Buyers plan to ‘totally renovate’ Carter House

Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The historic Henry Clay Carter House could soon have a new owner.

At its March meeting, City Council accepted Mindy and William Carr’s cash offer to purchase the house for $50,000. There are still some legal requirements to address before the sale is formally completed. The property will need to be advertised for a 10-day upset bid period, during which other parties can place higher bids on the property. Each time a bid is placed, the 10-day cycle will reset.

City Council was set to vote Wednesday morning on a resolution to advertise the property and begin the upset bid process.

Built in the 1930s, the Carter House is a mix of Tudor, Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles. It is located at 415 W. Second St., next to Brown Library. The city has owned the house since 2015; the future of the property has been debated since then.

“This is the first time we have a serious buyer, and fortunately these people are very interested,” Councilwoman Virgina Finnerty said.

In making the motion to accept the offer, Finnerty added that the sale should be contingent on two stipulations: the house should never be torn down, and the city should have first right of refusal if the Carrs decide to sell the house.

Before City Council voted to approve the sale, local realtor Scott Campbell presented his assessment of the property.

“The Carter House’s value at $50,000 is right on,” Campbell said. “The location adjustment, West Main Street and West Second Street being more residential, being more surrounded by residential properties, has a little more value. And also, it has twice the size of the lots.

“I think $50,000 is a perfectly reasonable figure. If I were the listing agent of 415 W. Second St., I would say that that’s fair market value. If I were the buyer of 415 W. Second St., I would say that I’m buying it at fair market value.”

Don Stroud, president of the Washington Area Historic Foundation, agreed with City Council accepting the offer.

“By selling this contributing structure, we would preserve the streetscape, and what is the only anchor to that corner,” Stroud said.

Stroud mentioned that the Carter House is one of just a few brick homes in the historic district, and the home also has a unique style.

Speaking to City Council in February, Mindy Carr shared some of the plans she had in mind for the Carter House.  Carr said she and her husband would like to renovate the home and eventually retire in it. They currently reside in Washington Park.

Carr says she has a degree in housing and architecture.

“The first thing is, to keep it as a structure, it needs a steel beam in the basement,” Carr said. “And what we would do is totally renovate the house, so that when you were to buy it, it would be a beautiful house again from Cecil B. DeMille’s grandparents.”