Would you buy this historic manse for $475,000?

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This 1933 duplex on Marsalis is for-sale-by-owner at $475,000.

Who’s to say that’s not a bargain in this crazy market? Consider: It’s one block from Lake Cliff Park and 2 miles from Dallas City Hall. As an owner-occupied duplex, it practically could pay for itself.

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The 3,000-square-foot house, at 625 and 627 N. Marsalis, has its original hardwood floors, a solid foundation, two fireplaces and a few other redeemable features, but generally, it would require a full renovation.

Since it’s in the Lake Cliff Historic District, it cannot be torn down, and the exterior cannot be drastically changed. It’s possible the house could qualify for the new Texas preservation tax incentives.

There is some interesting history in this house. In the 1930s, it was owned by violinist Edward Cramer. Cramer played for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Palace Theater orchestra. He also was a violin teacher and served for awhile as assistant musical director for WFAA radio. Cramer and his wife held many parties, recitals and receptions in their home on Marsalis.

Later, it was occupied by the widow of Maj. Clarence J. Strand, a U.S. Navy medical officer who posthumously was awarded the Bronze Star for valor for putting himself at grave risk of infection while aboard the “hell ship” Hokusen Maru in the Philippines as a Japanese prisoner during World War II.

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