so it was suggested that we should. So… here we go!
This is an informal gathering where we simply hope to get to know a bit more about each other, priorities, objectives and such. I imagine there are things we may be able to assist, support or encourage. There may be activities or programs those living within Beloit’s Historic Districts may be able to take advantage of. Don’t know. Will see. It all begins though with some discussion and this is as good a time as any to begin.
So, if you’re not familiar with Neighborhood Housing Services, or even if you are, we’d encourage you to come out and meet with them and us to learn more.
When: Tuesday May 26th, 6:30 p.m. (note date change due to holiday)
Where: bushel & peck’s – 328 State Street, Beloit WI
There is a lot of misunderstanding about “Historic Districts” or individually designated home and what it means to live in one.
- (1) Why would anyone want to live in an Historic District?
- (2) What does it mean to live in an Historic District?
- (3) Who does what?
- * The City
- * The Landmarks Commission
- * The Historical Society
- * The State Historic Preservation Office
- * The National Register (National Park Service)
- (4) What am I supposed to do if I live in a Beloit Historic District or individually designated home?
- * What can and can’t I do with my own %@$# property?
- * What if I have a question?
- (5) What’s in it for me? Again, why would anyone want to live in an Historic District?
The resulting F.U.D. (fear, uncertainly & doubt) around these items and perhaps others can lead to needless frustration, a wastes of your time and needless expense. The best way to deal with all this is improved communication.
The city, the Landmarks Commission, state & national offices all need to make reasonable efforts to try and inform and communicate with property owners. This is a shared responsibility though. Property owners likewise owe it to themselves to inquire and/or otherwise try to inform themselves. Improving communication is the key.
To this end on this NPA neighborhood association blog we can try to cover these bases. Proposed, the best place to start is with the “why”. What’s in it for me?
There are many things that could be touched on but lets start with two benefits that likely most would have an appreciation for.
- (1) It’s good for your property values.
- (2) You’re eligible for various incentives or benefits.
(1) Property Values: The city of Rockford completed a study last year in 08′ titled: The impact of Historic District Designation on Property Values. You can read more about that study here.
(2) Incentives / Benefits: We will be hosting a meeting with Joe DeRosa from the Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Offices for our June 22nd regular meeting. We’ll be discussing specifically what it means to live within an Historic District, what state and/or federal programs are available to you. We’ve also invited neighbors who’ve personally taken advantage of some of these programs to talk about their experiences. More on this will be posted as we near that meeting date.
Among the first things that people think about when considering ramifications of living within an Historic District or individually designated home is… how is this going to impact my property values.
A frequent misconception is that…
…designation as part of a historic district lowers their property values because of the additional regulations that they must contend with.
If it is true that home owners have this perception then this is a serious and legitimate concern. If true, certainly no one would want to be a willing participant in such a hardship and who could blame them.
Rockford IL which has four historic districts completed a study in only five months ago in Dec. 08′ to study just this question. Their study here.
They took the range of home values from each of the historic districts as indicated in 1977 and found comparables in either an adjacent or nearby neighborhood. They then took a look at these homes 2007 values, looking at both assessed values as well as sale prices.
Overall, our findings show that local historic districts not only provide protection for Rockford’s historic resources, they protect and enhance their owners’ financial resources as well. This also translates into protecting the City of Rockford’s financial resources by protecting a part of its property tax base.
For the full report see Rockford’s Study on “The Impact of Historic District Designation on Property Values.”
These sorts of studies are not uncommon. It’s just handy to have one so close by and recent for reference. The fact that Historic Districts out perform surrounding neighborhoods is typically the norm. But beyond that it’s not uncommon for an emerging Historic District to out perform the broader community in terms of rate of rising property values during that period of emergence.
The reasons for this are many, some more obvious then others. The Rockford study though goes on to explore the impact of the significant federal tax credit program available to home owners through the National Register.
This added incentive, which is a significant financial one, was the driving force behind creation of the two newest districts.
In June Joe DeRosa from the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Offices will be joining us to discuss this program among other things. Mark your calendar for this gathering Sunday June 22nd.
Last Monday night’s get together with City Manager Larry Arft was great. We’d collected a number of questions and Mr. Arft addressed each one in depth and then fielded more from those of us gathered together.
- - Canoe & Kayak Launch
- - The new transit station
- - Hwy 51 project
- - Various city programs
- - City budget & finances
- - Casino update
- - Misc. future plans
City Council Member Jim Van De Bogart and Plan Commission member Daniel Boutelle were also in attendance. All-in-all it was a very informative evening and a great opportunity to get to know our city manager a bit better and he, us.
Additionally we had three new faces join us that evening representing two more households within the historic district. This a direct result of Dr. Bob’s initiating personal invitations. Also DanielleC introduced another family within the historic district to NPA and I introduced yet another from Milwaukee Ave. So altogether another four households added to membership and neighbor’s directory.
In our regular business meeting portion earlier in the evening we elected our five officers for the NPA not-for-profit. They are:
- - Rick McGrath – Chair
- - John Watrous -Vice Chair
- - Bill Dorr - Secretary/Treasurer
- - Joy Beckman – At Large
- - Rick Dexter – At Large
We’ve met once already since Monday and are continuing organizational set up.
- - May: We’ll be meeting with the Beloit Neighborhood Housing Services.
- - June: We’ll be meeting with a State Historic Preservation Offices rep. about tax programs and other benefits/services.
Stay tuned. We’ve more in the works as well.
Among my favorite things to see in historic neighborhoods undergoing renewal are work trucks, workmen, scaffolding and dumpsters. Its what I look for. And they’re all here at 640 Park.
A lot of people had given up on this once grand home. It’s been the worst house on this block for a long time and there were those who could only see one solution, demolition. Worst house on the block? Not for long. I’m lovin’ seeing it being worked on. It’s good for the entire neighborhood.
I only recently came upon the term “Alien Infill”. I’ve now added it to my old house vocabulary along with remuddling, architorture and garagescape. And like many things illustrations are helpful to clarify the concept.
Alien Infill #1: The first on on the left showing a suburban style ranch home with typical garage door prominence dropped into a neighborhood of significantly older and larger homes of a different scale, set back and I’d argue quality of materials and workmanship.
Alien Infill #2: The second on the right showing some effort to match the predominant two story style and set back however the scale is so radically smaller it too is jarring, looks misplaced and I’d say makes more permanent a downgrading of property values.
Old house demolition – a short sighted solution.
It would seem that the demolition of old homes is often the solution to issues of owner abandoned or neglected homes. This is what appears to be happening. The home owner fails to maintain what had once been a fine home. Maintenance is deferred or so it would seem, in the interest of maximizing rental ROI. Code violations and their fines seem to be ignored preferring to have these default to property tax liens. Eventually the home is no longer habitable or rentable leading to virtual abandonment by the absentee home owner. The solution proposed then is demolition.
For a community that prides itself in being “Green” demolition of an existing house to then build another house in it’s place is among the least green things a community can do.
The problem is that many times the cost to rehab exceeds the appraised value in certain areas. So, why not just tear them down? Well, a more creative and environmentally sound way to deal with this issue is to mothball these houses. For less than the cost of demolition an abandoned house can be stabilized and held for future rehab. Patching the roof and painting the façade can work well toward this goal. ~Bob Yapp bobyapp.com
This is a tough market for buying properties of any kind and choosing to demolish our existing housing stock at this time when the market is down when the same home could be rehabbed once the market turns around makes a permanent downgrade on the neighborhood because of a temporary market condition.
- If the solution is to demolish the problem property then what?
- Has there been thought as to what will happen following demolition?
Typically what happens is that some form of infill is plopped in. And while there are exceptions most of the best examples of appropriate infill were done many years ago. Virtually all the recent examples of infill are reminiscent of the alien infill illustrated above. The question is… What would maintain and advance property values more? Catching these homes before they’re allowed to degrade to where they are demolition risks? Or ending up with “alien infill”?
Appropriate infill housing is possible but difficult to cost justify which is why we end up with the smaller scale, cheaper construction infill commonly experienced.
Distressed properties and their owners need to be addressed by the city as our advocate before properties get to these conditions. We as neighbors need to take responsibility for being sure the city is aware of concerns around properties at risk of demolition by neglect.
More on the subject of “Abandoned Lots – What’s a community to do?” by Bob Yapp.