Years ago I told you about a Queen Anne Victorian in Kansas City known as the James W. Bryan house. It was on the market at the time for $175,000. I later heard about a couple in Nebraska who had come across the original plans and illustrations for that historic house in an old book from 1887 and loved it so much that it became their dream to build their own version of it…
This old illustration and the architect’s original plans for the historic James W. Bryan house in Missouri are what inspired them to build it again over 100 years later in Garland, Nebraska:
Here’s a photo of the original house that was built with those plans in the 1880s, taken in 2009:
At the time it was on the market for $175,000, and it was in pretty bad shape. Here are some of the interior photos from that listing:
The house cost $7,500 to build in the 1800s and boasted central heating in addition to fireplaces.
I haven’t been able to find out what happened to it since it was on the market 4 years ago. I hope it has new owners who are taking care of it. If anyone knows, fill us in. I was happy to see some of the original details were still intact, including the gorgeous old fireplaces:
The house is discussed in the book American Architecture by Leland M. Roth as a classic example of the Queen Anne style.
Here’s another original illustration of the house from Scientific American Architects and Builders Edition dated July 1887 (or “vivid chromolithograph plate” as they called it) that shows the porte-cochère for the homeowners’ horse and carriage:
Back to the couple in Nebraska, who explain that they bought 60 acres of land for their new-old Victorian: “We chose this specific section for its rolling hills, its mature trees, and its proximity to Lincoln, Nebraska, the community that we have been a part of for the past twenty years.” Then they set out to build their dream house on it. Here’s how it turned out:
Wow. Their version cost a lot more than $7,500 to build in 2002, as you can imagine. They list all the construction costs in detail on their website. Dreams like this don’t come cheap!
The old book they found in an antique store included floor plans for the house and some basic dimensions to go by: “We were committed to building this ‘New-Old house’ in an authentic manner, true to the original, and not just an exterior cosmetic treatment.”
“On the inside, we also followed the original floor plan, adding just enough to make it more liveable for 21st-century people.”
They eliminated the back stairs intended for a live-in servant in the 1880s, and they added a second full bath on the second floor, a main floor powder room, and a laundry room. However, they add, “This did not change the original floor plan as much as one would think.”
The original Victorian, which is listed on Kansas City’s Historical Registry, had 5 bedrooms and 1 bath, with about 3,000 square feet. This one also has 3,000 square feet, but with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.
They were able to source some authentic Victorian-era wallpaper patterns for the house.
I love the cheerful blue and white tile flooring in the bathroom:
The original house didn’t have these kinds of views, that’s for sure:
One of my favorite features is this second-story covered porch:
“For years, we have enjoyed touring authentic museum houses, studying the interior and exterior details,” the owners say on their website.
“Executing the construction from old drawings to completion was a daunting task. But we believe the final results will stand as a tribute to the Victorian era, even though it was built at the turn of the 20th century, not the 19th century.”
Now they’re selling their new-old Victorian, and it’s on the market for $695,000. Visit the Castle Victorian website and the listing by David Kaseman at RE/MAX for more info and photos (taken by Don Farrall of Light-Works Studio).
When I first told you about this house back in 2010, I asked, “If you could build any new house from old plans, what would it be?” At the time I said I thought it would be fun to recreate (or at least see someone else recreate) this one. Today I’m thinking a simple “Victorian cottage” would suffice. Ha.