Friday, September 14, 2012

Save this (small) Historic House!

1 Harbor Street, Sandwich, MA on beautiful Cape Cod is listed by David Holt at Today Real Estate and is on the market for $130,000.  At just 948 square feet, it can certainly qualify as "small". Unfortunately,  too often, in historic real estate, size matters.  When a large saltbox home that graces the village green falls into disrepair and is threatened with demolition there are cries from preservation groups to save it.  But what happens to the humble cottage - the dwelling house of the fisherman or the factory worker?  The land is often deemed of greater value than the home itself.

When Old Sturbridge Village was seeking a small house to add to its collection - they had such a hard time finding one that they ended up building one.  This, despite that fact that houses under 800 square feet once made up a quarter of our housing stock in the early 19th century.

Small House at Old Sturbridge Village, MA
Small houses are an important part of the fabric of our history.  Some communities have recognized their value and have protected them with charming results.  A visit to 'Sconset on Nantucket greets you with a collection of small fisherman cottages dripping with roses.

Rose covered Sconset cottage

This home on Harbor Street in Sandwich has a long history and was once used as a dwelling house for workers in the Boston and Sandwich glass factory.  Neighborhood folklore hints at an even longer history for this house - it is rumored to have been moved here in the early 18th century.  The exposed beams with bark on them in the kitchen suggests an early date for this home.  It has much to offer in a great neighborhood, walking distance to ice cream, restaurants, shops and the beach.  No doubt - it needs work, but it CAN be saved.  And at $130,000, there is room for restoration costs.

1 Harbor Street, Sandwich MA

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