525 6th St NW


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The house at 525 6th St NW features large porches, a unique geometric porch skirt, and gingerbread trim. Constructed in the 1880s, it is one of the oldest homes in the district. The foundation of an old outbuilding, which may have been an outhouse, remains on the property. But the house has been updated over time. The front door has been moved, the former sleeping porch is now a kitchen, and the attic is a completed third floor. One of the current first-floor rooms initially served as a bedroom, so that two families could live in the home, one upstairs and one downstairs. The windows have also been replaced, as they used to be rope and pulley windows, which created trouble for residents when the ropes broke.

In 1972, Cornell Theater Professor Joe Svec bought the home at auction to renovate it before selling it to Helen and Paul Gray, a Professor of Philosophy at the college. Perhaps the only downside of acquiring the house was the difficulty in bringing items in and out of the home as only the basement window was wide enough for many appliances. At one point, the old oil burner in the basement had to be taken out by being cut into pieces and passed through the window. Neighbors, however, were on hand to help the process along.

The home's current resident, Scott Rose, spent much of his childhood in Mount Vernon, and was eager to raise his kids in small town Iowa. He prefers older developments and values the Ash Park community. He explains, "… it's tight knit, but not insular." The home exemplifies much of what makes older developments ideal neighborhoods: the trees are mature enough to shelter the homes, providing ample shade and temperature control.