One Dollar House: Italianate in South Bend


The City of South Bend, Indiana (home to the Fightin’ Irish of Notre Dame!) has established a wonderful program called the “Dollar House Program” in effort to revive some of the city’s vacant properties.  In the proces, they will save some of its historic & vintage properties, and breathe economic life into neighborhoods that need help.  The city’s website explains:

“Working in partnership with neighborhood-based Community Development Corporations the City acquires, completes selective repairs, and conveys the property to a lottery winner for $1.00.  The new owner will be provided a list of repairs, with bid specifications, that are required to be completed within a year of ownership.  The bid specifications are designed to ensure that the renovated home will be an asset to the neighborhood and community.”

indianasouthbendshedncsou011-3One of the houses to be offered through the “Dollar House Program” is this fantastic Italianate (above), “The Wenger Homestead,” which is designated a “Historic Landmark.”   Built circa 1851 as the Martin Wenger Farmhouse, this two story wood frame Italianate home is a gracious reflection of South Bend’s past.  The house is located near downtown and is in a neighborhood that is experiencing significant investment. The building was designated as a local historic landmark by the St. Joseph County / City of South Bend Historic Preservation Commission in 1979, a State of Indiana landmark in 1997, and a National Historic Register landmark in 2000. Located at 701 E. Pennsylvania, the city estimates that the rehab will cost just over $92,000.  For more information about the “Dollar House Program,” visit the City of South Bend website here.


  1. by Historic House Blog » This Old House Meets Ice Road Truckers, on 01.30.09 @ 10:36 PM


    […] have posted about one dollar houses available in South Bend, Indiana, and in Norfolk, Massachusetts. The catch is that the houses have to be moved from their present […]

  2. by Ryan, on 06.28.10 @ 1:21 AM


    That won’t be the case with this house. The City didn’t want the house to be moved, and from what I understand most potential buyers would want to move it. I’m lucky enough to be assisting with the rehab of this house, and it definitely reminds me of This Old House 🙂

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