Downtown's 'last Victorian home' on the market
You've probably seen the McMahon House, even if you don't know it by name. The yellow two-story building has sat vacant for about 30 years in the heart of downtown, at 310 Convention St., behind the City Club of Baton Rouge.
"It would certainly be the last Victorian house in the central business district," says Darryl Gissel of Oak Real Estate, who represents the sellers of the 5,561-square-foot residence, which was built in 1905 and is priced at $700,000.
Carolyn Bennett, executive director of the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, says there used to be many houses like the McMahon House downtown but that they were either demolished or moved out to the suburbs.
"So that's a real treasure," she says.
The heirs of the McMahon estate, who declined to be interviewed for this story, renovated the exterior of the home and added a new roof, Gissel says. The interior is not renovated.
"The house is hermetically sealed," Gissel says.
It was put on the market a year ago, which was about a year after R. Russell McMahon died, Gissel says. But McMahon had moved out of the home in the 1980s—Gissel is unsure of the exact year—and refrained from selling it over the decades.
"He just didn't let anything go," Gissel says.
A doctor named J. R. Fridge reportedly built the house, and it had served as a residence and doctor's office at one time, Gissel says. The house eventually came under the ownership of the McMahon family, after Fridge's daughter married Rhett McMahon, who was also a doctor, Gissel says.
The house is eligible for state tax credits as a historic home and is potentially eligible for federal tax credits under the National Register of Historic Places, Oak Real Estate says.
"The architecture is just amazing," Gissel says.
Oak Real Estate also says the house is zoned for mixed use, including for potential development as a restaurant, office, retail, nightclub, tavern or bar. The size of the lot is more than 9,800 square feet and includes a carriage house–style garage in the rear. The residence is currently fenced off, Gissel says.
Bennett says McMahon House has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, sleeping porches and a butler's pantry, as well as a doctor's office on the west side with waiting and examination rooms.
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