Backdating Wall Cabinets

Backdating Wall Cabinets

Why would anyone update when it's just as easy to backdate?  After all, there's not much appealing design out there these days; design from the early 20th century is almost always a sure bet to be more interesting than whatever has been marketed for the past 40 years....

Update!

Update!

Despite the handsome Queene Anne window sash depicted, this post is not about windows.  I just wanted to let everyone know that my internet access will be sporadic over the next few weeks as I am finally able to get an ISP for the new house (finding a reliable...

Fun with Tile

Fun with Tile

The tile work enlivening the entry of a telephone company office built in the 1960's is just as energetic now as it was then... and right back in style, too!              

A Stylectomy in Progress

A Stylectomy in Progress

No, stylectomy  is not a word, but it should be, because this house has had its style excised from it. More frequently than I would like, I run across houses which have been brutalized from the perspective of architectural integrity.  Today I ran across this house and...

Carved in Stone:  Halloween Edition

Carved in Stone: Halloween Edition

Beautiful masonry is not restricted just to buildings; our cemeteries are filled with it.  Due to my geographic location, we can only travel back in time as far as the 1870's today.  It was very cold and windy this morning on the High Plains; the atmosphere was...

Random Observations – Part 11

Random Observations – Part 11

Central Kansas is actually quite interesting if you are willing to stray from Interstate 70 for a few miles.  Most people don't, so I'll show you a little bit of what they're missing.  A few more scenes from the road less traveled!                        ...

Abandoned Rural Structures

Abandoned Rural Structures

The formerly common structures which once characterized the Great Plains and other rural areas have been disappearing for decades.  The erosion is now accelerating at a mind-boggling pace.  Take a look before they're gone forever:                      ...

Warehousing People

Warehousing People

When Louis Sullivan coined the term "form follows function" in 1896 he could not have been thinking of these recently constructed "senior apartments" - though the structure aptly illustrates his observation. The form of this building makes abundantly clear its...

Late Italianate False Front

Late Italianate False Front

This wood structure probably dates to around 1900 - making it a late example of both the Italianate style and false-front buildings.  Located in Lebanon, Kansas, a town at the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states, the original and present uses of the building...

Greek Revival Surprise

Greek Revival Surprise

Kansas was not heavily populated when it achieved statehood in 1861 - at roughly the same that the Greek Revival style fell from favor in all but the most rural areas of the nation.  So it's not a surprise that the few examples of the style found in the state tend to...

Radical Excision of the Soul

Radical Excision of the Soul

  Today I cried.  On the floor.  Gut-wrenching sobs.  Fifty-six years old and I'm crying like a baby. No words can begin to describe the cutting pain felt.  No words exist to describe the sense of loss.  My partner and I feel bewildered and our efforts discarded. We...

Mid-Century Church Buildings

Mid-Century Church Buildings

Here are a few interesting church buildings from the mid-20th century which have not been completely altered beyond recognition.  They're rather tame for many locations, but here in flyover country they undoubtedly pushed the envelope when first built.                ...

Unfortunate Porch Enclosures

Unfortunate Porch Enclosures

Some porch enclosures are surprisingly successful, but most are not.  When done in a manner that does not acknowledge the prevailing style of the rest of the house, or in a way that emphasizes mass over void, such enclosures can have not only a deadening effect on the...

Subtle Changes

Subtle Changes

The following two photos show how very subtle changes to the exterior of a house result in larger perceptual changes. In the first photo, a 1960's-vintage ranch house is shown in near original, though slightly worn, condition. The second photo shows the house in...

Useless Shutters

Useless Shutters

Plastic louvered blinds, more commonly known as "shutters", were attached to this 1960's ranch style house in a presumed effort to beautify it. Even if hinged and operable, none of the four shutters on the front of this house would cover or protect anything.  The tall...

Upside Down Fanlight

Upside Down Fanlight

Nothing surprises me anymore, really.  There is literally no end to the weird things people will do to houses and other structures. This house has suffered numerous indignities including the installation of asbestos siding and the later removal of a window from the...

Barn Facade Facelift

Barn Facade Facelift

When an early 20th century barn was converted to a milk house for a growing dairy operation in the 1960's, its front lost one window and gained two doorways to accommodate cattle.  While functional, the modest bit of architectural style the barn had possessed was...

Backdating Interior Trim

Backdating Interior Trim

A small Craftsman style bungalow built around 1915 received an addition to the rear of the house about 50 years later.  During the process of the 1960's renovation, a doorway in the living room was widened.  At the same time, the wall was covered in wood paneling and...

Stylized Crenellation

Stylized Crenellation

This 1920's-era Commercial style building combining retail with living space above, as well as an adjacent gas station, would be easily forgettable if not for the exuberant zig-zag profile of its unusually crenellated parapet wall.  While still intact above the living...

Vintage Drag

Vintage Drag

Not all stylistic makeovers are of recent origin - homeowners have had a penchant for remodeling for as long as there have been houses.  Here are a few "Before and After" transformations taken from vintage decorating magazines and a promotional brochure for stucco:  ...

Varied Maintenance c. 1900

Varied Maintenance c. 1900

While recently unpacking boxes of stuff, I was struck by the number of antique photos I have which show buildings or houses which are in disrepair or in need of paint.  Another demonstrates that even during the Victorian era, some people struggled with painting houses...

Obliterating History

Obliterating History

Insensitivity toward the artistic compositions known as building facades has been going on, well, pretty much forever.  Clearly many people do not value buildings rendered in brick, stone, etc.,  in the same way they do an artistic composition rendered in oil on a...

Full Frontal Garage

Full Frontal Garage

Some houses - especially newer ones - appear to be more garage than house.  In the early 20th century when cars were still coming of age, they were stored away in a garage at the back of the lot just as horses and carriages had been in prior decades.  Garages were...

Painting the House c. 1915

Painting the House c. 1915

Everyone who reveres historic buildings understands the importance of maintenance.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people today who do not revere our historic buildings and who do not think that they are especially important.  A century ago the concept of actual...