The ‘journey’ of restoring a Victorian home in the MWS

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Northside Counts! 2020 Census

By Alyse Horn

Alan Jones has seen a lot change in the Northside since he moved here in 1981, living first on Perrysville Avenue and then to the Mexican War Streets in 1999.

When he bought his house in the MWS it had been abandoned for 12 years.  Built in 1871, Jones said he paid $13,000 for his home.

“The owners just wanted to get rid of it,” Jones said. “I was probably one of the last people to get a house for really cheap [in the neighborhood].”

It wasn’t until after 2000 that Jones said he started noticing an influx of interest in the neighborhood. Before then, when he first moved in, it seemed like the homes were hard to sell and there were many on his street and the surrounding streets that were boarded up.

Within 10 years, he said many of the homes in the neighborhood had been completely renovated and “saved,” which sits well with Jones. He has a love for history and restoring homes.

After purchasing his home, he had to deal with many repairs, like replacing the waterline, a leaking roof, stolen fireplace mantles and the staircase post that were both built with the house.

“It’s been a journey,” Jones said.

With his love for the Victorian era and antiques, Jones has recreated what the house would have looked like 100 years ago.

“It’s almost like a time capsule,” Jones said. “If the original owners were to come back and see the house they would know it was their house.”

When Jones lived on Perrysville Avenue he also lived in a Victorian styled home. The history and architecture of the Northside is what drew him here in 1981.

“It has a lot of charm,” Jones said. “There is camaraderie among a lot of the people here. It is a nice area to live in.”

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