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updated: 5/8/2014 10:00 AM

Wanted: New owner for South Bend's Kizer house

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  • The Kizer house in South Bend, Indiana.

    The Kizer house in South Bend, Indiana.

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A new owner and a new use are being sought for the Kizer house, an elaborate 19th-century mansion at 803 W. Washington St.

Indiana Landmarks Inc. acquired the house several years ago and made improvements to stabilize the house and the former carriage house on the property.

Now the organization is preparing to sell the house for a new use, such as a private home, a home office with living space above or an art gallery, said Todd Zeiger, director of the northern regional office of Indiana Landmarks.

The house won't be sold to anyone who wants to return it to a multi-unit apartment building, Zeiger said. That's what it served as mostly from the 1940s until a few years ago.

The house was built in the mid-1880s, a decade before its more spacious neighbor across the street -- Copshaholm, the Oliver family mansion that now is part of the Center for History.

Indiana Landmarks will accept bids for proposals through July 31, with a decision expected to be made by mid-August.

The suggested purchase price is $175,000. Interested bidders will need to demonstrate they have the funds available to do the work, experience managing a large renovation project on a historic building and have a set time frame for completing the project.

Roof and masonry work will need to proceed very soon under a new owner, Zeiger said.

Improvements to the carriage house are largely complete, which means a new owner could live there during renovation of the main house or maintain the carriage house as a rental property, he said.

The mansion originally was home to William L. and Elizabeth Kizer and their three children.

Kizer grew up in South Bend and started work as a tax collector, then later worked in the real estate and insurance business for nearly 50 years. He also served as secretary of the Malleable Steel Range Manufacturing Co., as a trustee of St. Joseph County Savings Bank and a director of St. Joseph County Loan & Trust Co. He died in 1917.

Open houses for potential buyers will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. June 3, 10, 17 and 24. Reservations are required. For a reservation or more information, visit:, call Todd Zeiger at 574-232-4534 or email: tzeiger(at)

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