Multiple Personalities

If dissociative identity disorders can afflict structures, this former Folk Victorian house appears to be symptomatic.  The wood-framed structure has had several changes to its exterior since first constructed, likely in the 1890’s.  Portions of the house were clad with a brick veneer c. 1950.  More recently, synthetic stucco has been used to cover the areas not covered by brick.  Windows have been replaced with vinyl units.  Somehow, the original porch tucked into a corner has managed to survive.

Lack of consistency in exterior color distribution has led to a visual splintering of the facades; the fact that there are two exterior doors only makes things more confusing:


It’s rarely a good idea to make a color transition at an outside corner – this corner pilaster is a good example of why.


Window frames similarly lack consistency from one side to another.  A frame-like thing flanks each side of the door but stops abruptly upon contact with a triangular bracket…  different colors only emphasize the awkward transition.


3 Responses to Multiple Personalities

  1. Have you ever seen them put up the dryvit stucco? It literally blew my mind. The workers were working on an old masonry house that could have been restored, but they were “fancying” it up with heavy quoins and new window surrounds and hoods. They cut out a piece of styrofoam into the shape of a window hood, tacked it on with adhesive, and then put about a millimeter of dryvit over it. I had no idea the installation system was so bad. The “stucco” will really only last 10 years or so (as opposed to other longer lived finishes, such as the original brick). Crazy.

    Now, when I see a bank or something, especially with a hole in the dryvit siding, I think – well, it is only styrofoam with a millimeter of concrete over it.

    I probably shouldn’t say this, but it has made me think of taking up bank robbery as a sideline.

    • Yes, I have seen the installation process for this stuff and I share your shock/dismay/horror. Places utilizing it are definitely not “built for the ages”! It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to breach any newly-built structure clad in synthetic stucco – if banks kept more cash on hand it might be tempting, but, like the “stucco”, banks are mostly an illusion as well. I once saw a house with a hole punched in it from a stray baseball; it doesn’t take much to reveal that illusion!

      • I am pleased, however, with the notion that “Jr” could wield a bat and get into the house. Forgot your keys? No big deal, just punch your way in. (probably not what happened, but it made me smile)

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