728 Lincoln St, Gary, IN, 46402
$19,900 Off Market
c.1923 Fixer Upper in Gary, IN Under $20K
This once stately home is located in Gary’s Lincoln Street Historic District. Before fill was brought in and homes were built, the land was comprised of dunes and swamps. The district encompasses 239 residential structures primarily built between 1910 and 1950, and specifically on Lincoln Street between 1918 and 1926. Many express the American Small House Movement, and some were designed by well-known architects using the highest quality materials. That is why it is so heart-breaking to find this c.1923 Colonial Revival in such a sad state of neglect and decay. Just across the street is a well-kept Prairie style house built by architect L. Harry Warriner in 1918 for $8,000. Also, a couple of houses down is a c.1919 bungalow that is a highlight of the district. OHU50k features #728 today in the hopes someone will save it, and also as a test of the housing market. If this one sells quickly, then we know the market is on fire. The home is protected as it is a contributing structure in the historic district, so razing it is fortunately out of the question.
Criminal Family History
Back in the day, Lincoln Street attracted many professionals. In 1940, #728 was owned by Edward Shaaf, a mortgage broker for Banker’s Trust Company, and his wife Mary Grace Morris Wells Shaaf. The couple lived here with their children, Mary, John, Catherine and Susan. The house was valued at $18,000 in 1940, the equivalent of $334,000 in today’s dollars. In 1940, Mary, a Calumet Township trustee, was indicted for bribery, conspiracy and fraud. Her husband Edward, a Gary School trustee and member of the county tax adjustment board, was also indicted, both of them for conspiring and organizing a company to embezzle funds meant to buy coal for indigents. Mary’ bond was set at $20,000, and Edward’s and two of his nephews’ at $5,000 each. In 1943, the couple’s request for dismissal of charges was denied.