REALTOR and rehabber Blake Richardson recognized the potential of Terre Haute’s Norcross-Lamb house the first time he saw it. He bought the sprawling 1860s Italianate/Queen Anne in the Farrington Grove Historic District in 2020, and now it’s the street’s crown jewel.
Everything that makes an old-house lover’s heart go pitter-patter was there, like large windows, original woodwork, glorious built-ins, 10-foot ceilings, and intact, original bathroom tiles. Richardson worked hard to keep the character and make sure the renovation didn’t make the house feel chopped up. “If woodwork was missing, we re-created it. If it didn’t work, we appropriately changed it,” he says. With more than 3,500 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, and three-and-a-half baths, Richardson and his partner had plenty of work cut out for them.
They also wanted to draw out the home’s soul. “This isn’t your normal rehab. This is one of a kind,” Richardson says. He gets a Vanderbilt vibe from the home, which inspired the dining room’s look, including an upholstered ceiling. He knows that his dramatic style isn’t for everyone, but he’s passionate about blending old and new. Every inch of the home has been carefully planned—the lattice added to the dining room walls mimics the window lattice, for instance. With era-specific door hardware and designs hand-painted on the floors, there’s nothing builder-grade or big-box-store about this home.
The once-muted exterior has been overhauled with rich, dark paint and a cheerful pop of yellow on the front door. The house used to fade into the background, but is shining once again.
For all the blood, sweat, and tears it took to get to this point, maybe a name change is in order. The Norcross-Lamb-Richardson house has a nice ring to it.
731 Center St., Terre Haute
Blake Richardson, Hanza Realty, 317-319-1663