Old kid on the block
You've probably seen the McMahon House, even if you don't know it by name. The yellow two-story home has sat vacant in the heart of downtown for about 30 years, at 310 Convention St., behind the City Club of Baton Rouge.
“It would certainly be the last Victorian house in the Central Business District,” says Darryl Gissel of Oak Real Estate, who represents the owners of 5,561-square-foot home, which was built in 1905 and is priced at $700,000.
Carolyn Bennett, executive director of The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, says there used to be many houses like the McMahon House in the downtown area, but they were either demolished or moved out to the suburbs.
“So that's a real treasure,” she says.
The heirs of the McMahon estate, who declined to be interviewed, renovated the exterior of the home and added a new roof, Gissel says. The interior is not renovated, but the home is hermetically sealed.
It was put on the market about a year ago, about a year after R. Russell McMahon died, Gissel says. But McMahon had moved out of the home in the 1980s—Gissel is unsure of the exact year—and refrained from selling it.
“He just didn't let anything go,” Gissel says.
A doctor named J.R. Fridge reportedly built the house, which was a residence and doctor's office at one time. The house later came under the ownership of the McMahon family after Fridge's daughter married Rhett McMahon, who was also a doctor, Gissel says.
The home is eligible for state tax credits as a historic home and is potentially eligible for federal tax credits under the National Register of Historic Places, Oak Real Estate says.
“The architecture is just amazing,” he says.
Oak Real Estate also says the house is zoned for mixed-use, including for potential development as a restaurant, office, retail, nightclub, tavern or bar. The home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, sleeping porches, a butler room, and a doctor's office on the west side, replete with waiting room and examination room. The 9,800-square-foot lot it sits on includes a carriage house-style garage in the rear.
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