Grand Greek Revival mini-mansion in Illinois goes on sale for just £35 per square foot in spite of having been mostly renovated; it is situated within an area colonised by utopian Swedish Janssonists
A grand Greek Revival style, 4,860 square foot house in a “quaint” part of Illinois that was originally settled by Swedish colonists has gone on sale for just £173,000 or an astonishing £35 per square foot. In Chelsea Barracks, London, to give a contrast, a 713 square foot apartment is currently on the market for £3.5 million or a staggering £4,909 per square foot.
Featured on the Facebook group For The Love Of Old Houses on Monday and built in 1856 to house offices and apartments for the Bishop Hill Colony trustees, 109 West Main Street, Bishop Hill is currently used as a bed and breakfast named the The Gallery Inn, but could easily be “very simply turned into a private residence” according to realtor Justin Landwehr of Navigate Realty.
The L-shaped house, which is of stucco over brick construction, stands on an open plot of 0.26 acres and includes 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. There is also potential to create further accommodation on the “partially finished” third floor and at ground level there is a space that has been used both as a shop and apartment.
Presented in good condition but with a somewhat odd decorative style that might not appeal to all, the present business is described as “very successful.” It charges around £100 per room per night and of it, reviews are extremely positive on TripAdvisor. One suggests the property to be “peaceful with a calming effect” whilst another claims it to be “one of the best kept secrets in Illinois.”
Bishop Hill itself is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places and had an entirely white population of 128 according to the 2010 census. It is situated along the South Edwards River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, and finds itself with Chicago to the east, Des Moines to the west and St Louis to the south.
The settlement is described as having originally been “a utopian religious community which operated as a commune.” Its founder, Swedish pietist Eric Jansson (1808 – 1850), wanted to establish “the New Jerusalem” but was himself shot dead by another member in the local courthouse after prophesising about Jesus drinking in his father’s kingdom. Some followers expected him to rise on the third day, but, unsurprisingly, he did not.
The Numbers – The Gallery Inn, 109 West Main Street, Bishop Hill, Illinois, IL 61419, United States of America
- August 2020 – Relisted for sale for £173,000 ($225,000, €192,000 or درهم317,000) through Navigate Realty, an increase of +173% on the 2008 sale price.
- June 2019 – Listed for sale for £198,000 ($258,000, €219,000 or درهم948,000) through Sutton & Associates, an increase of +212.7% on the 2008 sale price.
- March 2008 – Sold for £63,400 ($82,500, €70,100 or درهم116,000).