Built in 1895, the 5,860-square-foot home, listed for $325,000, boasts many original vintage details. What’s more, there’s an area for embalming bodies in the basement.
“It was actually a funeral home that closed in 2001,” explains the listing agent, Katie Perrone. “The casket lift is still there and goes down to the basement, where they would prep the bodies. It still has that funeral-home feel when you’re in the basement.”
However, the atmosphere in the rest of the house is quite different. Original woodwork dominates the cheery interior.
“The guys that own it now actually used it for a bed-and-breakfast called the Hummingbird House,” Perrone says. “When you walk in the home, you’re welcomed by the woodwork, the fireplaces, the beautiful staircase. I think that you really get that historical feel walking into it.”
The large home was originally built for Alfred Guibord, a bank president, who died in the house in 1908. His wife loved to entertain, and used the home’s size to full advantage. Nowadays, Plattsburgh is a college town with over 5,000 students at the State University, and this grand home is a bit of an exception to the rule.
“It’s probably one of the longest-standing homes that hasn’t been turned into some kind of frat house or apartment living. It has actually been maintained and used through the years,” Perrone says.
Which isn’t to say the current owners haven’t taken advantage of its size. The home has nine bedrooms and an additional seasonal attic room. Tenants rent three of the bedrooms in the home’s northern wing, which also has a bathroom and small kitchen.
The main kitchen is in the back of the house, near the elevator. Upstairs, the master bedroom is actually a series of several rooms.
“It has pocket doors that lead to a sitting area and then a bathroom,” Perrone says.
Browsing through the listing photos, you’ll also notice an abundance of wallpaper.
“The way [the owners] decorated ties it all in,” Perrone says. “Some people say it’s hideous, but it’s gorgeous if you actually appreciate the history of a home like this.”
That history includes the funerals that happened during the more than 40 years the funeral home was in operation. Some of the bedrooms and other areas throughout the residence served as viewing rooms when the home hosted dead bodies.
Perrone says you can almost feel the spirits.
“I guess the creepiest part is if you go in the basement and you see the [embalming] room,” she says. “I keep joking I’m going to bring a spirit home with me, because it has that vibe.”
Taking the listing photos wasn’t exactly a picnic.
“The photographer that I use went down to the basement. She was so freaked out that I walked ahead of her,” Perrone explains. “She refused to go down all the way in the back the first time. The second time, I said, ‘You know obviously I want to take a photo of that room, so let’s go in there,’ On our way back up, she was walking backward, because she swore that there was something following us.”
All those vibes are part of the spirit of an old Victorian home.
“A lot of the population is so familiar with these current homes and the remodeled homes. Not a lot of people get to walk through and experience a real-life Victorian and something that actually still has all this history tied to it,” Perrone says.
Whoever buys this home will have to appreciate its history and not be afraid of a little bit of spookiness.
“It has to be somebody that isn’t looking for the contemporary sleek look. Someone who’s looking for the history and the charm and the wood and a home that’s never going to be built again. No one’s going to go and replicate this home.”
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