January to July 2007
Restoration of the house at 119 Laporte, and subdivision of the land


A short history of the house:
(a) Early history (Principally from research by John Kovachs, a previous owner of the house)
September, 1888
Emily Buzby sells a 45’ x 185’ section of Bank Outlot #36 to Franklin T. and Hester Buzby (SBT 9/22/1888)
April, 1889
Homes under construction on West Washington, including one by Franklin T. Buzby. (SBT 4/10/1889) …address on W. Washington is 902. Franklin Buzby and his family live in the home until 1901. That is the last year that they are listed in the City Directory at that address.
1903: C.W. Stover is listed at the 902 W. Washington address
1904-05: Michael Matthews, an employee of Oliver Chilled Plow resides at the address.
1905/06: House move: J. D. Oliver decides to expand the garden area of his home located at 808 W. Washington. In order to do so, he moves the residence from 902 West Washington to 119 LaPorte Ave. The move may have taken place over the winter of 1905/06.
- 902 W. Washington is now the sunken formal garden of the History Center. -
April, 1906
New sidewalks at 119 LaPorte Ave. are poured by Thomas Bauer (giving the impression that the house is already at that location) (in SBTribune 4/12/1906)
First residents of the home at 119 LaPorte Ave. were William and Harriet Duttera. William was the first president of South Bend Heating and Plumbing. He also is credited with installing the steam heating system at the J.D. Oliver home.

(b)More recent history
About 1970: Demolition of small shops and bars on the “triangle-land” - at Laporte and West Washington - beginning of renovation of the Historic District.
About 1975: 119 Laporte bought by Bill Rhodes. He also bought the adjacent houses at 917 and 921 W.Washington. He began restoring all three houses and lived in the house at 917 W.Washington
July, 1990: South Bend City Council designates 119 LaPorte Ave. as local historical landmark.
November, 1994: Gordon and Mary move into 917 W. Washington.

(c) Owners of 119 Laporte
About 1992 - 1999: John Kovachs and family (3 daughters) - moved to New Carlisle
About 1999 - 2001: Couple - Patrick and Liza ____
About 2001 - 2005: Jeff Berndt and friends - dispossessed by his mortgage bank in August 2005.
January 2007: bought by Jim Lodwick and Gordon Berry - restoration begun in April 2007, including new roof in May 2007

The following plan shows how we have broken up the lot (#66) belonging to 119 LaPorte into 3 parts:
Our house 917 W.Washington is shown in red cross-hatch, our addition being hatched in a different direction; lot 66 becomes lot 66A
Similarly, Jim Lodwick's house at 925 W. Washington (lot 63, becoming 63A has 2 types of blue cross-hatch;
The house itself retains about 1/2 of the land, shown with the blue border (lot 66 becomes lot 66A)



Move over thumbnail (above and below the pic) to view full size picture
At 902 W.Washington Frontage on LaPorte The west-side Dining-room, looking to kitchen Front parlor & double pocket-door Front parlor fireplace Main parlor fireplace Main parlor baywindows Front hall & front stairs
Setting out the cedar picket fence Polo & Omar finish picket fence Trellis fence laid out Polo (hidden) & Omar cement in post View from back to the back-back Fences & garage Back-back & garage Hibisci & wrought-iron sidefence Hibisci at the front
You can buy it - for $125,000 (75,000 pounds)...
See this site for the real estate listing.