New Year, New House
For many people, the New Year begins with a pledge to make personal improvements. In Huntington, Cathy Schaefer achieved her goal on January 3, when she purchased the house she plans to make her forever home.
The landmark house on Market Street has long been an anchor in the Old Plat National Register Historic District. Constructed c.1879 for George and Martha Humbert, the stately brick house boasts high-style architectural details, including scroll-sawn corbels at the roofline, a spacious wrap-around front porch, carved limestone window headers, a two-story bay window, and a rooftop cupola. The Humbert family called the place home until 1899.
A century later, the Humbert House had fallen into foreclosure, and its deteriorated condition forced the city to mark the home for demolition. Concerned about losing the historic property, the city helped local preservation organization Huntington Alert gain control through a court-ordered receivership.
Using a loan from Indiana Landmarks’ Efroymson Family Endangered Places Fund, the group embarked on the most urgent repairs, including a new roof and gutters, an energy efficient gas boiler, and upgrades to plumbing and electrical systems. Inside, volunteers and contractors restored many of the home’s original elegant features, including fireplace mantels, ornate plaster ceilings, golden oak millwork, sliding pocket doors, and hardwood floors.
Toward the end of 2019, Schaefer spotted the Humbert House for sale on Indiana Landmarks’ website, and within days she made the drive from Bay City, Michigan, to see the property. “I had envisioned an old house with loads of architectural character to compliment my collection of antique furniture,” she says. “By the time I stepped inside the front door, I knew I had come home.”
Cathy is no newbie to rehab. She has been a serial restorer for years, owning vintage homes in California, Texas, and Michigan. With her practiced eye, she can already see how the house will look once the renovation is finished. “I couldn’t be happier with my new purchase,” she says. “Both Huntington Alert and Indiana Landmarks have been incredibly helpful throughout the process.”
Not a bad way to start the new year!
For more information, contact Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northeast Field Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 260-563-7094.
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