Friday, August 03, 2007

Walk to Town and Bay

August 3, 2007

Walking distance to downtown Fairhope and the bay! Beautifully landscaped yard with stone walkways will lead you to the front door of this enchanting 1916 cottage. Tastefully renovated, yet has lost none of its original charm.

All of the above is in the description from the flyer created by my realtor for my house. Rhapsodic realtor language, you'll notice, but all true. And there's more. The 1,926-square foot cottage sits on a double lot so there's room for your pets and children to romp before strolling with you to the nearby ice cream shop, or down to the bluff to greet the statue of Marietta Johnson and watch the waves on the bay.

It's a well-built old house (old for Fairhope, that is: built in 1916) with sturdy walls and heart-pine floors that don't creak. It was the cat's meow in its day, an airplane bungalow with two small bedrooms upstairs and a charming one downstairs. There is a spacious front porch from which to watch your neighbors jog by in the morning while sipping your coffee and reading the Swampscum Daily Ooze, the local nickname for Mobile's newspaper. People drop by to ask your opinion on stuff or to comment on local situations, political or otherwise.

Walking back inside is like receiving a warm hug from the past.There is a huge fireplace and beadboad ceiling in the 14 x 28 living room. There are the original Craftsman details and built-ins -- along with moldings and trim around the doors and windows, and hardwood floors throughout the house.

There is a light-filled sunporch which can be used as a dining area and is my favorite room in the house, surrounded by three walls of windows, from which you can see trees and shrubs and life in slow-paced, small-town America.
At parties, it's the area where everyone congregates. My friend Paul Gaston tells me that when he dated the Captain's daughter (the Captain built the house) in the 1940's, there was a juke box on that porch and there were teenage dance parties all the time.

It has been said the only problem with the house is that there is no master bedroom. Originally the Captain's bedroom was the whole cockpit of the airplane -- that is to say, there was only one room with a bathroom upstairs, but later that was partitioned off to make two bedrooms in the days when families of four could tolerate only one bathroom. A second bathroom could be added up there. What I used as a bedroom, with a walk of about six feet to the bathroom lovingly remodeled by yours truly is this little 11 x 14 gem on the ground floor.

Enamored as I am of the house, it is for sale by owner, as I have left the area. If making such a big cross-country move is daunting, think about living in the little town that so many think of as a storybook place, the small town U.S.A. they've always dreamed of -- Fairhope. You'll find many Internet sites describing it, and it is often cited as one of the safest retirement communities in the country. Maybe it'll be the perfect place for you.

If you want to discuss this further, contact me at:


Officious Oaf said...

If you love the cottage so much, have you thought about disassembling it and re-assembling it in Hoboken? The pitch on the roof is enough too keep most of the snow off. Thermal pane glass would let you use the sunroom in a New Jersey January and February. The bushes have to remain in Alabama, however. That has to do with New Jersey phitosanitary restrictions on vegetation coming in from foreign countries.

You say you thought about that idea and discarded it...OK, then good luck on the sale. The cottage looks like and sounds like a gem. Someone will spot it and snap it up.

Dana said...

It's beautiful. Good luck with the sale.