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The plan to restore highly visible Modesto Victorian house didn’t work out. Here’s why


Even when it fell into disrepair and became a home for squatters, the Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue in Modesto continued to draw widespread interest and hope that one day it would be restored to its former glory.

The 1901-built Queen Anne Victorian has been renovated and no longer is an eyesore, but it’s also no longer a Victorian. It has been rebuilt into a modern house. And the detached garage has been converted into a small home.

One of the Bay Area residents who bought the house in June of last year said the plan was to keep the home as a Victorian and move here to live in it.

The former 1901 Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue has been rebuilt into modern home. One of its owners said the intent was to restore home to its former glory but that was too expensive. Home is for sale and listed for $624,999 on Zillow. The price includes the former garage that has been converted into a small.The former 1901 Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue has been rebuilt into modern home. One of its owners said the intent was to restore home to its former glory but that was too expensive. Home is for sale and listed for $624,999 on Zillow. The price includes the former garage that has been converted into a small.

The former 1901 Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue has been rebuilt into modern home. One of its owners said the intent was to restore home to its former glory but that was too expensive. Home is for sale and listed for $624,999 on Zillow. The price includes the former garage that has been converted into a small.

But he said the move no longer made sense because of his and his co-owner’s changing life circumstances and the extensive damage, including dry rot to the wooden exterior, made it too expensive to keep the house as a Victorian.

“Once we started looking into it … the house was bad,” said the Bay Area man, who asked that he be identified only by his first name, Geronimo, because of the criticism on social media over how the house now looks. “… Black mold, dry rot. It was way too far gone.”

Geronimo said he completely understands why some people wish the home could have been restored to its past glory. But he said at least the house has been renovated and can be a home for a family rather than for squatters.

Fire has damaged the front of this run-down Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue in Modesto, May 19, 2023.Fire has damaged the front of this run-down Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue in Modesto, May 19, 2023.

Fire has damaged the front of this run-down Victorian at Tully Road and Orangeburg Avenue in Modesto, May 19, 2023.

The 1,610-square-foot house and its accessory dwelling unit are now for sale for $624,999 on Zillow. The main house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, while the smaller home has two bedrooms and a bathroom.

The property has been for sale for nearly a month. And as of Thursday of last week about 150 potential buyers had looked at it, according to Realtor Randy L. Thomas with The Deal Real Group at PMZ Real Estate, which represents the owners.

Thomas said at $624,999, it could take about two months for the property to sell. He said the typical single-family home of three bedrooms and two bathrooms in Modesto is selling for $450,000 to $475,000.

The Queen Anne Victorian-style home up for sale at Tully and Orangeburg in Modesto, shown here on May 19, 2023, has seen better days.The Queen Anne Victorian-style home up for sale at Tully and Orangeburg in Modesto, shown here on May 19, 2023, has seen better days.

The Queen Anne Victorian-style home up for sale at Tully and Orangeburg in Modesto, shown here on May 19, 2023, has seen better days.

Geronimo is a real estate investor, and his co-owner and longtime friend, Jezica, flips houses. A banner for her company is hanging along the house’s fence. But Geronimo said their intent was not to flip the property.

It was never a guarantee the house could be restored to its pristine past. A Realtor in a 2023 Bee story said then the house was a “borderline tear-down” because of the damage done by squatters and mounds of filth they left behind.

The home’s previous owner tried to restore it but eventually lost the home in foreclosure.

But that didn’t stop admirers from dreaming. The house is a reminder of Modesto’s agricultural past and even has its own Facebook group. The house also draws attention because its at a corner of a well-traveled, busy intersection.

For those who don’t know, Victorian architecture refers to when Queen Victoria reigned in Great Britain from 1837 to 1901, according to the website House Beautiful.

The website says Queen Anne Victorians were built in the United States from the 1880s to around 1920 and calls them the quintessential Victorian home.

An article by Architectural Digest says that in the U.S., a defining element and characteristic of Victorians is wood cladding.

House Beautiful says the homes feature asymmetrical designs, two or more stories, steeply pitched roofs, wraparound porches, octagonal towers with round pointed roofs and ornate bay windows. “In short, nothing about these homes is subtle,” says the website.

Queen Anne style Victorian on the corner of West Orangeburg and Tully Road in Modesto, Calif., in 2017.Queen Anne style Victorian on the corner of West Orangeburg and Tully Road in Modesto, Calif., in 2017.

Queen Anne style Victorian on the corner of West Orangeburg and Tully Road in Modesto, Calif., in 2017.



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