The distinctive red-brick house that has sat abandoned on Palm Avenue, just north of Sierra Avenue, for more than two decades is back on the market.
Owner Linda East, who has tried several times over the years to renovate the property into offices, wants to sell it, said Craig Capriotti, of Fortune Associates in Fresno who is handling the sale of the property.
It was a farmhouse, so to bring it up to code with handicap access, air conditioning and energy saving features "is just more expensive to do than we can rent it for or are willing to spend” on it, Capriotti said.
The nearly 4,000-square-foot English Revival-style house was designed by architect W.D. Coates whose other projects included Fresno High School. The house was built in 1927 for Frank J. and June Craycroft using bricks made in the family’s brick-making plant.
Frank Craycroft’s father, C.J. Craycroft, started Fresno’s first brick-making plant in 1887. The bricks have been used in various Fresno buildings including Manchester Center, the Fresno State student union, the Fresno Water Tower, and part of Community Regional Medical Center.
The two-story Craycroft home and carriage house once sat among a rose garden and 80 acres of fig trees. Now, it is surrounded by neat apartment buildings and small offices.
The brick and mortar is deteriorating and the windows are boarded up. The property has also fallen victim to vandals over the years. There were numerous break-ins and the “inside is just torched with graffiti,” Capriotti said.
Ideally the house would be demolished and a new building constructed in its place, Capriotti said.
Demolition is a possibility if the owner can show that the property is no longer economically viable, said Karana Hattersley-Drayton, the city’s historic preservation project manager.
“Sometimes buildings get to the point where you can’t save them or they are dangerous,” Hattersley-Drayton said.
The house is listed on the city’s Local Register of Historic Resources. The historic preservation committee and the local historical society are helping the owner market the property to buyers who may want to keep the home.
The house is being sold for $409,750.