Since childhood I’ve been obsessed with old (19th century and earlier) houses and was fairly certain that one day I would find the right one.  Imagine my internal anguish when, after buying, living in, renovating, and selling several Victorian-era houses, I found myself tackling a decrepit mid-1960’s split-level utterly void of architectural distinction. Surprisingly, I’ve found that it’s just as much fun as working on an antique house, only different. Very different.

The main facade is overwhelmed by a slightly crumpled metal carport which is functional but ungainly.

There are three types of exterior wall surfaces:  concrete block, vertical wood siding and horizontal wood siding.  There are three windows and one door on the front; none of them share a common header height. Visually speaking, the house appears to suffer from an unusual type of psychosis.

The concrete block walls were painted an unfortunate shade of orange early on. Later, someone began painting the facade a dusty pink (the shaded area beneath the carport) but never finished.  The siding and wood trim were all painted white… the sole unifying common denominator the house possesses.


The object of our attention: The ongoing transformation of a hapless 1960's-era tri-level into something more cohesive. This is how the place looked as our saga began.

The object of our attention: A jumble of utilitarian concepts without regard to aesthetics . This is how the place looks as our saga begins.

The sides and rear of the house aren’t much better, and serve to further emphasize the numerous awkward proportions and material transitions:

Attractive, no?

Is it just me, or do you also get a sinking feeling?

But, there is potential.   I really like the horizontality of the carport, even though it was added after the house was built.  The place has some odd – but fun – lines to it.

The carport (and most of its screen-wall)

The carport (and most of its screen-wall)

Details can make a place memorable.  This place is full of details, but not the desirable kind.  The most prevalent kind of details found in this house involve awkward juxtapositions of color and materials as well as haphazard runs of wiring and plumbing.

Multiple Issues.

And so, in summary, this little split-level is a bit odd.  Odd-looking as well as odd in the sense that it was never really completed; only the lower and ground levels were ever finished.  The upper level is attic space which falls short (way short) of being a full story in height.

Welcome to my current project, and thanks for joining in the adventure!

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