Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mann Home Restored

Kudos to Joe and Cassie Alexander for the beautiful restoration of the Mann Home (c. 1895) at 352 Lesley Avenue.  William Mann and his wife Phoebe (sometimes spelled Phebe) lived in the home in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Mr. Mann, listed as 47 in the 1900 Federal Census, was a carpenter.  Mrs. Mann was 39 and stayed home to raise their children, Charles, Orval, Goldie, and Andia.  Lesley was called Green Avenue until the city annexed Irvington in 1902.  The Manns appear to have been the first to dwell along that avenue.  Like many large homes in Irvington, it was eventually divided into apartments.

Joe and Cassie Alexander recently purchased the home and have begun a complete renovation both inside and on the exterior.  Like many homes of our day, previous owners had sheathed the dwelling in vinyl siding.  Each generation thinks they have figured out how not to paint a home.  Vinyl, as a product, appears to have not been as durable as its older brothers, asbestos and aluminum.  Today's generation is banking on concrete fiberboard.  The verdict is still out on that product.  The Alexanders decided to remove the red vinyl siding and restore the beautiful wood clapboards hidden from view.  The result is stunning.  I can not bestow enough accolades on this couple for their part in restoring Irvington's heritage.

The Mann Home clad in red vinyl siding in the spring of 2012

The Mann Home on July 15, 2012.  The wood siding has been preserved and restored!

An inviting front porch

The Alexanders commissioned a company to build wooden storm windows.  


  1. Hello, Alexanders...if you are reading this....would you mind posting the name of your contractor and the company that did your wood windows. Thank you! Bill

  2. Our contractor was Bill Zeller from WC Zeller Restorations, his office number is 317-225-5074. Bill specializes in historic restoration and has done houses for Indiana Landmarks. He also did the Stickley House on 59 N. Hawthorne. Despite his usually expensive niche, he is incredibly affordable.

    Bill sub-contracted the storms through "Historic Window Sash". You wouldn't believe how reasonably priced custom storms cost. I believe the formula they used for pricing was height + width X $1.75. Our windows are various sizes, but a 6X2 8-light window would be 72 + 24 X $1.75 = $168.00 this may sound like a lot when you have a lot of windows, but this is something that could be done, one facade at a time--and consider that it is about the same price that aluminum windows would cost and I can guarantee that IHPC would enthusiastically approve this improvement.

  3. I looked at this house a few years ago when it was on the market. The interior needed WAY more work than I was capable of handling. Glad to see someone took on the challenge!