728 Lincoln St, Gary, IN, 46402 $33,900
c.1923 Fixer Upper in Gary, IN Under $34K
OHU50K featured this home back in March 2021 when it was on the market for $19,900. It was pulled off the market and is currently back on for $33,900. The interior photos below are from the March listing.
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 still 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 1939, an investigation into the theft of funds meant to aid the unemployed was started against Mary Shaaf. At the time, Mary, a Calumet Township trustee, welcomed the investigation because “sometimes an investigation brings vindication.” This was not one of those times. In 1940, Mary 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 the poor. 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.
Mary’s first husband, with whom she had her children, Mary and John, was John Wells, a prominent Gary attorney. Mary underwent psychiatric care after John was killed in a terrible car crash in 1928. He was driving a replevined vehicle when he fell asleep, crashing into an oncoming bus. His vehicle wound up in a ditch and the bus toppled over on it, crushing John.
Here is an opportunity that you do not want to pass by! This amazing investment property is located in a historic area and has tons of potential. This 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath home features a living room, great room, dining room, and the kitchen has been gutted and ready to be renovated. Just think of the possibilities! It boasts original hard wood floors and crown molding, that just need to be brought to life, Priced to sell fast. Home is being sold as is. Make an offer today!