LAWRENCE, Kan. — It’s the “other” house in Lawrence that basketball built, and now it’s up for sale.
The owners say James Naismith built the home by hand and are hoping a family will love the house as much as they have.
The last time the house at the corner of 17th and Mississippi was on the market was more than 50 years ago.
Owner Lew Llewellyn says he loved it from the beginning. The 90-year-old lived there most of his life with his wife and their five children as they grew up. When his late wife saw the house, she knew she wanted it.
“She said ‘I’ve seen a house that I want to own, and it’s for sale,'” Llewellyn said. “It was a nice big house, and we thought a pretty house. So here we are.”
Llewellyn coached and taught at Haskell University before he retired and loved spending time with his family in their four-bedroom home.
“The wonderful memories is one of the good things about living here, and of course, the fact that we knew when we bought the house that James Naismith had built it,” Llewellyn said. “The guy could use his hands.”
Llewellyn said Naismith lived in the house for nine years after he built it, and his family is the third to own it.
“It was a cool thing. Probably didn’t appreciate it until I was a little older, but yeah, we talked about it,” his daughter Amy Wilson said.
Wilson is helping her dad sell the house, and says she has countless memories there.
“It took my dad a few years after she passed away before he reached that decision himself that he’s like, okay, I can move on now,” Wilson said.
“It was my home for so long, and raised my children here. And of course, I’ve been gone now just a little over two months, and I`m kind of getting over that. But I still come back by and look at the place,” Llewellyn said.
Wilson said the house went on the market back in March, but even in it’s good condition they haven’t had an offer yet.
“Most of the Realtors I talk to can’t believe this house is not sold yet,” Wilson said.
She thinks with the house only having one-and-a-half bathrooms for the four bedrooms may be what’s keeping buyers away.
“Someone might want to remodel the kitchen, add another bathroom upstairs, and possibly even update the bathroom — even though it has a lot of charm,” Wilson said.
Llewellyn said whoever buys the house can make creative upgrades just like the innovative man who made it.
“To me, it would be ideal for a family, a young family, like we were when we bought it to move in here,” Llewellyn said. “I think it would be ideal to them just like it would be ideal to us.”
The house is walking distance from Allen Fieldhouse and is currently priced at $300,000. For more information on the home, check out the listing here.