You Don’t Know What It Is

44 Parker Road in Rochester, New York. Home of Bob Dylan's Mr. Jones.
44 Parker Road in Rochester, New York. Home of Bob Dylan’s Mr. Jones.

Peggi has a whole set of fans in connection with her Don Hershey website. One of them emailed this afternoon to see if Peggi wanted to get inside a house designed by Hershey on Parker Drive in Pittsford that she was considering buying. It was built for Robert Brown in 1951 and was featured in “Quality Budget Houses, A Treasury of 100 Architect-Designed Houses from $5,000 to $20,000.” The most recent owner was an RIT professor named Jeffrey Jones. Jeffery was an intern at Time magazine in 1965 when he interviewed Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival. Dylan wrote “Ballad of a Thin Man” about Mr. Jones.

“You walk into the room/With your pencil in your hand/You see somebody naked/And you say, “Who is that, man?”/ You try so hard/ But you don’t understand/ Just what you’ll say/ When you get home/ Because something is happening here/ But you don’t know what it is/ Do you, Mister Jones?”

I went along for the ride and was surprised to see Mr. Jones’ name on the front of the house by the mailbox. And there was a poster for the 1965 Newport Folk Festival in what was called the “Play Room.” Mr. Jones died in 2007 and NME did this piece.

Not sure who lives here now but the house was rather sad. It had been neglected for well over a decade and every so called improvement that was done to the home before that was half-assed. And on top of that it appeared the original owner took Hershey’s plans and then built the house himself, cutting every corner imaginable. There is no basement for starters and the exposed interior rafters aren’t even long enough to do the span so pieces were bolted together. The porch, which is enveloped by the house on three sides rather than sticking out from the house, has a fireplace and floor to ceiling screens on the front. I wanted to sit down with a book.

Instead of the quarter million asking price it should be a tear-down. With a few modifications the Hershey plan should be re-executed.

1 Comment

One Reply to “You Don’t Know What It Is”

  1. Hey Paul!

    I’m the new owner of 44 Parker Dr. I found your article from searching our homes records online. I appreciate your take on the home and I share your thoughts on the sad state of disrepair the home was in.

    My wife and I have spent the last year renovating the home (we didn’t tear it down, but there were plenty of moments I wish we did, lol). We have documented lots of the work on Instagram @makingitnewman . I would also be happy to give you (and peggi) a tour anytime. We are currently in the drywall stage, so we are over the hump of renovating and starting to enjoy the finishing stage.

    All the best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *