One Dollar House: 100-year-old Craftsman in Joplin, MO


The St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Joplin, Missouri has a great offer for you:   A brick, circa 1908, Craftsman bungalow for just $1.  Yes, one dollar.  Of course, the catch is that you have to move the property to another location.  This historic property, which is located at 728 S. Byers Avenue, appears to be in terrific shape and retains many original architectural details (see photo below), including lots of rich woodwork, as is common for Craftsman-era homes.  Yet if someone does not rescue the house, the church says they will dismantle the house for parts & then bulldoze it to make room for a parking lot or church expansion.  They say that they cannot afford to pay for the necessary upkeep of the 100 year old home.


The house is believed to have been built around 1908 by Marion Staples, a businessman & politician who had moved from Belfast, Maine during the 19th century.  If the house does date to 1908, it would have been one of the earlier examples of Craftsman bungalows, which became extremely popular during the 1910s and 1920s throughout the United States.

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However, it was probably on the “cutting edge” of style in its day, and it looks from the photos to have even more elaborate trimwork than the later, more simple versions that were built during the ensuing decades (for example, see the wide crown moldings, exposed beamwork in the front room, & stylish doors in the above photo).  However, the time left to save the house intact appears to be waning quickly:  The church’s website displays some of the individual architectural elements & fixtures that are being offered in an auction format as they prepare to “part out” the house, which is pretty sad.


The entire house appears to we well worth saving intact . . . even if the cost to move the brick structure have been estimated at $40,000 to $50,000.  But for $50,001 — who wouldn’t want to own such a beautiful & original historic property?  For more information, please contact Steve LeMaster at the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Joplin as soon as possible.  To see the full slideshow & the interview from the Joplin Globe, click here.


  1. by Jameelah Oglesby, on 03.13.09 @ 10:24 PM


    I am interested in this house and would like to know more details, on this beautiful home.

    Thank you

    Mr. LeMaster.

  2. by skylar, on 05.27.12 @ 11:05 AM


    is this house still for sale i am in joplin ,MO

  3. by Michael, on 05.27.12 @ 12:22 PM


    @Skylar….I wish I knew! You can contact the church, link above, but I’m guessing it’s gone by now. I’d really be curious to know its fate, so let me know if you find out!

  4. by Dawn, on 05.27.12 @ 8:50 PM


    Is the home still for sale? I do not know how old this website is. Thank you for your time.

  5. by Dawn, on 05.27.12 @ 8:52 PM


    Wow I just looked and the first posting was in 2009 so I am guessing it is gone.

  6. by sheri, on 10.26.12 @ 3:33 AM


    Is the house still available?

  7. by Michael, on 10.28.12 @ 9:42 AM


    I don’t think so, Sheri. I looked for it a couple months ago and couldn’t find it. This article was written before the devastating tornado that hit Joplin a couple years ago, so I’ve wondered often about whether it survived!

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