The goal of finding a house to restore which was both architecturally and historically interesting has been simmering in the background for some time now. Life has a way of distracting us from our goals (most recently getting involved with the renovation of someone else’s house) but it is possible to get back on track.
We thought we had found such a house early last year — a stone house from the 1870’s which had had few alterations since built. However, our initial excitement had prevented us from seeing the reality that it was simply not practical to work on a house that was two-and-a-half hours away. We had to find something closer to home. The only problem is that most of the older (19th century) houses in our area were torn down or altered beyond recognition long ago… there are very few survivors. Lots of great Craftsman-era houses, but very few Victorians.
They say that “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and for Jim the desire to find a suitable restoration project was strong. We’re not even done with the current Project House and yet find ourselves tackling another one! The timing for this next adventure is not exactly ideal, but that’s when the opportunity arose. We also realized that if we did not take on this house it would likely be turned into a rental (single-family or duplex) — and that its plentiful remaining architectural integrity would be at risk. You are likely already familiar with this forgotten house from a previous post, A Gothic Revival with a Jerkinhead Roof!
The house has a ton of problems… plumbing, electrical, foundation, hideous vinyl siding, you name it. The only recent “upgrade” is a new roof — necessitated by a recent hail storm and installed by the previous owner. Sadly, the roofers covered over the original standing seam metal roofs on the front porch and bay window. It is our goal to eventually restore them.
The image above shows the house as it appeared before 1895 when the rear wing was expanded. Today we’ll look at a few details not seen previously.