Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An t-Earrach 2008

A picture in an early post showed the big garage (barn) in the background. These shots provide a better view of the structure from several sides. Basically a post-and-pole construction, the structure is supported on four corners by large upright beams with granite boulder foundations. And, yes, it is pretty darn close to the neighboring property buildings. The topmost picture shows the bridge truss that supported the sliding barn doors.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

An Geimhreadh 2007-2008

Nearing the end of my pre-move-in date pictures. One relatively unique feature of this house is the attached garage. These two views show the carriage doors and a close-up view of the garage interior. All four double-hung windows are finished out with the same style fir casings as the interior of the house. The interior walls are finished cement, with a rough stucco texture and a rich ochre yellow paint. Over the years, the paint job has suffered a bit, but eventually we'll repaint and try to match the original color. There are two coal shoots in the garage that originally accommodated the dual heating systems when the house was a two-unit dwelling. A heat vent also opens into the garage.
Cars in the early 1920s were pretty narrow compared to new models. My VW fits, if you only need to open the doors on one side. Pulling forward until the front wind screen contacts the tennis ball on a string apparatus ensures the door will close. One slightly sad sacrifice was replacing the old carriage doors with an overhead garage door and opener. Years of pushing those old doors outward into the Montana snows took their toll.

Monday, October 05, 2009

An Fómhar 2007

After a long absence, it's time to post or pull the plug. I'll post, no matter how pitiful the content. The one remaining picture in my second-floor tour shows the upper and lower cabinet (new construction) used to prop up the replacement vintage sink. It's not a bad match to the existing built-ins and woodwork. But that new pine never really duplicates the look of old Doug fir.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

An Samhradh 2007

The second floor living room is located across the landing from the bathroom. It also contains a nice bank of built-in cabinets. All the leaded glass is intact, and all hardware is present and accounted for. The ceiling pan-style light fixture is original, including the amber shades, although one has a pretty nasty chip. We scour the lighting section of second-hand stores and antique malls when possible, but finding a replacement may be next to impossible. However, I did see a desk lamp in a movie that looked close (on the Big Lebowski's desk, as I recall). The second floor bedroom is located off the living room, but it was another of the rooms that escaped documentation.

An t-Earrach 2007

Because we did not take the time to fully documenting the before and after on this project, I have only a handful of digital photos taken that show the pre move-in conditions. Since this is the short tour of the upstairs kitchen, this shot of the replacement sink is appropriate. Too bad we have no record of the awful stainless one for comparison. The newly constructed sink base and upper cabinet are darn good match to the originals. The tile on the cabinet top were left over from the bathroom floor project (waste not, want not). Since this photo was taken, we've also located a nice, almost vintage kitchen sink faucet with soap dish.

An Geimhreadh 2006-2007

Clean-up on these cabinets won't be too bad...except for the ubiquitous contact paper. All the copper-flashed finish cabinet hardware is intact. Another "can't believe someone didn't paint over this" sigh of relief.

An Fómhar 2006

This older shot shows the south wall's bank of pine built-ins and a giant electric stove (50s vintage, no longer with us). In true craftsman style, there's also a nice size closet to the left of the cabinets.

An Samhradh 2006

Continuing with second floor tour. Left of the upstairs bathroom, you'll enter the kitchen (future sewing/guest room). Floor here is covered with some great original linoleum. The brown/beige marbled-paper pattern is quite attractive, so it's here for the near term. Cabinets are constructed of pine with a mahogany stain, although it's a bit lighter than the built-ins from the other rooms. Like garments, old house features always come back into style, like the ironing board cupboard. It's also a keeper. In fact the only thing we removed in this room was a stainless steel sink and the painted cabinet it was housed in. We were able to locate a vintage kitchen sink to replace it. The new old sink is a close match to the original (this confirmed by former tenants).

An t-Earrach 2006

After another extended absence, I've decided to resume posting. Two events inspired me in this direction: completing the house trim painting (funny how a project can extend over almost 2 years) and a visit from three architecture students this fall. These three young women painstakingly measured and documented the dimensions of our first floor as part of a project related to a Vernacular Architecture Forum Conference to be held in June 2009. My goal is to meet my original (and scaled back once already) milestone of adding a post for every season since we purchased our new old house in the Fall of 2003. Back on track with Spring 2006...

I'll also interrupt the house tour theme to say a few words about the builder of our house, Frank Oldhaber. Mr. Oldhauber, with help from friends and family, built our present home block-by-block. He also fabricated the blocks on-site, one-by-one, using a cement block maker similar to the Wizard marketed by Sears & Roebuck.

The picture above was provided by the late Edna Anderson, Frank's niece. Although Frank's not present in this picture of the family, Edna is the babe-in-arms. We were fortunate to have Edna walk through the house with us shortly before her death. The photo dates from the early 1920s, the front porch of the house looks much the same as now, with one exception. At some point, iron pipe supports were added to the top of the half-pillars (perhaps to correct a sag in the porch). Not knowing if the supports were absolutely needed for support, we erred on the side of caution and left them in place. They're visible in the early posts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An Geimhreadh 2005-2006

On to the second floor. The home was designed as a 2-family dwelling, and the second floor houses a roomy one-bedroom apartment, accessed by a single entry directly through the front door and small foyer, then up a flight of stairs. Converting the house to a single-family one was as simple as taking down (and storing) the access door inside the foyer. The second-floor bathroom is tucked into the eaves. The original marble-patterned linoleum shows in the picture; however, it had to be removed due to water damage.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

An Fómhar 2005

A shot from the back door looking into the kitchen. This one marks the last of the first floor room tours. Poor planning and a borrowed digital camera, resulted in no pictures of the first floor bathroom, bedroom 1, and bedroom 2 (which actually became the office).

An Samhradh 2005

This view shows the remaining original kitchen cabinetry, one tall pantry cupboard in the corner and the outline of the built-in ironing board cabinet to the right of the door. The guts of the ironing cabinet were removed, but were located in the basement. This cabinet may be restyled as a spice cabinet, because there’s a second, intact built-in ironing board in the second-floor kitchen (and that room’s going to be reused as a sewing room). The transom above the door to the sunporch will most likely be retained, although the door (now missing) may be rehung to open into the porch rather than the kitchen.

An t-Earrach 2005

Although the picture is rather dark, you can see the original exhaust fan. It’s still in working order and is a candidate for rehab and retain. Woodwork in the kitchen is painted, and of course the kitchen windows are painted shut. Scraping a few test patches indicate some or all of the woodwork my originally have been stained mahogany, as in the rest of the first floor rooms.

An Geimhreadh 2004-2005

This entry marks the point at which I abandon my original plan to post text and photo for each month in the new-old house. The whole purchase date (Samhna 2003), move-in date (Lunasa 2005), blog initiation date (Eanáir 2006) disconnect and documenting in retrospect was a bad idea. Until I reach the point where the postings reflect current dates and projects, I’m consolidating, summarizing, and posting one entry per season. So, one more room on the first floor tour. The first of these two pictures was actually taken prior to our move in date. For reference I’m including a few more kitchen shots even though they were taken after we’d moved in. In the second shot, the lovely red carpet visible in the earlier dinning room shots has been yanked up. Plans for this room include incorporating the original painted pine cabinets, although the shallow sink and drainboard original to the kitchen will be replaced. You can only maintain those purist standards up to a point. A dormitory-sized fridge, microwave, and 24-inch electric range make the small space functional until the other priorities are crossed off the list.

Friday, June 15, 2007

An Fómhar (Mí Dheireadh Fómhair)

Often wondered why no matching cabinet on the right side. But to accommodate that, the leaded glass bookcase would have to open onto the dining room side. Since that decision was made by the builder, so be it. Besides, the space works well for a Christmas tree.

An Fómhar (Mí Mhéan Fómhair)

A 180 degree turn to face the backside of the colonade and a fireplace fireplace flanked on the left by a built-in cabinet. Fireplace brick facing is in great shape and someday may be fitted with a natural gas insert. (Burn wood? No, been there, done that, ‘nuf said.)

An Fómhar (Mí Lúnasa)

Panning left, this view shows a portion of the second colonade, dining room windows, and a great view of the red kitchen carpet—removed immediately after the living-dining room carpet. This tasteful floor covering was glued down to the original 1920s blue and ochre checked linoleum. Interesting to see the original stuff, the colors had a great Maxfield-Parrish-esque quality. It was also patched multiple times with hundreds of small tacks.

An Samhradh 2004 (Mí Iúil)

Backing away from the dining room china cupboard, one of two matching bookcase-colonades with leaded glass. The bookcase door, not shown in this shot, does have one cracked pane. As with previous pictures, this one was taken before any work was started, but does show one of the first items to go—the off-white, wall-to-wall carpet.

An Samhradh 2004 (Mí an Mheithimh)

The built-in dining room china cupboard, like all the woodwork in the home, is constructed of Douglas fir and stained a rich mahogany. Cupboard doors are leaded glass, none of which is beveled, all of which remain intact. Framing for the cupboard also surrounds the door a small hallway, which opens to the bath and front and back bedrooms.