Is an historic home worth more than a newer, even modern home? If you are interested in historic homes and historic preservation, then, of course(!), you probably think so. But in practical terms–meaning the actual price put on an historic house–it depends.
The factors that intertwine to comprise the value of an historic house include condition, location, use, and significance. Of these, let’s just look at the last one, significance, which can be based on events that occurred there, important people in history associated with the property, and the home’s style of architecture (These are the A, B, Cs, of the National Register of Historic Places criteria…).
The Gorham A. Worth house—currently looking for a new steward–in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Mt. Auburn is off the charts in terms of significance. Not only was it owned by a series of very prominent men starting with Mr. Worth himself, but innumerable important folks have passed through the home’s gorgeous entryway to spend time there. Even the future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enjoyed a meal there in 1920!
Like many historic gems, it was inconceivable for historic preservationists to overlook the Gorham A. Worth House–the home has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. It was recognized for its significant architecture, by far the most typical criterion (Criterion C) tapped to list buildings on the Register. The oldest, central portion of the house was built in 1819, in a version of the Federal style of architecture. About 45 years later, two Victorian-style wings were added to both ends, designed by the well-known Cincinnati architect James McLaughlin.
While it has been listed on the Register for nearly 50 years (impressive!), the home has received more recent media attention and even has its own Wikipedia page–check out these links for additional details on the home as well as anecdotes about it past owners!