I wish these before and after images were in reverse order. This is Kirkwood in Eutaw, AL, which was hit by a tornado this past January. Three homes were destroyed completely, and many more were damaged. Fortunately, there were no fatalities. The before photo was taken in 2010 by Carol M. Highsmith. I took the after photo last week.
Kirkwood was completed in 1860 and remained in the same family well into the 20th century. By the 1970s, it was in poor condition and was restored by Roy and Mary Swayze. They were awarded a National Trust Honor Award for the project in 1982. It was operated as a bed and breakfast for many years.
All historic house owners fear natural disasters, fire, and other catastrophic events that can damage or destroy a home. Repairing or rebuilding a historic home is not the same as with a new house, and having the right insurance to return your house to its pre-event state is important. If you don’t have insurance specifically for a historic house, it would be worthwhile to investigate what your insurance will and won’t pay for after a loss.
If your insurance will not repair/rebuild as it was, your statewide or local historic preservation organization may be able to help you find coverage in your state that will. Other local historic homeowners may also be a resource for finding appropriate coverage.
All aspects of home restoration are covered in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.”
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available directly from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
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