CAN THIS HOUSE BE SAVED? 135 12th St NW, Canton, OH

A few months ago, the fabulous Kelly, of Old House Dreams, posted this house. For $25,000. Yep. $25,000. The exterior is slathered with later siding, covering, no doubt, all kinds of beauty.


The house (left) is on a heavily commercial strip which was, obviously, a street once lined with knock-out houses, like…


…this, across the street. Now demolished. Sigh. What a beauty.


The interior of the $25K house is STUNNING.


That mantel? I gasp.


And gasp again.


I fall to the floor at the kitchen. Yes, I know MOST buyers would shriek but I see great, luscious beauty. And see the annunciator???????? OMG!!!!!!!!


There are a lot more images here.

The house haunts me. It is incredibly gorgeous inside and the exterior, restored, would no doubt be an eye-popper.

Yet it sits. Unsold. With but a price of $25K.

The location of the house, and its condition, would terrify 99.9% of buyers. I understand that. But neither issue would deter me.

The city is the county seat, which is good, but it is troubled. It has been steadily losing population since 1950s when it had a high of 117,000. Today it is 70,000. That is almost 50,000 fewer people, a whole city, meaning that 50,000 fewer people need housing since 1950. Which would account, likely, for how most of the once grand houses on 12th Street NW have vanished over the decades.

Still, the street looks good with new pavement, sidewalks, and trees. All the businesses at the nearby intersection are painted and prosperous looking. I see no boarded-up structures.

And, remember, my Cross House is on a  commercial avenue, too, and across the street from a parking lot, car wash, and liquor store.

There are, no doubt, few job opportunities in Canton. However, for a retired person/couple, or anybody with a home-based business (like me), this would not be an issue. Because of the busy street, perhaps the house would be ideal (once gorgeously restored) as an Airbnb?


Why wasn’t I born rich?

UPDATE: I was just old this: Canton just spent a metric butt ton of money on the 12th St. Corridor project repaving it, replacing bridges, widening, and all new street lighting, traffic signals, sidewalks, and plantings.



  1. Dan Goodall-Williams on February 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    You and me both Ross, why were we born poor. If we had money look at all the houses that could be saved! This has fixtures and all those mantels and wood work! Sigh.

  2. Stewart McLean on February 12, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Ross,
    -You were born rich, your riches just weren’t money.

    • Dan Goodall-Williams on February 12, 2019 at 8:03 pm


    • Bethany Otto on February 14, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      What a lovely reply.

  3. Architectural Observer on February 12, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Can this house be saved? Yes; absolutely! And the results could be spectacular! Will this house be saved? That’s an entirely different question… The realist in me says that it is unlikely that this house will be saved due to location, location, location (within a town with a declining population). And a national economy which has been shaky for well over a decade. The best hope for it right now is that someone will harness its many assets for a commercial use or that it will be moved and restored in a more residential setting.

    • Gloria on September 13, 2019 at 11:14 am

      I am getting a contract to purchase the house. I will restore it. Do you know anyone who can give me information on how to restore it?

  4. Joanna on February 12, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Ross, is the annunciator the box above the phone? I had to google what that was and I have fallen down a lovely wormhole. I had seen them, but I had never known their name or much about them. This home is such a gem. My husband and I have been looking for a home to renovate and eventually use part time as a rental, but we have our fingers crossed for Wichita.

    • Ross on February 12, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Hi, Joanna!

      The annunciator is, I believe, what kinda looks like the wall phone.

      I have no idea what the wood box above is.

  5. Chad on February 12, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Ugh, these struggling towns need to stop widening roads

  6. Dawn Rocco on February 13, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Oh my, what a beautiful place!! It’s killing me! I wish!

  7. tiffaney jewel on February 20, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    I saw this listing not long ago. If it’s still for sale next year, I may consider moving it to VA.

  8. Ethan Singree on February 22, 2019 at 8:09 am

    I live in the area and want to clarify that the other house was NOT demolished. It was being used as a antique/salvage shop with all sorts of treasures inside. Really cool place. The kind of place you would frequent. Tragically it burnt to the ground a few years ago due to a electrical fire. The salvage shop has since relocated.

  9. Tanya on March 24, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    The listing has been removed. I wonder what will happen to it now.

  10. Gloria on September 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I am contacting to buy the house for my non-profit and completely restore it. I pray that it all works out.

    • Ross on September 12, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Please stay in touch, Gloria!

      Crossing my fingers for you!

  11. dave on November 25, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    that is my dream house I would not pay what they want , but if I had it I would love to restore it and live in it and love it I would have to buy it for almost nothing , as it will take a lot to fix it back up and I could do it as I go so I can retire in it and enjoy it ,maybe figure out sponsors to help with the cost , I really really love that old house I have been watching it for a few years

    • Ross on November 25, 2019 at 10:32 pm

      Hi, Dave!

      I think the current asking price is next-to-nothing!

      The house is well worth the price, IMO.

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