THE ULTIMATE LIST OF CHEAP OLD HOUSES UNDER $50K…and BEYOND ––>
Save This Old House ~ 1890s Fixer Upper Queen Anne Syracuse NY $25K ~ History Added – Pending
September 26, 2020
366 Onondaga St W, Syracuse, NY, 13202 $25,000Pending
Save this old house. When I featured this home last week, I didn’t know anything about it. Since then I have learned that the Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1892 for Dr. George Whedon, Civil War veteran and one of Syracuse’s most prominent physicians. He lived here with his wife Ella, 20 years his junior, adult daughters Ethel and Florence, his mother-in-law Mary Kellogg, and two servants. It was actually the doctor’s second home. He also owned a brick house that still stands at 672 W. Onondaga St. that looks somewhat similar to #366. The architect of both houses is thought to have been Archimedes Russell, the well-known architect of the Onondaga County Court House.
In addition to being a physician, Dr. Whelan was an astute real estate businessman. He was called one of the most far-sighted real estate operators that Syracuse has ever known, and that is where he amassed most of his wealth. Eleven years before his death, he suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his right side. Every Sunday, his old Civil War buddies would visit him at this house to “spend many happy hours fighting the old battles over again.”
The doctor fell into a coma and died at home of acute uremic poisoning in 1912. His funeral was held in the house, and according to Dr. Whedon’s own wish, both the sword which he wore on the battlefields and the American flag was placed upon his coffin.
After the doctor died at age 79, Albert C. Schumer purchased the home and used it as a funeral parlor. In 1952, the Whelan Brothers took over the funeral parlor and operated it until 1977.
When the home was built in 1892, West Onondaga Street was an upper class neighborhood with rows of mansions. The neighborhood went into decline decades ago, but many of the mansions still stand in various states of repair, or rather disrepair. Our featured home had a fire 12 years ago that damaged its roof. After that, Syracuse seized the property for back taxes, and subsequently gave it to the Greater Syracuse Land Bank in 2018.
Disregard the land bank’s build date of 1950. That is clearly an error, as the land bank is applying to have the home added to the National Register of Historic Places as an 1890’s example of a Queen Anne with two round towers.
Per Holmes King & Kallquist architects, the exterior has a “variety of exterior wood shingle patterns, including designs resembling fish scales and waves.” The banding at the second floor level has decorative wood carvings of floral or leaf flourishes, and the home has two porches.
The land bank is hoping to find a developer to save the structure, perhaps for apartments. I doubt any of us could take on this project because the land bank estimates $1 million for restoration costs. I felt compelled to feature the home, however, because historic preservation matters.
Save this old house. Historic property available for development. Soliciting proposals from developers. Download attached Request for Proposals for more information. Accepting proposals on a rolling basis. Asking $25, 000 for the property. Needs $1 million+ in renovations. Eligible for state and federal historic preservation tax credits! Commercially zoned and close to downtown! Please contact the Syracuse Land Bank for RFP information. ext.0 or syracuselandbank.org/forsale.