How To Find Square Footage Of A Cottage Style Roof Historic Real Estate: Revival of the Curtis-Foster House

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Historic Real Estate: Revival of the Curtis-Foster House

Residents cheer as award-winning conservationists help restore the block’s black sheep to their original beauty. Over the past few decades, the historic Curtis-Foster House on North 6th Street in Wilmington, North Carolina has fallen into disrepair and become a street of historic houses. This stopped in late 2005 when Osprey Holdings LLC purchased the property, ending its tenure as an unauthorized, low-rent boarding house and began restoring the property to its original grandeur.

110 North 6th Street, called the Curtis-Foster House after its original owners, was built around 1865 for George Curtis and his wife, Melvina Ann Medley. The couple married on 23 November 1849 and had three children, one of whom, Katie, died of measles at the age of six on 2 February 1869. Curtis died a year later, leaving his wife in charge of the house until 1881, when he rented the property to Gertrude Foster for five dollars a month (in today’s market, such a house could rent for over $1000 a month!).

Tim O’Callaghan of Osprey Holdings LLC began work on the 5,000-square-foot home last summer. His first step was to take a sledgehammer to the walls in search of asbestos, a hazardous material used for insulation until the 1980s. To his relief, O’Callaghan found only cedar siding, a sign of solid construction.

Next up was patching and coating the original tin roof with Hydro Stop to prevent leaks, followed by restoring the windows. To re-tie, re-weigh, scrape, clean and prime just one window is a full day project. Still on the list: refinishing the original wood floors and cherry railing.

“The most exciting step is restoring the floors,” O’Callaghan said. “The whole room will be reflected in them.”

Although it is not yet finished, the reform of the Curtis Hospitality House has already had an impact on the comfort of the residents and on the commercialization of the area. Since March 2006, four homes on the block have sold for an average of $197 per square foot, a huge increase in activity and value from previous years. The Curtis-Foster home will join Wilmington’s selection of historic homes for sale in late spring.

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