House of the Week: 1632 Constantinople Street

In case it isn’t already obvious, I really love old homes. Though I prefer the Victorian era, if a home was built before the mid 60s, it tends to be more than all-right with me. While I know change is life’s one true constant, I can’t help feeling a little sad when old structures are torn down, or worse, “renovated” so severely, the original details have completely been erased.

I get it. It’s not my property and the owners can do whatever they damn well please. I just wish more folks had the same reverence that I do. Those architectural styles and decoration will likely never be seen again, especially not with the same materials and methods. In my mind, when structures are remodeled so completely, with the exterior still intact, it’s akin to rewriting East of Eden, slipping it into the old bindings and trying to pass it off as Steinbeck.

While certain renovations, especially in structures built before the 1920s, are needed — ie plumbing, electrical, gas, HVAC, etc — so much more is regularly stripped out for those desiring a more modern layout and look. If you want a modern house, why not go buy one?

Anyhow, this desire to take a beautiful old structure and tear out its guts has made my “house of the week” posts more and more difficult. So much so that I had given up altogether and simply stopped posting. But just the other day, on a whim, I did my usual Realtor search and after several pages of the same old disappointments, I found this house, a gorgeous old Victorian less than a block from St. Charles Avenue on Constantinople Street.

Built in 1900, this gracious beauty includes 4 bedrooms, 3 and 1/2 baths and a little over 3000 square feet of living space. Granted, there are small areas of renovation that don’t float my boat, but most of this stunning home is still intact. Sighs of relief and adoration escaped me when photo after photo revealed features like massive pocket doors in the front parlor, elaborate ceiling medallions, original hardwood floors, fireplace mantles, tall windows, transoms, soaring ceilings and French doors.

A few of my favorite details include the 1/2 bath tucked underneath the staircase, stained glass windows in the kitchen and stairwell, and the big blue sunroom exiting out onto the brick patio. Though it’s out of my reach, $885,000 seems like a steal for this gorgeous, MIlan neighborhood home, mere steps from what I consider the best chunk of the parade route on St. Charles Avenue between Louisiana and Napoleon avenues. Here’s hoping whomever buys this Victorian marvel has preservation in their heart.

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