Save This Old House: Michigan Colonial Revival
Snatch up this home full of woodwork details left from a lumber mill manager builder
Published September 2014
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Contact: Terri Lynn Miller, 989-245-4396
The History: William McCorkle, who built this Colonial Revival circa 1907, was no stranger to a hard day's labor. After growing up on his family's farm, in northern Michigan, he moved to Saginaw and got a job as a timekeeper at a local mill, back when the city was experiencing a boom in the lumber trade. A tireless worker, he was ultimately promoted to manager of the mill; its renowned interior moldings and fine piano cases were in such demand that they were shipped as far away as New York and Chicago. The mill was also the source of the many fine woodwork details that McCorkle and his wife, Anna, put into this home, where they raised four children and remained into the 1940s. It has traded hands only a few times since. The current owner has resided here since 1971 and is hoping the next occupant will restore it to the grand showplace it once was.
Shown: The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house sits on a large lot in the Cathedral district, a neighborhood lined with grand houses from the early 1900s.
Zillow, the real-estate marketplace, wants to see this home restored. As a Proud Preservation Partner of Save This Old House, Zillow is offering a $2,000 award to the buyer of this diamond in the rough. Contact [email protected] for details. And to explore more homes for sale, visit zillow.com. Offer expires 8/31/2015.
Why Save It? The exterior of the 2,764-square-foot house has a wide center dormer and classical porch columns typical of many Colonial Revival homes. The interior's lavish millwork includes a grand oak staircase, solid-mahogany dining-room built-ins, and wood mantels.
Shown: First-floor living spaces feature grand pocket doors and crown moldings. While most of the millwork in the house is flatsawn oak, the flooring is quartersawn.
What It Needs: The house has been well maintained, though its systems need updating. Interior woodwork details and plaster walls need some restoration as well. Like the house, Saginaw is also a work in progress—the city of about 50,000 is reinventing itself after the collapse of its manufacturing industry. With great bones and rich histories, both the house and its hometown are worth your rescue efforts.
Shown: The dining room's mahogany built-ins retain their original leaded-glass doors and brass hardware.
The carved columns on this oak mantel echo those on the front porch.
Bench seating is built into the base of the staircase.
A second-floor balcony offers a view down to the vestibule.
Storage cupboards are built into the walls of an upstairs bedroom.