Clatsop County Historical Society Tour of Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Announced

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Clatsop County Historical Society hosts an “Astoria Historic Home Tour” of  the “Other” Flavel House.

Astoria, OR, July 22, 2016:   The Clatsop County Historical Society (CCHS), with the generous sponsorship of
City Lumber Company, is proud to present a special tour of the “Other” Flavel House, the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home at 627 15th Street on Regatta Sunday, August 14th, 10:00 am–4:00 pm.

Greg Newenhof, the owner of the “Other” Flavel House and co-owner of City Lumber Company, has offered us an incredible opportunity: visit his house to see the progress he has made since purchasing the home a year ago. (Though he cautions that he still has years of work ahead!).

People have waited YEARS to tour this house, and Greg has had people constantly asking to see the inside of the home. He decided to let CCHS organize a fundraising event for the Society’s benefit and offer the first look to the public. We thank him for his generosity and friendship.

The house was built in 1901 by Captain George Conrad Flavel, the son of Captain George Flavel. Like his father’s home (now the Flavel House Museum), the Captain George Conrad Flavel home is an amazing piece of Astoria’s history. Greg is well on his way to bringing it back to life.

The event is generously sponsored by City Lumber Company.

Purchase tickets in advance and avoid the long lines the day of open house. Tickets are available NOW only at the Flavel Carriage House Visitor Center, 714 Exchange Street. Tickets are $10 for Clatsop County Historical Society Members and $25 for non-members.

Memberships start at just $35 for individuals and $55 for a family. Members get discounts on events like this, free admission to the Historical Society museums, a subscription to Cumtux, and discounts in the CCHS gift shops.

For more information about this event or other Clatsop County Historical Society activities, please call 503-325-2203 or e-mail: cchs@cumtux.org.

Clatsop County Historical Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Clatsop County Oregon and the surrounding area. The Society operates the Flavel House Museum, the Heritage Museum, the Oregon Film Museum, and the Uppertown Firefighters Museum.

 

One Year Recap

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Greg was lamenting the fact that he didn’t get very much done the first year he owned the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home. So we sat down and made a list of the things he has accomplished.

In no particular order, and probably missing several things:

  • Attic and basement cleaned out.
  • New cedar roof and stainless gutters
  • Porch roofs coated
  • Crown/cornice molding for frieze band board (exterior trim) ordered and installed
  • Restored chimneys
  • New water service
  • New electrical service
  • New furnace
  • New sewer connection
  • New front steps stair jacks in place, waiting for a few more projects to be finished before the steps are installed
  • New concrete poured for the sidewalk where underground utilities were put in.
  • Repaired and re-glazed windows
  • Front door, sidelight, and dining room leaded glass windows restored
  • Over a dozen front porch balusters milled out and installed.
  • Put up Christmas lights and a tree
  • Light fixtures are being restored
  • 2 Second story leaded glass window sash ordered, and leaded glass inserts being built
  • Living room sash ordered
  • 3 Attic diamond light sash ordered
  • Rough in wiring completed on second floor
  • Wiring to first floor lights in process, almost complete
  • Wooden floor cold air return ordered
  • Wood now in stock to repair front door, which should be repaired in next month or so
  • Paneling uncovered in 2nd floor bathroom and kitchen
  • Antique Claw foot tub acquired
  • Plumbing repair work to second floor bathroom and bedroom vanities to start soon
  • Repairs to exterior siding on west and south walls started
  • Lawn mowed
  • Sheetrock to be installed on second floor ceiling to replace water damaged plaster

On the negative side, the house has been broken into twice, with minor damage and some property loss.

Greg found a couple of people in the kitchen one day. They came in through the closed door just to take a look around. When told the house was private property, they replied “the steps looked safe, and we are tourists”. They were asked to leave.

An interesting afternoon was spent getting a transient and his property off the front porch.

And the almost everyday problem of people ignoring the Private Property and No Trespassing signs to walk up to and around the house. This is a safety and liability problem. Please do not go on the property without permission.

And when can you get permission? Perhaps as soon as August. The Clatsop County Historical Society will host a fundraising event at Greg’s Captain George Conrad Flavel home. More details and dates to be announced soon.

National Register of Historic Places Application

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North and East Elevation of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Photograph by Andrew Cier for the National Register of Historic Places Application

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North and West Elevation of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Photograph by Andrew Cier for the National Register of Historic Places Application

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Living room of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home at Christmas Photographer Unknown The Piano is at the Clatsop County Historical Society The Painting is at the Columbia River Maritime Musuem

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1950’s picture of Flavel family members and friends in the Living Room of the Captain George Conrad Flavel home. Photographer unknown

Back in 1986, the Captain George Conrad Flavel home was put on the National Register of Historic Places.  Roger Tetlow, acting as a contractor for the City of Astoria, filled out the paper work that was submitted to the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service.  The form can be found online at http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Text/86001222.pdf

In addition to the Application, several pictures were submitted.  Several were by Andrew Cier, a local photographer.  The pictures can be found online, but just don’t be in a hurry to see them, they load very slowly.   http://focus.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/NRHP/Photos/86001222.pdf

 

Greg Inspects another Mansion

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Greg is often asked if the Captain George Conrad Flavel home is haunted.  It doesn’t seem to be, but you just never know.  Greg recently went down to Southern California to inspect another mansion that just might be haunted.

Just Found—Pictures of the Garage

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Front of Captain George Conrad Flavel Home Mid 1990’s Photo by John Goodenberger

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Front of Captain George Conrad Flavel Garage Mid 1990’s Photo by John Goodenberger

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North Side of Captain George Conrad Flavel Garage Mid 1990’s Photo by John Goodenberger

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Remains of Captain George Conrad Flavel Garage June 2015

All that is left of the garage at the Captain George Conrad Flavel home is a pile of rotted boards. Parts of the garage was still standing after the City of Astoria cleaned up the property in 2012, but vegetation grew up again and claimed the last standing walls of the garage. A few recognizable pieces could be found, but there weren’t enough clues to put together the style and look of the garage.
Greg has spent the last year looking for pictures of the garage so he could rebuild it. Local Architectural Historian John Goodenberger looked through his files, and came across some pictures he took from the mid to late 1990’s. These are the first pictures we’ve seen of the garage, and will help Greg make sense of the rotted pile of boards when he rebuilds the garage, hopefully next year.

October 20, 2015 Update

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There was more work being done at the Captain George Conrad Flavel house today. The sewer line is finally getting hooked up today, and the masons are finishing up what they called their “chimney of a lifetime.” The roofers should finish this week as well, so Greg will start on his next batch of projects.  Look for stairs on the outside, and furnace on the inside to start happening soon.

September 2015, Roofing and Chimney work

It’s an exciting day at the Captain George Conrad Flavel house. The masons are finishing up the front chimney, and the roofers showed up to replace the roof.  Greg is up on the roof of the front porch (no, it is not a balcony, there are no doors leading to it) scratching his head in disbelief that the roofer has shown up.

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1915 Picture of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home

1920's Picture of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home

1915 Picture of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home

Greg has spent a lot of time gathering pictures of the Captain George Conrad Flavel Home. This picture, from about 1915 we think, is courtesy of the Clatsop County Historical Society.

It’s interesting to see that the trim is a different color than the body of the house.  You can see the Rosebriar, the former nunnery for St. Mary’s church, in the background.  And eagle eyed viewers will notice that a window is missing.  Somewhere along the way, the house was remodeled to add a bathroom to the master boudoir.  A window was added to the bathroom, on the second floor.

Daily Astorian Article – May 21, 2015

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City Lumber owner to take on historic, dilapidated Flavel home
By Derrick DePledge

The Daily Astorian
Published: May 21, 2015 2:52PM
Last changed: May 22, 2015 10:53AM

City Lumber owner agrees to pay $221,901 for historic 15th Street property

The Flavel home, a historic but neglected relic of Astoria, finally has a new owner.

Greg Newenhof, who with his brother, Jeff, owns City Lumber Company, has agreed to pay $221,901 in cash for the long vacant mansion at 15th Street and Franklin Avenue.

“I plan to fix it up and move into the house,” Greg Newenhof said Thursday evening.

Newenhof, who lives two blocks away on 17th Street and frequently walks and drives by the Flavel home, said he helped a conservator work on the property when she was preparing for the sale.

“I’ve always just enjoyed that look to the house and thought, ‘Wow, neat house,’” he said.

Asked how long it might take him to restore the old home, which was purchased “as is,” Newenhof chuckled. “Probably the rest of my life,” he said.

A conservator for the elderly Mary Louise Flavel — the granddaughter of Capt. George Conrad Flavel — had agreed in December to sell the family home to help end a contentious saga with the city over code violations.

The four-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 4,644-square-foot home at 627 15th St. has been vacant since 1990. Built in 1901, the 2 1/2 story Colonial Revival-style home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

But the deteriorating property has been considered a blight on a city that prides itself on historic preservation and where, several blocks to the west, the magnificently preserved Flavel House Museum is a popular tourist draw.

The museum was the Queen Anne-style home of Capt. George Flavel, the legendary Columbia River bar pilot. The home on 15th Street was built for Flavel’s son, George Conrad Flavel, who was also a captain.

The two Flavel homes reflect both the aspiration and the challenge of preserving Astoria’s past.

The deal

The sale agreement, according to documents prepared for Washington County Circuit Court, authorizes Mary Louise Flavel’s conservator to use sale proceeds to cover unpaid and delinquent taxes on the home and pay the city $20,000 toward resolving judgments against Flavel.

The conservator, Caroline Evans of Portland, is also authorized to pay property taxes for two Flavel properties on Commercial Street.

In December, the Astoria City Council approved an agreement with Evans on the sale of the home and the Flavel properties on Commercial Street, the heart of the downtown business corridor.

The city agreed to forgo collecting the full amount of liens against Flavel, while the conservator pledged to pay the city $40,000 — $20,000 after the sale of the home and $10,000 after each commercial property is sold.

Evans had set the minimum bid for the Flavel home at $180,000.

“Having owned the lumber store, they would be the perfect people to buy the house as far as I’m concerned,” Blair Henningsgaard, the Astoria city attorney, said of Newenhof.

The city credited a derelict building ordinance adopted in 2011 for providing the tools needed to corner negligent property owners.

The city obtained an abatement warrant for the Flavel home in 2012 and essentially took control of the ramshackle property. But Mary Louise Flavel herself had eluded city officials for years. “I don’t want Astoria to know where I am,” she told a reporter for The Daily Astorian who spdoke with her at her Portland-area home in 2012.