Favorite Houses: 512 Exchange

Around the block from the Cross House is 512 Exchange, built in 1900.

My realtor, Lacie, contacted me. “Ross, have you seen 512?”

I rushed right over.



On the first-floor is a spacious entry hall, living room, dining room, butler’s pantry, kitchen, and sunporch.

Half-flight down is a half-bath.

Full basement. There is a stall shower.

The second-floor has four bedrooms and one bath. There is access to a rear roof deck.

The attic is finished as one huge room.



The exterior is lovely. The paint is new, as is the roof.

The house is in foreclosure, and a fabulous buy at $60K!

I was not prepared for the interior. I LOVED IT! The interior is rich with unpainted trim and doors and cabinets, and in excellent condition. All looks almost new.

There are pockets doors (which slide beautifully!)!

There is a butler’s pantry with original cabinets!

There are gorgeous columns!!!!!

There are wonderful, quirky details! I love quirky details!

And the basement! Oh my! It may be the best basement I have ever been in. It is SOLID, and all the walls are brick, even the interior walls are thick brick. This explains why all the doors upstairs open/close perfectly, and why there are NO cracks in the walls. The whole house radiates a well-built quality. I cannot emphasize this aspect enough.

Updated electrical.

Radiator heat (my fav) and central air (thank God).



The kitchen could use some freshening. Same for the main bath.

The second floor has wall-to-wall carpeting, and with padding under. And all this reeks of cat urine! In my experience, getting rid of the carpet/padding will largely fix the problem.

The exterior shingles will need to be, at some point, replaced. This is not a difficult job for a handy homeowner, and could be spread out over many years.



512 Exchange, Emporia, Kansas



I love the attic window and the X sashes. The middle one is missing, and I hope it is stored in the house somewhere.



Note the diamond window?



Note another diamond window?



Front porch.





The screen door is vintage but not original and thus not tall enough. I would remove it, and the piece of wood above with the house numbers. Why? Because…



…the front door is all beveled glass, and this would sparkle as you walk up to it.



You walk into the entry and gasp! Note beveled mirrored door.



Just stunning. Imagine how much this would cost to replicate today!



Then, you turn to the right, and gasp again! I am freakin’ out man!



Ooh la la!



All the interior trim is in incredible condition. There is no alligatored varnish. STUNNING!


Original hardware throughout.

Original hardware throughout.



Living room, looking back to entry.



Living room. The room would improve upon acquaintance minus the paper.



Sliding doors to dining room.



Leaded glass doors. They slide. Beautifully.



There is a name for this kind of brick. Beautiful. Original hearth tiles.



Me. Love. Floor.



Images cannot capture the special quality of the dining room. It is a lovely.



Two windows are thoughtfully placed up high to make room for a sideboard.



Another. Me. Love.



Butler’s pantry! The cabinets are original. The hardware and counter are not.



The kitchen has two wonderful windows, a glass door to a porch, and has a perfect triangle layout (stove/fridge/sink). It is not large but would be very easy to work in. New counters would do wonders for the room. Love that floor!



This is not just any ol’ back porch. This is a untouched, wholly original porch from 1900! Zounds! You NEVER see this.



Even the ceiling light is likely original!



Sweet garage. New roof.



There is servant’s half-stair off the kitchen, which has a delightful shock: an incredible diamond window!!!!!



Back in the entry hall, and headed up the stairs. Note the diamond window through the door. The servant’s half stair opens to this landing.



So yummy.



The stair open to an expansive hall, filled with light. This gracious feature is SO much nicer than opening onto a dark, narrow hall.



The four bedrooms all look like this. Note unpainted trim!!!!!



One bedroom closet has another diamond window!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would never leave this closet!



One bedroom has a door to the roof of the back porch. The roofing is new, but there is no railing. A project!



The main bath is, mostly, original. I would install classic subway tiles on the lower walls, and find a pedestal sink. Oh, and a white octagon tile floor is needed! STAT!



Original medicine cabinet. How sweet would period-correct sconces look!



Original tub. Toilet circa-1928. Love the cute radiator.



The X windows in the attic!!!!!!!



Attic, looking to the rear…



…and to the front.



Half-bath charmingly tucked under servant’s stair, half a flight to the basement. With a  window!



The basement is extremely impressive. All the outer walls are brick, and even the interior walls are THICK brick. The brick looks like it was installed yesterday.



In the basement is the only shower in the house. It is large, and has ceramic tile walls. I would add a toilet and sink.



Updated electrical.



  1. Vicki F. on August 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    This place had me at “the columns”! This is a sweeeeet house and I guess we can chalk up another one for Emporia, KS.

  2. KellyD on August 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    It is pretty nice and only $60k?! The columns, the butler’s pantry, the medicine cabinet even the toilet is pretty cool.

    • Ross on August 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Yep, $60K! And just around the block from…ME!

  3. amyheavilin on August 5, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    SO adorable. The colonnade is wonderful. Don’t you just want to retroactively kiss everyone that DIDN’T paint woodwork like that?

    • Ross on August 5, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Oh, I am big on retroactive kissing.

  4. Becky on August 10, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Stunning! That woodwork is absolutely gorgeous. I’m staring at the 4,000 miles of painted trim in my house….

  5. Grace on September 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I LOVE this house and I could kiss Ross retroactively for posting these wonderful photos! G:-)
    (P.S. I’m back, but things look different, plus I may be under a new ID.)

  6. David Wallis on November 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    More Scamozzi Ionic columns, inside and out!

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