Sunday, July 3, 2011

Retrospective on the Fissell Home Now at 516 D (56)

1. Fissel Home at 516 D, 2011 (realtor photo)
The Victorian/Early Craftsman home now at 516 D (photo 1) is for sale. 

That fact prompts a brief retrospective on the structure’s “life and times.”

The 516 D lot is the third place the building has sat.

According to Yolo County tax archives, it was built by George T. Fissell at what was then the southwest corner of 4th & C in 1895. A mortgage of $175.00 is recorded.

2. Digging a Basement, Nov. 6, 2002
The school on that block burned down in 1919, prompting the District to buy up the entire block when it planned a new school.

The Fissell home was sold to clear the land and moved to 312 D about 1920. The rear portions of it were substantially rebuilt in the late ‘20s & early ‘30s.

It became a cast-off in a new development project in the late 1990s and was again offered up for removal. 

Ilein and Adrian Weins acquired it and, as seen in photo 2 (taken November 6, 2002), began preparing a basement and foundation at 516 D.

Showing neglect, it was moved a second time on March 7, 2003. Photo 3 shows owner Dan Dowling symbolically conveying possession to the Weins.

Photos 4 and 5 portray two other moments in the building’s trip.

3. Scene from "Moving Day," March 7, 2003
(Photos 3, 4, & 5 are from a larger set on the house-moving at:

Later in 2003, an historic preservation surveyor took the picture of the place reproduced as photo 6. As is evident, it is one thing to move a house, but it is quite another to make it a gem of a home in the way it has now become.

To understand how the Fissell home got from photo 6 to photo 1 (or even moved up D Street), it is helpful to know that Mr. Weins and his father are builders of high-end custom homes. This is another way saying that Mr. Weins knew how to and personally performed a lot of the transformation work.  JL

6. Home in place, later 2003