December 1, 2009Tuesday’s Retro Guest – 1957 Time-Capsule Camelback House
Thanks for the great post, Sara! I am so sorry this wasn’t the house for you, but don’t worry. There is always another house around the corner!
As some of you may know, Mike and I have been searching for a time capsule house around the Phoenix area – but with no luck so far. It seems like a lot of the 50s/60s houses have been renovated to the hilt with granite and travertine and stainless etc, etc….. We are hoping to find a house similar to Ruth’s (but hey, who would not want a house like hers – right???) but everything has just been wrong so far. This house is one Mike and I were interested in, but we could not afford the house, and the repairs it needed too. You see, this house is in a highly desired area of downtown Phoenix that backs up to Camelback Mountain, and all of the houses are on huge lots – between 1 and 2 acres. Most all of the houses in this area were custom or semi-custom homes built in the 1950s and 1960s. What has been happening in this area, for the past 10-15 years, is all the older houses have been getting demolished and they are building new HUGE stucco mansion houses on the lots. So, essentially people are buying the older houses for the lot only and destroying the charm and character of the old neighborhood. This house was to be demoed as well, and you can see from the pics they had started with ripping out most all the floors. I looked at this house from a satellite map view and they had also ripped out every tree on the lot, you can see from the pics there is not one tree or shrub in view (the satellite map view showed tons of trees 1-2 years ago) . Anyway, the people who bought this house actually bought it for a million dollars – AS A TEAR DOWN, when the Phoenix housing market was super hot. Well, the housing market here is horrible now and the house was lost in foreclosure. The asking price was $490,000 for the house and it sold for $388,000 at the bank auction. This house was still be promoted as a tear down, even at $490,000 – in the real estate listing it said, “Huge lot with home needing some TLC or tear down and build your own dream home!” This house is a really cool house, with a lot of neat original features – but there was also so much work it needed. Namely the roof, it was wood shake shingle – AND totally original. The roof was practically falling off the house – seriously. There was also a lot of damage to all the wood on the house under the roof – wood that was falling apart and such. There were also broken windows and other things as well. I am guessing it probably needed $100,000 of repair to make it safe and livable. So, even at $388,000 we could not have afforded the house. I just REALLY, REALLY hope whoever bought the house does not tear it down, but repairs it and saves it for the future. Hey, a girl can dream right? 🙂 This house was built in 1957 and had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and was 3200 sq. feet. It was on approx. 1.5 acres.
The house had 2 really cool fireplaces. This fireplace was in the family room area, and what is not shown in this picture is all of the really great wood paneling that was directly opposite the fireplace. It was really cool looking with cute little scallops at the top.
The other fireplace was in the front of the house, the more formal living room area, and was this really cool cut flagstone. It looks like the fireplace has NEVER been used.
The kitchen had been repainted gray and white at some point, which is such a shame because the wood was beautiful. You can see one of the cabinet doors was left open and the wood color on the inside. I LOVE that Copper color Vent-A-Hood, and the push button stove top is killer. I wonder what the original oven was?
This bathroom had the original vanity, but I am sure that is a new toilet. I think that could be a Crane Criterion sink. Yummy!
This pink bathroom is so cute. I love the pink and chrome leg sink, and you can see the house retains the cool original vent covers.
This last shot of the bedroom shows 2 more of the original vent covers in the wall. I think originally these were chrome or stainless steel, so probably all of the vents in this house were repainted at one time. I still think they are so very cool!
The Camelback house is a really great old house, I just hope it has found new owners who can appreciate it like we all can!