Price: $9,900 (must be moved)
Location: Prospect, KY
Contact: Eric Whisman, Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation; 502-320-9735
The History: Long before the city of Prospect was incorporated, its industry thrived thanks to the area’s fertile land, wooded acreage, and nearby Harrods Creek. The Wolf Pen Branch Mill anchored the town, serving as a gristmill and a sawmill over its more than 100-year history. Today, the 400-plus acres surrounding the mill are protected from further development; not so the handful of historical houses that remain nearby, including this Italianate. Built by Peter Fredrick Hoke in 1871, it sat on a working farm until 11 years ago, when a developer bought the property; now the house must be moved.
Shown: Set on a functioning farm for most of its history, the house is a side-hall plan, with two living spaces on the main floor as well as a kitchen, added later.
Why save it? The 1,750-square-foot Hoke House is a rare survivor of its style and size in the area. Though some characteristic exterior details, such as decorative eaves brackets, seem to have been lost over time, the home retains its heart-pine floors, interior window casings and baseboards, staircase, some doors, and tall two-over-two windows that flood the large rooms with natural light.
Shown: The rooms still retain their substantial baseboards and window casings.
What it needs: The house is structurally sound, but will require new plumbing, electrical, and HVAC when it arrives in its new location, as well as a new roof, kitchen, and bathroom, plus exterior and cosmetic repairs. Preserved under the vinyl siding are original clapboards, which appear to have years of life left once restored. A good selection of suitable parcels are available nearby, starting at around $50,000. Located in the Ohio River Valley, about 12 miles from Louisville, the town has many multimillion-dollar homes. This house just needs the right owner to give it a shot at another 100 years.
Shown: A bathroom/laundry addition, seen here on the right, is not practical to move with the house, so a new one will need to be added after relocation.
Stained Glass Sidelights
Stained glass enlivens the entry door surround; the original staircase leads to two large bedrooms.
Root Cellar Limestone
Accessed under the front stoop is an original root cellar lined with regional river limestone that could be salvaged and repurposed in the relocated house.
The kitchen, located in the back of the house, is thought to have been added before the turn of the 20th century, not too long after the house was built.
A Newel to Restore
Though it’s been painted, the original newel post could easily be stripped and restored to bring a warm glow back to its medallion details and chamfered edges.
A lean-to addition holds the sole bathroom and a laundry. Because the add-on wasn’t constructed level with the rest of the house, these spaces will need to be built new once the house has been moved.