The house at 907 Jackson Street (the southeast corner of Jackson and Buchanan) is another of West End's small Victorian houses built in the early 20th century, characterized by a generous front porch and sawnwork details.
I noticed a few months ago that the house had been foreclosed upon, and it went on the market for $37,000. It was bought fairly quickly, and I watched over the summer for signs that it might be gutted/vinylized. As work started on the house, I was optimistic, as it looked like they were taking pains to preserve the detail.
907 Jackson in August, 2006.
And they appear to have done a fine job with the restoration of the house (although it never would have had a railing like this, particularly unpainted.)
It's now back on the market for a pretty astounding $149,000. Considering that a house twice this size around the corner sat on the market for nearly a year at about that price, I don't think they'll get it.
Update: The property sold after ~3 weeks on the market.
The single-story, late-Queen Anne-style was a speculative house and later the long-time home of the Louis and Anna Dixon family; the Dixon’s daughter, Clarice, also owned the house. It is a common dwelling style and type built in Durham—and across North Carolina—in the earliest years of the twentieth century. The front-facing gable and the gabled wing that extends to the side are common elements of the form, while the sawnwork brackets, cutaway bay, and decorative shingles in the gable are characteristic of the Queen Anne style.
Landowners in the area south of today’s Durham Freeway and west of S. Duke Street sold house parcels as early as the 1880s, kicking off development of what would become the Morehead Hill neighborhood. Speculative development was not uncommon, but the pace of development was slow until the early twentieth century. Gaston Vickers, who owned a farm along S. Duke Street, built several rental houses in the early twentieth century and also sold vacant lots to investors. J. O. Lundsford and W. J. Christian bought the parcel at the southeast corner of today’s Jackson Street and Buchannan Boulevard in 1904. The dwelling they erected is a typical spec house for the time.
John W. Davis and wife Katie are the first known occupants. They were living in the house by 1907 and purchased it from Lundsford & Christian in 1909. Davis was a cashier at the Seaboard Air Line Railroad depot on Dillard Street. The Davis’s children Margie and James were likely born while John and Katie lived in the house.
In 1918, they sold the house to Louis A. and Anna Dixon and Louis’s brother David W. Dixon. The brothers owned an eponymous grocery just four blocks away on W. Chapel Hill Street near today’s bridge over the Durham Freeway. Louis and Anna lived in the house and raised their two children, Clarice and Thomas. In 1930, according to the census, their children were teenagers and the house value was $4,000. After Louis’s death in 1947, his Clarice, in her early-thirties, and her husband J. Albert Taylor lived in the house until 1960.
A succession of shorter-term owners followed. The house eventually went into foreclosure in 2006. A local real estate investor purchased and renovated the house and sold it to an urban planner and his wife, who were looking for an older house in a bike-able neighborhood. They sold the house in 2010 to the current owners.
Vernacular Queen Anne-style cottages with the gable front-and-wing form seen here were commonly built in Morehead Hill and the West End—as well as in the mill towns that surrounded downtown—in the early years of the twentieth century. A few architectural details add elegance to the otherwise simple dwelling. Cutaway corners distinguish the projecting front wing, as do the decorative shingles in the gable and sawnwork brackets at the cutaway corners. The huge, original windows have two-over-two sash and molded hoods. A hip-roofed porch extends across the side wing and wraps around its side.
Changes in the twentieth century include a rear extension and the replacement of original porch posts and railings. The current battered posts on brick piers are a typical Craftsman-style element that was popular on bungalows but also a common upgrade to older houses in the 1920s. The porch went without a railing for decades; the current rail was installed in the 2006 renovation. That renovation also replaced much of the siding that wasn’t sheltered by the porch and updated interior spaces, but many original details and materials remain.
Inside, the gracious floor plan has a wide center hall and commodious rooms with 10-foot high ceilings. The flooring is heart pine, the ceilings are beadboard, and window and door trim have bulls-eye cornerblocks as well as unusual cornerblocks with incised cross marks (some are replacements). The three-sided bay that forms the front wall of the very pleasant living room offers an expansive view of the neighborhood to the north. The back deck, meanwhile, overlooks much of the streetscape behind the house, thanks to the change in elevation as Arnette Street extends to the south.