Save This Old House: A California Stick-Style Mansion
Queen Anne and Stick styles can be seen in this navel orange planter's mansion—available for only a buck!
Published September 2013
Price: $1 (must be moved)
Location: Riverside, California
Contact: Nathan Freeman, 951-826-5374
The History: Several decades after the California gold rush, William McIntyre hit a different kind of pay dirt when he planted some of the nation's earliest navel orange trees in his groves in Riverside. The variety took off, and the fruit's popularity helped the city become the wealthiest in the state, with McIntyre counted among its most affluent residents. In 1892, he and his wife, Emma, used part of their fortune to construct this 3,793-square-foot showpiece, where they raised their three children. The family lived in the home until 1924, after which it changed hands many times until it was purchased by the city in 2007. Now it must be moved to make way for a new dormitory for a nearby college.
Shown: The exterior of the five-bedroom, 2½-bath house has decorative corbels, scalloped shingles, and an elaborate two-tiered porch.
Why Save It? McIntyre outfitted the interior with lots of lavish features, including a mahogany staircase as well as mantels carved from maple and oak. The exterior, a mix of Queen Anne and Stick styles, has intricate spindlework and decorative clapboard and fish-scale siding.
Shown: The front of the home is embellished with vertical and diagonal cladding as well as a band of decorative shingles beneath the third-story window.
What It Needs: The house's systems are in working order, and the baths have even had some updates in recent years. Riverside still has a fair number of citrus groves, but the local economy also benefits from its close proximity to Los Angeles, 60 miles to the west. Small lots in the area start at only $25,000, or you could splurge on an orange grove of your own—there's one available just a few miles away.
Shown: The mahogany staircase retains its original newel post and carved balustrades. Plywood covers several broken windows throughout the house.
Lincrusta paneling and detailed chair-rail molding line the walls on much of the first floor.
This ornate maple mantelpiece stands nearly 7 feet tall.
Seen here on the second-floor landing, the spindle design in the balustrades echoes the friezes on the porch.
A mirrored mantelpiece built from quarter-sawn oak.
The house retains nearly all of its original woodwork, including window and door casings and picture-rail moldings.
Beneath layers of carpeting are 3-inch-wide hardwood planks.