Specially selected historic real estate for old house enthusiasts.

January 19, 2023: House Shares & Chit Chat

Added to OHD on 1/20/23 - Last OHD Update: 1/27/23 - 260 Comments
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Happy Friday! This is the weekly post where you share your old house finds, articles, or just chit-chat.

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Feel free to discuss houses, gardening, history, and related topics. NO political topics.

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Cora
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
10 days ago

I love that the ladies are smiling and look relaxed. Many older photos are very stoic-looking.

Kimberly62
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
9 days ago

I like the ladies too. They look like sisters, or at the very least cousins. The natural environment where they are photographed is wonderful. I too like their relaxed faces here.

CvZ1200
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
10 days ago

If the parsonage in Carroll was indeed the same house that was in the historic photo, then the demolition crew put it out of its misery.

Matt Z
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
10 days ago

I found a higher resolution postcard of the incredible W.J. Frisbie Mansion. I believe it stood on Main Street across from Emprey Avenue, where the Methodist Church now stands.

Camden NY WJ Frisbie Residence.jpg
Matt Z
Reply to  Matt Z | 134 comments
10 days ago

another view

Camden NY WJ Frisbie Residence2.jpg
M J G
Reply to  Matt Z | 134 comments
6 days ago

wow. That’s a cool place!

Yes
Reply to  Matt Z | 134 comments
9 days ago

Love this

JimH
Reply to  Matt Z | 134 comments
8 days ago

Willard J. Frisbie (1848-1920) was a local boy who prospered as a merchant and manufacturer.

From his obituary:
“The elegant Frisbie home residence on Main street in this village, with its exceptionally well-kept lawns and gardens, has long been regarded with pride by the village folk and with delight by strangers who fare this way. From it, hospitality has been lavishly dispensed to all who had the slightest claim upon its beneficence. The Historical Club entertainments; the D.A.R. gatherings; the Missionary Society, have many times been welcomed to the sumptuously appointed halls of the Frisbie home. It is by the establishment of such permanent homes and such citizenship running through a lifetime that a town – a village – a community, begets a commendably good character and is reflected and repeated in the lives of those that follow.”

Kirsten
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
10 days ago

So, I’m looking at that second postcard, and I think that I’m making out a few additional tidbits. Can’t swear, but here is what I think I get, starting from the top:

——

Dear Anna,

Hello. How are you? We are all well. Got started for Dundee yesterday but car would not go. Was going to Childrun Dog Ex is (?) to Martinsburg got as far as Chet Slyes and had to come back. Am going to Turin this PM. Ernest was hurt yesterday morning.

Grace Frank Alice A.

[top margin] ?? to come to Louisville

——

Maybe I’m wrong about that Childrun Dog thing (Expo or Exhibit maybe?), but it’s my working theory for now. Trying to find anything that would support either that or Children’s Day (Kelly’s read) in Martinsburg, NY, in the 1920s. So far, no luck. Anyone else willing to take a stab at some of the more mysterious portions of the handwriting?

Gregory_K
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
10 days ago

People capable of that type of destruction should be locked up.

Dapper Dan
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
9 days ago

Lovely ladies in pictures 8 and 9. The lass on the left looks like the actress Kay Francis in her younger days. Time to watch her again in Jewel Robbery (1932).

Kimberly62
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
9 days ago

I just noticed the figs card. I love figs. In NY where I live my fig tree comes in doors before the first frost, it loses its leaves and then in January the branches start to bud again. In its pot, my tree is about five feet tall, or so, I am not next to it right now. I learned that there are fig trees living outside in and around NYC. If you are a fig, you can live in a sheltered environment next to a brick wall. Immigrants brought them here.
I do not live in Brooklyn, but in upstate NY, I lug it in and out each year, along with alot of other big pots. I love having them around, and it a good year if by luck I get to eat a few figs.
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/dining/in-brooklyn-an-abundance-of-fig-trees.html

bobby white
Supporter
10 days ago

1958 Cottage $489,000
2bed 2bath 1,025sqft
1,860sqft lot
3900 Baronne St,
New Orleans, LA 70115
From the listing: ”Adorable corner cottage zoned HU-B1 (Historic Urban Business District, residential or commercial use) currently used for STR. Located only 2 blocks from St Charles Ave…”

There’s just something happy about this property. I believe coming home to it would make me smile. The creative uses of color on the exterior and in the public spaces inspire thoughts of color charts while exploring the rest of the house. I wish the kitchen hadn’t just been ”redone,” I’m already thinking of how to ”adjust” it. Maybe removing the doors from the wall cabinets and painting all cabinet surfaces, floor and wall, could allow them to be kept. New faucet, for sure. Different countertop,
I’m enamored of glass countertops, the ones with a multitude of various colored glass specks contained within. In this New Orleans kitchen, they’d likely evoke thoughts of confetti. I do not like stainless steel refrigerators and dishwashers; another opportunity to ponder alternative color choices. 
 Bathrooms will also get some attention. 
First priority, though, is putting some color on those white walls. White paint which I’ll call ”primer.”
A shop across the street announces ”Custom Framing” and also “Local Art.”
At some point, my front door might become a different color. Hopefully, my choice won’t dismay the across the street neighbors.
Since it’s a Short Term Rental, I wonder if any of the furnishings might be conveyable. I see a few things I would be interested in discussing with the seller.
https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3900-Baronne-St_New-Orleans_LA_70115_M76408-79997

Truth be told, I can’t buy this house because it has no land to speak of around it. That is, unless i again have reason to regularly visit New Orleans and would like a pied-à-terre. Perhaps I would travel there by train.
Arlo Guthrie City Of New Orleans.  Poignant video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF1lqEQFVUo

BARONNE STREET FACADE.png
bobby white
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
10 days ago

PS Some info about the train line and the song.

City of New Orleans was written by the then terminally ill Steve Goodman (and first recorded for Goodman’s self-titled 1971 album), describing a train ride from Chicago to New Orleans on the Illinois Central Railroad’s City of New Orleans in bittersweet and nostalgic terms.
While at the Quiet Knight bar in Chicago, Goodman saw Arlo Guthrie, and asked to be allowed to play a song for him. Guthrie grudgingly agreed, on the condition that if Goodman bought him a beer, Guthrie would listen to him play for as long as it took to drink the beer.[2] Goodman played “City of New Orleans”, which Guthrie liked enough that he asked to record it.
https://www.google.com/search?q=city+of+new+orleans+song+history&oq=city+of+new+orleans+song+history&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i390l5.11608j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
 
After the song became popular in the 1970s, Amtrak, hoping to capitalize on the song’s popularity, brought back the “City of New Orleans” train name in 1981. Some extensive history:
https://www.arcolaillinois.org/index.asp?SEC=F3B744A6-1973-4A56-BF3C-36F20CDF3475&Type=B_BASIC

Kirsten
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
10 days ago

I loved this song growing up. Waited to hear it on the radio. Delighted to have some related history, which I’d never thought to look up myself. It’s a little odd, don’t you think that Amtrak used the song promotionally, since the lyrics basically clearly mourn the ensuing death of rail? It’s such a melancholy song, really. But maybe that’s why they chose it. Maybe they felt it evoked a sense of romance that they wanted people to attempt to recapture.

bobby white
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

I guess we’ll never know if anyone involved in that decision actually listened to the song. Maybe someone in an influential position didn’t like the Panama Limited name and saw an opportunity to fix things.
City Of New Orleans certainly has more relevance to that route. Much more.

DJZ
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
10 days ago

The house was more than likely remodeled in 1958, looking closer at the pictures you can see baseboards that are much older than late 50’s period. this house is more than likely to have been built in the 1880’s or 1890’s based off the gable and eaves styling.

bobby white
Reply to  DJZ | 600 comments
10 days ago

I thought it looked quite interesting for something built in 1958. The house next door, to the right, appears to be a contemporary of this one. Same builder?
I just took a look at the Property Tax history, which goes back to 2005, at which time it was “$152.00 and stayed at that until 2013 when it jumped to $1,322.
Assessments over that same period jumped from $8,000. to $15, 890. in 2013.
Something happened in that year, obviously.

The Property Tax then jumped again in 2018, from $1898. to $4,334. Assessment increased from $19,870 to $28,130.

bobby white
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
10 days ago

Zillow says the off market house next door was built in 2012 and is a one bedroom multi-family 750 sq ft residence., with one bedroom and one bath. There are 11 pics. I’m thinking this is one half of that house, once being marketed as a condo and remodeled in 2012.
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3904-Baronne-St-New-Orleans-LA-70115/73835803_zpid/?

DJZ
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
9 days ago

actually the house is in its original form. It was actually built either prior to 1909 or in 1909 but not before 1896. The house and the one listed above both appear on the Sanborn map in 1909. The Sanborn maps of 1908 only show one section of Baronne St, so i cant account for that time and prior to that was 1896 which it was a vacant lot at the time

DJZ
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
10 days ago

Also the building directly across the street is the original New Orleans Bicycling Club, which began appearing on Sanborn maps as early as 1896, maybe sooner but thats the earliest date i can find with the street name for this area

Kirsten
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
10 days ago

I’m with you, Bobby. Not enough land. But gosh, for the right person, it’s a charming little place. I love the 1950s effort at creating something that nods pleasantly to the past.

DJZ
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

The build date is incorrect. Per the Sanborn map, this one and the one next door both appear on the 1909 map, but most likely a few years prior before that is the actual build date, but not before 1896 as it was a vacant lot at that time

Image 67 of Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

bobby white
Reply to  SonofSyosset | 235 comments
10 days ago

Oh Wonderful! Many of us took an interest when this was posted as a share a while back and wondered who could live with the governmental restrictions on its use.

There really is someone who has yearned to do such a project.

Thanks for the update.

Cora
Moderator
10 days ago

A simple cottage in Omaha that has been well-cared for. The kitchen is cute. Paint and/or wallpaper would be a game-changer for this home.

Omaha, NE
1914
$180K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5613-S-22nd-St-Omaha-NE-68107/75805157_zpid/

Julie
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
8 days ago

I always enjoy your sweet comments and the affordable houses you post. Posting multimillion dollar homes that only a small percentage of people could afford is really keeping it at just dreaming.

Cora
Reply to  Julie | 90 comments
8 days ago

Thank you, Julie! I’m definitely a sucker for the underdogs.  😊  There are so many dreamy gems out there priced for the everyday Joe or Jane.

Cora
Moderator
10 days ago

This gal hasn’t had a loving occupant in a good while, obviously. So much to love! All her pretty bits are still there. The listing photos only partially show the kitchen, but it appears that part is still in 1920, as is most of the rest of the home. The upstairs bedrooms are cozy, with the pretty windows and a fabulous sleeping porch.

Little Rock, AR
1920
$154K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2021-S-State-St-Little-Rock-AR-72206/315685_zpid/

Kimberly62
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
10 days ago

this is my favorite of the bunch. I love it when all her pretty bits are still there. 🙂

JDmiddleson
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
9 days ago

Love the house, Cora! That green tile roof with the stucco and brick exterior is nice. Even the garage matches the house! I love the fact it hasn’t been ‘remodeled’ yet!

Cora
Moderator
10 days ago

1880 farmhouse. No interior photos, but the exterior makes my imagination run wild. Add to that the West Virginia 55+ acres…what a view. Outbuildings to boot. Maybe interior pics will be added soon.

Shanks, WV
1880
$573K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/523-Sun-Vall-Shanks-WV-26761/2059991423_zpid/

Morna
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
8 days ago

There are a few more photos now, some of the interior, I am intrigued by picture #39 which seems to show a spring house in that draw. Ir maybe that’s the pump house?

Cora
Reply to  Morna | 328 comments
7 days ago

Morna, I don’t see it…in picture 39? I’m curious now!

I like the old hats hanging, and the old items on the dresser in photo #9.

I really wish I could zoom in on that photo on the wall in picture #8.

Cora
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
8 days ago

Edit: A few interior photos have been added. Check out the stove in photo #7! That looks like it would keep you toasty warm on a cold West Virginia night.

Cora
Moderator
10 days ago

A towered queen. It would be much easier to see what there is to work with if the clutter was removed, but even cluttered up, you can see it’s a beautiful house. The 2nd floor balcony is dreamy.

Springfield, MA
1896
$250K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/205-Saint-James-Ave-Springfield-MA-01109/56229833_zpid/

John Shiflet
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
10 days ago

Of the three houses, I think the Little Rock house has the most to offer. I also think it’s a bit older than 1920; more like 1912-1919. That is a whole lot of house for the money. Thanks for sharing.

Randy C
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
8 days ago

I always wonder why a decent realtor would attempt to market a home with all of that clutter. Certainly does nothing to entice a buyer’s decision….

OdieK
Reply to  Randy C | 465 comments
8 days ago

Often no matter what the realtor tells people about repairs or cleaning up or even just taking out the more obvious or potentially offensive things on display, the home owner says that as long as they live there it’s their house. A house near to us was on the market for over a year in a town that sells ANYTHING in usually less than a month but she loved her seriously overdone outdoor decr on the front of the house. The house is small but cute and she was a meticulous house keeper but the gravel yard and decor had people leaving as soon as they got there. Once they did a little depersonalization it was sold in less than a month.

M J G
Supporter
10 days ago

Love stoves from the 19th century.
The detail on them makes them a work of art!
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natira
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
10 days ago

On that note, I added a few more stoves to my craigslist stove album.

M J G
Reply to  natira | 1131 comments
6 days ago

I love your stove pics. I just went through them again just now!

By the way, your Lefse looks delicious! The rolls look similar to the Lavash rolls I ate while in Turkey.

Kirsten
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
10 days ago

Oh gosh, yes. Totally agree. I confess, though: it’s hard to imagine dealing with one of these in the house in the summer months, unless one had a summer kitchen in a separate building. That said, I know there were things you could do using one of these old stoves that you can’t come close to achieving in a modern oven, no matter how expensive. And I’m dying to try…

Kimberly62
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

Our cabin has the kitchen wood stove that was probably brought in by my great grandparents when the built the place in 1936. It has since been dislocated from the outside, but I would love to get it going again and know what it is like to heat properly and cook from. I remember the PBS show years ago where some modern folk were set down in a period home and asked to live the period life-very interesting though I do not much like reality TV.

Kirsten
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
10 days ago

Yes! I remember that show, too! I’m with you–not much for reality t.v. But I thought that they’d come up with some very interesting challenges. They did several different periods and locations, as I recall, during several seasons.

Ooo! You actually have an old stove sitting in your kitchen! Outstanding! If you get it going again, I am on pins and needles to hear what your experience is with it.

LesFossel
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

We use our cookstove during power outages, but use the electric stove, the cooking fireplace (we hearth cook steaks) & bake oven (great for cooking turkeys) the rest of the time.

Kimberly62
Reply to  LesFossel | 250 comments
9 days ago

I learned in the late 70’s that when the power went out, I can make toast on the kitchen wood stove-just a heater, not a cooking stove. High school years fun.

Kimberly62
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

I’d love to give you the details, though it might be several years away as we have several things in front of it like addressing the outside window caulking. But, I can try cooking on the large fireplace hearth, we have a cast iron tri-pod to put a pot above the coals.
here is my inspiration, though the episode I am linking, I am not sure if I have seen:
https://www.pbs.org/video/coffee-at-colonial-williamsburg-ivnbtv/

LesFossel
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

When the transition was made from cooking fireplaces with bake ovens to cast iron cook stoves, there was a transition period in the 1830-50s when they retained the bake oven, but paired with a bake oven. Apparently cooks of the period liked the stove for the burners but not the oven.

Kirsten
Reply to  LesFossel | 250 comments
9 days ago

So, interesting. Well, and this all has a LOT to do with the typical fare of the day, yes? People learn to cook amazing things with the particular tools/technology to which they’re accustomed. When those transitions happen, you can’t necessarily or ever accomplish the same outcomes with the newer technology.

I think, in particular of breads and how much they can vary depending on what they’re baked in…brick, iron, modern ovens, etc. So, it makes sense that cooks of the day were not as impressed with the baking aspects of the cast iron. Probably represented a significant adjustment because of the differences in how metal conducts heat versus brick or stone.

Gregory_K
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

Having worked as a professional in the field – I made the Deans List at the C.I.A., i can enthusiastically state you have clearly explained the choices cooks and bakers make all the time. Menus and the desired final food product have always determined choices in both cooking style and the best equipment to create the desired final product. Changes in cooking technology throw all cooking techniques into flux.

For example, steam was introduced into French bread ovens toward the end of the 19th century. This helped create the thick, crunchy crust that is so admired today. However, there is now a movement in France to eliminate steam from bread ovens. These anti-steam advocates claim that true and historic French breads did not have the thick crunchy crust. All I can say is I grew up in San Francisco, and there is a genetic predisposition for thick, crunchy crusts. I hope this anti-steam insanity stays in France.

Powers
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

So I am really interested in the actual ‘function’ of old homes. I grew up in a home built in 1912 and it was always cold in winter and hot and stuffy in the summer. My mom told me houses like this where always this way and its a miracle everyone did not die of pneumonia back then. Later once I bought my first Queen Anne and I began to study the house and ask questions such as why the windows had weights in the wall to open the top and bottom of the window I discovered if opened properly throughout the house in spring and summer (and depending on the breeze that day) a wonderful air flow went through the home. Once I was able to restore all the windows and cut them free from caulk and nails the house breathed once again and it was rare anyone found my AC on. It was amazing. I also looked into the heating systems of the day. With a fire going in the Parlor, Kitchen stove burning and a coal furnace stocked I believe these homes where or ‘could’ (as always people could be frugal) be plenty warm. In the summer as pointed out by Kristan some homes had summer kitchens or had back or side porches attached to the kitchens that could be screened in to help vent out the unwanted heat. These homes had plenty of doors I believe for this reason, privacy but also to direct air as needed. My old 1884 home had a small screened porch for this purpose. On my current 1901 home the same thing. Kitchen doors could be closed and the kitchen porch open. Opening other kitchen windows creates a draft. I have found that unless the right size furnace is put in these homes they cannot keep up with the high ceilings and it gets cold. Parlor and other fireplaces are now just eye candy with no function. I also found small gas nobs by baseboards for portable heaters that could be used in colder weather then stored away. The final thing and I will end my thoughts is this. The type of clothing people had on during different seasons. I am not a clothing expert but many clothes were stored in the attic (the clothing hanger did not exist yet around the turn of the century) and seasonal clothing was exchanged. While I was in the Desert and Middle -EastI thought I would die if not in T-shirts and shorts and I thought the Natives were insane to put on so much clothing but I came to find that the material they had on providing protection from the sun and was cool to the skin. My own military gear was also comfortable in the heat and I quickly became adapted to this. Anyways my summed up point is that people back then had the means and ability to keep themselves comfortable to a degree if they wished without our modern AC and plenty to keep themselves warm. Keep in mind most of these homes did not have insulation and were not built to have insulation stuffed in the walls.

Kirsten
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
9 days ago

I loved reading these thoughts, Powers. Thanks for sharing them. One new piece of information for me was the bit about the small gas knobs and portable heaters. WOW! I wonder if there are any of those portable heaters still running around anywhere on the net. Going to go do some digging to see what I can find. Had no clue about those whatsoever. My parents home in Baraboo, WI, is somewhere close to turn of the century, though I can’t remember an exact date. I don’t remember every seeing anything like that around their base boarding, even before work was done on the house in the late 1970s. But it makes me wish I could go back in time and look closer.

Kirsten
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
9 days ago

Well, I’ll be darned…I found some interesting things! Most of the old gas heaters I spotted were from the 1920s, and they’re pretty cool, too. But I also found this one that’s clearly more Victorian Era.

il_1588xN.3900736331_d4fj.jpg
il_75x75.3853237802_mdxn.jpg
il_75x75.3900736545_ekj0.jpg
il_1588xN.3900736365_5bu4.jpg
il_1588xN.3900736367_ppa3.jpg
il_1588xN.3900736411_m0ww.jpg
il_1588xN.3900736433_tayd.jpg
Powers
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

Yeah I was completely confused about the little gas tubes I found by the base board. The actual gas knob had been cut off but a plumber I had in the house I think told me what they were. I even had them in the closets in the bedroom. I believe they had some sort of flex tubing so you could pull it out in the room. But great find they are an odd little household item you don’t really see sitting out in old photos. Some are pretty decorative but then again so were a lot of little items such as brooms and scuttle buckets. I miss the detail and care that went into everything back then. Even advertisements were works of art.

John Shiflet
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

In our 1889 Fort Worth, TX home, there were four original Humphrey Radiant-Fire gas heaters. (that dated from the early 1900’s) They still worked well although finding the ceramic elements that fit over the burners was challenging. Thus a couple of the stoves had non-matching ceramic heater elements. They were very fragile and if they fell out they almost always shattered into a number of pieces. I was always on the lookout for heating elements when visiting flea markets. I gave the antique stoves away to neighbors before we moved.

Gregory_K
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
9 days ago

According to a carpenter I knew in Denver in the 1970s, whose career had begun about 1905, the connections for moveable gas equipment were natural rubber hoses. His son’s house in West Denver was still illuminated by gas, and his son used a gas lit desk lamp, connected to the chandelier above with a natural rubber hose. There were gas keys on the desk lamp, and the chandelier to turn the lamp on and off,.

M J G
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

This was very popular. I have a ton of ads and photos of these. Their idea of the extension cord was the extension tube from a chandelier and or gasolier.

Here is a folder to some photos from years ago I posted. Look for the folder called portable gas table lamps. That seems to be how they were referred to during that decade.
https://www.oldhousedreams.com/user/8263/?profiletab=photos

M J G
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
9 days ago

As well as sometime other gas pip cutouts.

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
8 days ago

Thank you for pointing out the table lamps. I actually have one just like one in the photos. The one with the spelter figurine. I always thought it was a newel lamp but it has a connector in the back for a rubber house. I looked at the Gas light in our home but I do not see how a hose could be connected. Did they have to be a certain kind of light fixture? Love learning new things.

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
8 days ago

Yes they were manufactured with a connection pipe. I can’t remember if the one you are referring to in your house was in the picture. The rubber hose usually plugged right over the open pipe. Gas fixtures have an attachment screwed onto them. Each one creates different types of gas output flame. I’ve seen the rubber tube plugged over these but I can’t remember if there was an adapter available. There were so many options then.

The Bradley and Hubbard manufactured a stunning catalog of kerosene or oil lamps, cigar lighters, plant brackets, oil lamp brackets, etc. if you ever need to obsess over stunning beautifully designed pieces. I actually own three things from this catalog that I found accidentally in this catalog.

https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/429457

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

I am pretty sure it does not have a stem. I had it re-wired and repaired. Parts had fallen off and once sconce was smashed and hanging. I took it to the ‘Brass Light Gallery’ in Milwaukee. Expensive but they have a guy there who restores old lights to UL standard and he was a wealth of knowledge on the light and gave me a run down on how it functioned with gas and pointed out someone had flipped the gaslights the wrong way.

Thanks for the Hubbard catalog! I never knew that the wall mounted brackets that have a flat holding tray were actually ‘plant holders’. I always thought people just re-purposed them for that function. Learned something new again thanks lol! My wife was right she told me she was sure that was the function. Do you happen to have any lighting catalogs for lights between 1895-1905? While I look for period pieces for this home I come to find its a hard period to put my finger on because the gas to electric transition. My home built in 1901 still had a gas stem in the parlor. I am sure at least one more room had a gas sconce someplace because I can see the pipe in the basement. However the rest of the house had electric. The news paper article on the house said at the time it was built it was the most modern home in town.

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
7 days ago

The ones online that say 1900 are incorrectly dated I’m finding. But some of the ones below are ok. Not substantial.

A very robust 1898 catalog of electrical supplies of all types like electric fans for example with some light fixtures in it.

Electric light supplies : Western electric company. [from old catalog] : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

This is a limited catalog mostly supplies but interesting.
Supplies for gas, electric & combination fixtures and miscellaneous goods : Cleveland gas and electric fixture co. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

Hey thanks that was really useful. I actually have come across a lot of these parts and such. The period lighting piece showed me I have at least a good idea of the features that were on lights from the 1900s.

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
7 days ago

There is so much more out there. As I come across them I’ll post links. Glad I could help in the meantime with some stuff.

Gregory_K
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
8 days ago

Sounds wonderful. I’m jealous – they are now very rare.

Powers
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
7 days ago

I snatch it up on Ebay for almost nothing I was shocked when it came I thought there had to be some hitch, but one mans trash is anothers treasure.

Dreamer1
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
4 days ago

Really cool, thanks for posting those.

Dreamer1
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
4 days ago

That’s beautiful. Nice find.

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
9 days ago

It’s absolutely true. People had many ways of keeping and cooling homes by opening and closing certain windows and doors in the home. Don’t also forget the use of shutters and window shades. If you look at some old photos you’ll see all the shutters and shades closed on one side or every the entire house sometime to exclude light. People also sometimes installed awnings in some windows to share them from the sun. Portiere door curtains also helped exclude draft.

Clothes hangers were actually invented during 19th century. They had folded most of their cloths in dressers like we do today and the clothes hangers were hung in hooks. Sometimes you’ll see a bedroom photo with a closet door open and can see them in their use. People use to switch out Winter and summer clothing in storage in the attic for sure like you mentioned. Some household books from the era give you advise when the best time to switch and how to store during the spring and autumn cleaning times.
Some fun catalog styles

https://archive.org/details/BarbeeWireAndIronWorksCatNoB50/page/n352/mode/1up

Interesting history of the clothes hanger though maybe incorrectly implies the hanger didn’t go wire until early 20th century. https://tough-hook.com/history-of-the-clothes-hanger/

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

Sorry missed this comment! I had forgotten the shutters and the awnings. Those definitely help. My last home I believe may have had awnings. I never put any up because my wife hates covering up woodwork. In the house she orders Lace panels that she hangs inside the window leaving the wood exposed. I don’t blame her I love woodwork also so its hard to cover it up. When I see old photos with huge drapes hiding beautiful window trim it leaves me wondering how much it was either not appreciated back then or more likely it was so common that no one minded.

In my last home which was much smaller we use to practice the old way. Seasonal clothes where placed in large plastic bins in the attic and we switched out what we needed in the closets. It worked very well and the small closet was never so packed that you could not find what you wished.

Thank you for the links ill check them out!

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
7 days ago

I wonder sometimes though, was the window trim being that large and ornate by default during these decades the reason why people didn’t care about covering them with heavy drapes and curtains? I see it often in old photos and also wonder about that same thing. Though sometimes those drapes came down during the winter only to have lace curtains or sheers.

I’ve never really done that with clothes, but I remember my mother doing that as a kid. Our house had small closets so she would put them in bins in the attic. I would always ask her to leave a few sweaters out for those chilly nights in the drafty old house we lived in.

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

I actually did not consider that the drapes could be switch out like clothes. I am sure some people most likely did not wish to bother but a lot of people had foreign servants getting there start in America so it. Could easily be a house duty that was taken care of by house servants. Even in my smaller home I did a genealogy of the original builder. He was a blacksmith by trade and had 3 different servants that lived in the house throughout the years. Normally 16 year old woman who spoke only German. I read that many people would come to America and work I. a household that spoke there native language and work for room and board till they could get a start of there own.

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
7 days ago

I agree. In one of the books I sent you a link to on archive that is from the 80s broken down by decades speaks on these seasons of dress for the house. But they speak as if everyone did it but photos from the decades say otherwise. Some photos in dead winter sometimes only have sheers on the windows even in comfortable homes and other homes you see heavy drapery and lambrequins in the dead of summer. Though I will admit I do see many that did appear to do the practice as well. I also think as heating homes became altered with coal furnaces it made some of these practices lessen. Not eradicated but maybe lighten up the very taxing practice.

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

Yeah very true. We have ideas how the house was run but how day to day things actually went is often only a guess. I love seeing these homes with everything laid out perfect with beautiful statues and vases perched dangerously on small three legged tables just waiting for a dress to catch it and pull it down, or even better a child to fly by. Having three children myself I strongly feel these items had to be sitting up and when company or a photo was to be taken they came out and placed. Simply had to be or I could not see how anything could have survived.

M J G
Reply to  Powers | 132 comments
7 days ago

Absolutely. A lot of times professionals that took interior photos, move things around and staged them so it’s entirely true. Things were moved precariously and in odd positions just for the photograph. I always laugh when I see the same piece of furniture or accoutrement moving from room to room.

When it comes to children, many accounts do really speak of a stricter time with kids and a lot more physical beatings, speak when spoken to, etc, than we are as a society today. So, I have to wonder what we’re homes like inside with kids. I personally came from a very strict and obedient household and being 1 of 5 children. Although my parents never moved stuff up. We learned quickly what do not touch meant. But still with that, stuff still got broke. Though not often LOL

Powers
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
6 days ago

Lol I am no amatuer of the belt strap. I got it a few times a month.

Morna
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
8 days ago

I have done a lot of cooking with woodstoves (only a little on hearths) and there are pictures on my profile page of the kitchen in the little house I was in for 16 years. I do admit that on the hottest days, I brought in the Coleman 2 burner and use that on top of the stove.

Kimberly62
Reply to  Morna | 328 comments
7 days ago

On heat and cooking: We lived in a Second Empire row house, up in a mansard roof third floor apartment. I loved the five foot tall and some 2 ft deep windows for my tall cacti. It could get warm up there in the summer, so we finally used our window air conditioner and bought a 200 bottle unit for the wine and port. We used the fire escape to use our camp stove to make dinners, or cooked with it on the long front porch while the track goers walked by at the end of the day. such nice memories

M J G
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

Right? I agree. I went to a Sturbridge village in Massachusetts and they were cooking in an old oven and I wanted to try the food but it wasn’t available for us. I really want to find a living museum that does that. I know they have those in England. I think you can in Sturbridge… or used to be able to signup for a day with them.

Heidi Rauch
Supporter
10 days ago

1866 in the best historic area Quincy has to offer. This second Empire just listed a couple days ago. I’ve always admired it driving bye. After seeing the interior—it has been through a lot of updating. The exterior is still fantastic.
(I am very curious about the listing photos…pictures of the plates on the table aren’t exactly helpful to buyers)

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1477-Maine-St-Quincy-IL-62301/338282234_zpid/

Don Carleton
Reply to  Heidi Rauch | 213 comments
8 days ago

As for the updating, most appears to be cosmetic. I’m seeing what looks like original/historic window casings, cornices, and FPs–the good stuff seems largely intact!

John Shiflet
Supporter
10 days ago

Two Recent Old House TV Shows: The Craftsman and In With the Old

Since some casual banter or chit chat is permitted on Fridays, I was curious as to whether any of you have watched The Craftsman, starring Eureka, CA, Blue Ox Millworks business owner, Eric Hollenbeck. I visited Eureka some years ago and having lodged at the Eagle House Inn, I was told by the proprietor that Mr. Hollenbeck had custom made much of the replica Victorian millwork inside the building. I went the next morning over to see Blue Ox Millworks and got to speak with Eric Hollenbeck, personally. I readily identified with the kind of work he was doing and was favorably impressed with his unique business outreach program for troubled kids. Eric has a keen sense of humor and is a walking scholar about Victorian era millwork and antique woodworking machinery. He showed me a rare period machine that milled eight corner blocks with rosettes/Bull’s eyes at a time. It was gratifying to see Eric imparting his vast store of knowledge with teenagers who hadn’t a clue about what they were being taught to work on. Eric showed the teenagers how to make (lead free) paint from scratch using a very old formula he had found. I was amazed when he explained how he discovered angled corbels going along the eaves of the gables were cut using a specific jig design that greatly simplified the task. My kind of show. The Craftsman airs on Thursday evenings at 8 PM EST and 7 PM CST. The fairly new TV network formed by Chip and Joanna Gaines called the Magnolia Network, airs the show.

In With the Old is another new Magnolia Network show that is far more restoration friendly than shows from another home improvement network. The show aired on Weds. in the 7/8 PM timeslot. The episode I watched had a Baltimore, MD preservationist and designer uncovering and restoring original details in her brick rowhouse. I appreciated the respect shown towards the original house as well as the finished results.

One last show that is also on the Magnolia Network is Clint Harp’s Restoration Road . During the seasons of Chip and Joanna’s Fixer Upper show, Clint was the go-to man for making custom furniture and custom woodworking. He was always very knowledgeable and articulate so I wasn’t too surprised to see he landed his own show.

Preservation and restoration friendly TV shows have always had short lifespans but I welcome new shows which share old houses worth saving while not taking the usual route of remodeling beyond recognition. Chip and Joanna surprised me with their Waco, Texas, Castle project. When I first read about it, I figured the Victorian era mansion grade stone “Castle” was going to end up with the usual “Farmhouse Rustic” look from their Fixer Upper series. Happily, I was wrong because a great deal of effort was made to take a restoration approach to the grand home and what turned out was quite impressive. It makes me think that after putting their touch on so many older homes, the restoration/preservation philosophy finally found favor with Chip and Joanna. Then again, I still don’t know what to think about Chip as he laughingly stated his favorite part of rehabbing houses is the demolition part.

I would be remiss in not mentioning season seven of Brett Waterman’s Restored show is coming to the Magnolia Network. Although not strictly a preservationist, Brett is knowledgeable and talented in bringing lost features back to the houses he works on. Only thing… I kind of wish the affable tall drink of water would trade his signature Cowboy hat in for a construction hard hat. California, after all, is not west Texas.

Gregory_K
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
10 days ago

They are great shows. Thanks for the times. I keep stumbling on them by accident.

John Shiflet
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

I hope those shows with more of a preservation-restoration theme continue and even grow in numbers. Too many old houses are sacrificed to incorporate the modern HGTV trends which, like all trends, will look dated over time. Original is always timeless and arguably, is better.

JDmiddleson
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
9 days ago

I try to tune in to any show that pushed restoration as opposed to the modern, tear down, remodeling we see on so many shows. Thanks for the heads up, John. I’ll be looking for them! They need as much viewer support of these kinds of shows as they can get!

Barbara V
Supporter
10 days ago

1852 Greek Revival on almost 2 acres in Claryville, NY, for $495,000. Updated, but not too painfully (although the rear exterior is pretty disappointing):

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/906-Claryville-Rd-Claryville-NY-12725/32779139_zpid/

Kirsten
Reply to  Barbara V | 2004 comments
10 days ago

Oh gosh, I really like this one, Barbara. A lot more than I would have expected. True, there are a few issues, but the kitchen is a marvelous effort to preserve the house’s character, for example. Also adore a lot of the ceilings, the bead board wainscoting, the interior entry, and all those nice, old interior doors. Plus, loads of light coming in. It’s a very cheery little place.

This dining room was just one of many photos that made me smile. I don’t usually prefer red, but in this case I will make a very happy exception.

Kirsten
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

For some reason, I wasn’t being allowed to post the photo I was talking about yesterday. Trying again…

Screen Shot 2023-01-20 at 5.16.31 PM.jpg
JimH
Reply to  Barbara V | 2004 comments
8 days ago

Thanks Barbara – a pretty elegant house for its locale in 1852! It deserves its original plaster ceilings restored and a few period fixtures at least.

Kimberly62
Supporter
10 days ago

1961, Los Angeles, CA, 16,000,000
Okay, hear me out before you look at that price again. 🙂
From the listing: “The “Garcia House”, an iconic masterpiece designed by the world-renowned architect, John Lautner. Built in 1962, the home underwent a historic restoration by Marmol Radziner, with a focus on preserving original details and functionality. The property boasts a number of timeless features including a lava rock entryway, original terrazzo flooring, signature parabolic roof, a 55-foot wall of windows, and 60-foot caissons elevating the structure above the canyon
Like living inside and around a sculpture with views. Would love to explore the entire place and experience it in person.
7436 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90046 | MLS #23-230915 | Zillow

Kirsten
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
10 days ago

Well, now THAT is quite something, Kimberly! Love the description of “living inside and around a sculpture with views.” Totally agree that it would be an amazing experience to visit this one in person.

Kimberly62
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

Little day dream, but it would be fun to travel to LA and visit a house like this with a bunch of us here.

Kirsten
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
9 days ago

Oh gosh, yes, Kimberly!

Gregory_K
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
10 days ago

I reminds me a lot of the house that is pulled down the hillside in the Lethal Weapon series.

DJZ
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
9 days ago

If a house ever screamed 60’s, this is IT! WOW is this so awesome. I love that the staircase is open to the outside yet covered too!

Kimberly62
Supporter
10 days ago

1927, West Hollywood, CA, 6,995,000
From the listing: “The Lloyd Wright Studio and Residence. This is a unique opportunity to own an architectural masterpiece by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, who oversaw his Southern California projects. This home studio features Wright’s signature interlocking Joshua Tree textile blocks. Originally built in 1927 and lovingly restored in the 90s by Frank Lloyd Wright’s grandson Eric Wright.”
Smile, would love to live with the cacti and succulents and the smooth wall and textured wall/openings. Like living in a piece of pottery.
858 N Doheny Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069 | MLS #23-232807 | Zillow

shmotrezoom
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
10 days ago

forgive me–I see all those little rough surfaces and wonder how to keep them clean.

It looks endless, like painting the Golden Gate bridge–start all over again as soon as you finish.

Kirsten
Reply to  Kimberly62 | 3590 comments
10 days ago

Really interesting to compare this duplex to Lloyd Wright’s even heavier Mayan Revival style, exhibited most notably at Sowden House. I have to say, I much prefer the Joshua Tree interlocking blocks in your find, Kimberly, to the massive heft and atmosphere created by the Mayan Revival look.

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Kimberly62
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
10 days ago

though, would like to see this one too. I have too many houses to visit and experience on my days off. 🙂

CvZ1200
10 days ago

Bugbee House, 18 Kimball Hill, Putney, VT, “1850,” $450,000: https://www.trulia.com/p/vt/putney/18-kimball-hl-putney-vt-05346–2004314072

I swear I saw this listing in last week’s House Shares and Chit Chat, but I can’t find it again. Apologies if this is a duplicate.

I’ve been admiring this house, which probably dates to around 1800-1810, since it went up for sale months ago. It has been very well preserved, with original floors, doors, hinges and other early details. The simple, bright rooms are seductive. The kitchen is practically a blank slate. I’d keep things very simple and preserve the spirit of the room. There’s also a ca. 1929-31 Buick in the barn, and I’d like to think it conveys.

I’m in no position to buy a house in Putney, but I’ll mourn this one when it goes off the market. I fervently hope the buyer doesn’t change a thing.

Putney 1.jpg
Putney 2.jpg
Kirsten
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
10 days ago

This is definitely a gem, CvZ1200…Feels like it’s lost in time. Even the lot is beautiful. [Sigh…]

Gregory_K
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
10 days ago

The staircase is magnificent. Bur the kitchen fireplace is a mess. Obviously loving hands at home. Why cannot people see that this brickwork has been badly damaged? in a repointing job or perhaps re-laid poorly. It looks to me as though someone ground the mortar joints, which cuts the bricks in size. The masonry appears to have then been repointed with Portland cement. The mortar joints are too wide, the mortar lines are too thick.

CvZ1200
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
10 days ago

Ah, you’re right! I hadn’t looked that closely. I was mostly impressed by the fact that the kitchen wasn’t clotted with cabinets, tile, range hoods, etc. Your comment prompted me to look at the other fireplaces, which were apparently spared the same treatment, though the fireboxes look they’re in bad shape.

The damage to the kitchen fireplace looks irreparable. A similar hack job happened to (mercifully tiny) portions of our masonry, and there’s little we can do without further damaging the soft brick.

Still, I’d live with that abomination in the kitchen, because I love the the proportions and scale of that house.

Gregory_K
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
8 days ago

You hit the nail on the head. I’d easily live with the damage to the fireplace for the joy of the rest of the house.

Your comment on the soft brick is also very astute. I notice you have 42 comments, so I hope you will continue to add more. You obviously know what you are writing about, and it will be a pleasure to read more of your entries.

Kirsten
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

Oh dear…I hadn’t noticed that either. I got caught up, like CvZ1200, in the fact that brickwork was still there at all. Just went back and inspected. I see what you mean. Still, there’s a lot of other good stuff here that makes the house worth it, I think. I still love the siting of the home…Just so pretty.

CvZ1200
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

I agree that the house is beautifully situated: close to town and on a brook, with lovely views of what looks like a meeting house or church across the way. For me, the beauty of those simple, bright, and well-proportioned rooms more than compensates for the sins committed against the fireplace.

Gregory_K
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
8 days ago

Of course you’re correct. It is a lovely house in a fine location.

LesFossel
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
10 days ago

Probably dates to the 1830s, perhaps ’20s, based on the doors, door latches, and fireplaces. The kitchen fireplace is awful, but lazy masons often did their damage within the space provided by the old fireplace. Perhaps that is the case here.

CvZ1200
Reply to  LesFossel | 250 comments
9 days ago

Thanks for the clarification about the construction date. I wonder if the fireplace could be reconstructed with greater skill and sensitivity.

LesFossel
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
9 days ago

Yes, the fireplace can be reconstructed seamlessly. This is work we do all the time in Maine using Richard Irons & his crew. I’m certain it can be done in VT by Richard or a local restoration mason. Go to the Vermont Historic Preservation Trust’s website (https://ptvermont.org/). They maintain a Restoration Directory list. Attached is a picture of our fireplace which Richard Irons reproduced 15 years ago.

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Don Carleton
Reply to  LesFossel | 250 comments
8 days ago

A real beaut!

Gregory_K
Reply to  LesFossel | 250 comments
8 days ago

I feel a little responsible for Mr. Irons’ initial publicity. He is not only a phenomenally great craftsman, he is also very knowledgeable about the nature of historic buildings’ structure as a whole. You could compose a sonnet on the beauty and historic accuracy of his masonry and the other work he does. He’s also a really swell guy. The sort of person you might want as a relative or friend.

I spoke to Maine Preservation many years ago, asking them to celebrate the wonderful craftspeople who work with patience and skill to save our treasures.

About the time that I made this suggestion, a major historic home in Kennebunkport was partly collapsed because the contractor did not understand the nature of antique masonry.

As part of my suggestion, I strongly suggested that Mr. Irons be their first honoree because it would publicize the need to hire qualified craftspeople, particularly for masonry, and Mr. Irons was the perfect person to celebrate this idea.
.

LesFossel
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

Greg:
We must have connected multiple times over my 50+ years of obsessing about old houses – perhaps when I was vice-chair of Maine Preservation. I am still trying to figure out a way to create a preservation trades school in Maine. If I cannot find another way, then I will do it as an adjunct of my business. Every time I get an interested group together, there is great enthusiasm, then no follow through. I’ll see if I can gin up some enthusiasm at the Greater Portland Landmarks Old House Trade Show this Spring – perhaps we can meet there.

Kimberly62
Supporter
10 days ago

1948, Willsboro, NY, 3,500,000
Now a Phillip Johnson house on Lake Champlain on 20 acres sided in cypress on the water.

314 Point Rd, Willsboro, NY 12996 | MLS #177946 | Zillow

Kirsten
Supporter
10 days ago

1927 in Madison, WI
2627 sq ft on a 6098 sq ft lot
$879,900
Contingent, but hey, you never know…stuff happens!

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/201-Lathrop-St_Madison_WI_53726_M74448-72909

While this neighborhood would be too close to the University of Wisconsin and Camp Randall for me, I know a lot of people who have lived over in that area quite happily. There have been updates to the interior of this house, but the outside–with its cream and brown brick, contrasted with dark green shingle siding, eaves, and window trim–gives the house an absolutely home catalogue look. It’s so striking! Also, if they did window replacements, they seem to have been incredibly respectful about it; but I’m thinking a lot of those windows might just be originals. Would be interested in someone else’s take on the windows.

Other bits of happiness…the rounded entry doors, the staircase with its rounded bottom step, and one bathroom with its original tile, tub, and sink (as far as I can tell).

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Tony Bianchini
10 days ago

Ballinger, TX, built 1905, $79.5K! The price of a new SUV. Looks like plenty to still work with. What we can see is tantalizing:

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1209-N-8th-St_Ballinger_TX_76821_M88266-57248

Gregory_K
Reply to  Tony Bianchini | 241 comments
10 days ago

Handsome house. Cast blocks can be so elegant when used properly. The porch roof may not be in the terrible condition it appears to be. The failing moldings, gutters, etc. may account for most of that appearance. Attractive interiors.

Kirsten
Reply to  Tony Bianchini | 241 comments
9 days ago

Tantalizing is right.

I must say…this mantlepiece really caught my eye. Sort of took my breath away when I spotted it, actually. I don’t remember ever seeing anything quite like it before.

Screen Shot 2023-01-21 at 10.41.30 AM.jpg
DJZ
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

so far that is my favorite feature

John Shiflet
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

Ballinger, Texas was founded in 1886 with the arrival of the railroad. The town was named after William P. Ballinger, a Galveston attorney and stockholder in the railroad. The town is located between Abilene, Texas and San Angelo, Texas with a population of about 3,700. In streetview, it looks like the town is huge but I think it ties in with the wide open spaces of West Texas. That region is often called the “Big Country” because of the spaciousness. Any town with a rail line could order items like this mantel to be shipped in as well as millwork and hardware. Rusticated concrete blocks were all the rage in the first decade of the 20th century but Ballinger is better known for its native stone buildings which are still spread around town. Real estate prices are low because few newcomers are coming into town these days. Expect a slower pace of life if you move there.

Anne M.
Supporter
10 days ago

1871 in Meadville, PA $179,000 dramatic exterior, lots to work with on the interior
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/18651-Cussewago-Rd-Meadville-PA-16335/338380440_zpid/

Meadville.JPG
Gregory_K
Reply to  Anne M. | 1394 comments
10 days ago

This is a very handsome house. The porch columns and railings are carefully detailed, as are the interiors. However, this house is no more a relic from 1871 than I am. (Hint, I was born in 1953).

This house appears to have been built, from the foundation up, sometime in the first decade and a half of the 20th century. I believe it is closer to 1905-1910 than 1915-1920. There are many late 19th and early 20th century details that argue against it being much later.

The oval bays on the façade, with their curved glass sash, and the character of the interior plasterwork and woodwork, are all very Victorian in spirit.

DJZ
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

Id like to see what the dining room ceiling looked like before the blue paint was applied. The oval paintings from the original period of this house is wonderful, but leave much to the imagination as to what it mightve looked like originally.

Dave
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

The 1886 Sanborn maps don’t show a structure at that address; 1905 and 1912 do, albeit with a different porch configuration.

Here’s a very similar house in Meadville, plans credited to GFB, built 1905.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/494-Chestnut-St-Meadville-PA-16335/118646011_zpid/

Another in Meadville, frame version. In all 3 the large porticos look nearly identical, and there are several other examples in nearby towns. There are a bunch of old houses in Meadville, dating back to the 1830’s or so, but I agree — unless this house is a major remodel, it looks like 1905 or so.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/263-Randolph-St-Meadville-PA-16335/216557364_zpid/

Barbara V
Reply to  Anne M. | 1394 comments
9 days ago

Gosh, unless there is some disaster we aren’t seeing, this looks like quite a deal, particularly on 1.79 acres.

Gregory_K
Supporter
10 days ago

A diner for a Home? Wow, what an idea! The ultimate foodie experience…

The Barclay Heights Diner at 3130 Route 9 W, Saugerties, NY, closed almost exactly 50 years after it opened. The owner wanted to sell, and the business owners decided to retire after 20 years in the business, so the building and land are up for sale.

The Barclay Heights had a good reputation, so it enjoyed a regional business.

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3130-Route-9W_Saugerties_NY_12477_M91749-31490

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Gregory_K
Supporter
10 days ago

This magnificent home may have been posted here before, but is special enough that it should be posted again. I’d consider robbing a bank to own it.

This is the Second Empire Alexander King Mansion, 1882, with alterations. Located at
5501 Elgin St Pittsburgh, PA. The preserved and /or restored interiors are spectacular. I’d love to know if the frescoed decorations are conserved originals, recreations based on surviving evidence, but otherwise completely new, or completely new in the style of the era. You can tell that the domestic arrangements are original or very carefully researched recreations because of such details as the stone foundations for the toilet, etc., inset into the floor.

The sellers selection of furniture is as impressive as the restoration.

https://www.sothebysrealty.com/piatt/eng/sales/detail/180-l-83061-qjcsfc/5501-elgin-street-highland-park-pittsburgh-pa-15206

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Kirsten
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

That definitely is an exceptional house, Gregory. I was pretty sure you were right that it had been posted before (yes, definitely merited another look), so I went digging. Here’s the OHD listing from 2021:

https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2021/12/16/c-1880-second-empire-in-pittsburgh-pa/

I have to say, the photos in the new Sotheby’s listing are exceptional. Lots of new angles and detail shots…plus that stone turret in the yard! Holy cow! Had no clue that was there from the previous listing. What an interesting bonus on this property.

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Tony Bianchini
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
9 days ago

There were some old photos, in a previous listing, the turret was by the old carriage house/original winding driveway.

DJZ
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

This house is EXCEPTIONAL!! WOW! Im in love.

Randy C
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

I agree, this is a first rate restoration. If I had the funds, I would purchase this beauty in a heartbeat. Wonder if they would consider selling it furnished, with a very large price tag of course. I can’t imagine moving into a home like this with my furniture…it would be so disappointing.

Kimberly62
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
7 days ago

very nice Gregory, this is an amazing place, thank you

CORPO
10 days ago

Hey OHD. I wrote up a long post last night but it didn’t seem to post :-/ my phone is getting old and cranky.

It’s been a while since I have been in here, life has been busy. Spent a lot of the summer working on my parents home as my grandmother needed to moving with them short notice.

Some of you may recall my wife and I were seriously considering purchasing the galena marine hospital, but it sold when we had our trip planned to go back and see it a second time.

We have been looking for something special ever since, somewhere our kids would want to come home too (when they grow up ) some that stick out were… An old 1850s farm house that was a stage coach stop/hotel, an old mill, one of the nicest old houses in my wife’s home town. It had the best porch! We tried looking at a few newer homes that had nice pieces of land but it never felt like that forever spot.

Welllllllll we found it, my wife and my in-laws are trilled cause it’s just a short 7 min car ride from their home. Which is great cause we are going to need a place to base ourselves while we work on it. She’s in rough shape, the outside is great, but the inside is a messsssss!

It’s an old two room schoolhouse built in 1915!

CORPO
Reply to  CORPO | 22 comments
10 days ago

I just lost another long post… I think it has something to do with my photos when I try to attach them. Humm.

CORPO
Reply to  CORPO | 22 comments
10 days ago

Just a bit more context before I head over there for the day… it came full of stuff… I know some of you are thinking sweet vintage treasures… but unfortunately the vast majority of the contents is broken furniture and text books… ohhhh and 100s and 100s of dolls and glass figurines…

We did a 30 yard dumpster in 2 days and had a massive fire burning out back with damp books and broken furniture for 4 days… and we are no where near empty.

I will have to figure out what’s going on with my photos… if not my wife started an instagram for the house… I will have to get the link from her if anyone is interested.

I’m slightly concerned that some of the posts I wrote will show up later… then I will look like a crazy person cause I will have said the same thing multiple times… lol

Gregory_K
Reply to  CORPO | 22 comments
9 days ago

Good to read you are back, you area good writer, so it will be a pleasure to read your entries. Congratulations on your new home.

You may be having trouble in posting photographs for many reasons.

The two I run into most commonly are the type of format, and the size of the photograph’s information as recorded in its megabytes, abbreviated MB – forgive me if the following comments insult your intelligence.

This site’s structure will only accept jpg photographs, not any other format. So, if you decide to post photographs, check the ‘Properties’ of your photographs. Do that by right clicking on the photograph, and scrolling down to ‘Properties.’ A window will pop up. This will list the format of the photograph, as well as telling you the size of the image, measured in megabytes. If the photograph is not in the jpg format, there is a straight forward solution (Megabytes are covered further down.):

Right click on the photograph, and scroll down the popup menu to ‘Open With.’ A secondary popup menu will appear. Click on ‘Paint.’

An enlargement of the photograph will appear, in the ‘Paint’ window. At this point, it’s convenient to decide where you want to save your revised photograph. The computer will ask where you want to save it after the next step. If I do not have a better idea just at this point, I set up a new labeled file on the desktop.

In the upper left corner of the ‘Paint’ panel with the image you are changing, left click on ‘File.’ A new menu will pop up, divided down the middle. Left click on ‘Save AS,’ on the left, and then move the cursor to the right to ‘jpg. picture.’ A final panel will pop up asking where you want to save the photograph, so your earlier choice now becomes important.

You have now changed the photograph to the preferred jpg. format. Occasionally, I have to do this 2 or even 3 times, although that may be a function of my aging computer.

There may be one other problem. If the photograph is too dense in information, this site’s program will reject it, as it will for any photograph larger than 3 MB (This has nothing to do with Kelly’s choices, as this limit is common). You may have to alter the photograph by lightening it, reducing the contrast, perhaps using the ‘Contrast’ slide to reduce some of the photograph’s information, and thus the level of MBs.

As an example, the antique architectural photograph I posted for the 1898 D. Howard Spears House on Dummer Street, in Bath, Maine, an entry on this site from this past week. The first photograph that follows illustrates the photograph’s original density and color. I had to slice up the photograph to post it in it’s original color and density. Because the ‘properties’ of the original photograph were nearly 4.0, the site rejected them. Sometimes the program will tell you that your photograph is over the limit, and sometimes not, so if it isn’t posted, check it’s properties. The second photograph illustrates how much I needed to use the light, contrast and color slides to reduce the MB to approximately 2.90 MB so the program would accept it.

I’m sorry this is so long. Good luck.

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CORPO
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
9 days ago

Thanks for the write up, I understand everything you are saying. I haven’t attempted to post from my computer, only from my iPhone… I know iPhone photos are jpegs… not sure on the file size. I am assuming this is my problem… only thing that confuses me.. is I’m pretty sure I posted photos to OHD in the past from my phone…

CORPO
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
9 days ago

It says “upload in process” something about max upload of 3 mb, I have tried to only do one photo… still doesn’t seem to work…

I need to get some photos up… she’s definitely a good looking old lady..

John Shiflet
Reply to  CORPO | 22 comments
9 days ago

Congratulations, Corpo! I wholeheartedly support grassroots preservation. Old school houses are disappearing literally on a daily basis so preserving one as a homestead is an acceptable way to save it. I wish you and your family the best success in this family effort. Your children can claim they have been in school most of their lives.

Tony Bianchini
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
9 days ago

John, I share your outrage and disgust. Why, oh why, would anyone do this??

CORPO
Reply to  CORPO | 22 comments
9 days ago

Yesterday was another productive day cleaning out the school house… my buddy who was there helping sent me his steps for the day 21,000… almost 10 miles.. we are both pretty sore this morning…

Found some pretty bad rot in the floor of the kitchen area I wasn’t expecting it was hiding under 3 layers of linoleum … so that’s fun 🙂

Randy C
Reply to  CORPO | 22 comments
8 days ago

Congrats! Please share your progress with us.

Tony Bianchini
9 days ago

Why did this need gutted down to the studs?? Saint Louis, MO, built 1893, short sale at $799K. Beauty shop in the old carriage house – so, presumably you’d have some income:

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/4484-W-Pine-Blvd_Saint-Louis_MO_63108_M73287-54219

Video (poor quality), but at least we can glimpse the interior:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBq-3xbPBL0

John Shiflet
Reply to  Tony Bianchini | 241 comments
9 days ago

One of the most depressing videos I’ve watched in a long time. I don’t need to know the story behind its current incarnation because someone unenlightened apparently thought an architectural masterpiece from the late 19th century would look better toned down and modernized for the 21st century. While not take Michaelangelo’s old statue of David and turn it into a Kaws statue? A sizable sum of money went into this drastic transformation but details of incalculable value were gutted out of the house in seeking a sleek modern look. Nothing wrong with wanting sleek and modern but why oh why destroy a fine period interior to achieve that modern look? Wondering what happened to those exquisite stained glass windows? Right idea perhaps, but terribly wrong for this particular house, in my humble opinion. No matter how much the makeover cost, putting the house back to the way it originally looked would cost many times more.That is, if it were even possible.

John Shiflet
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
9 days ago

Had to add the appropriate Kaws statue…

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Julie
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
8 days ago

Great to see you are back on here! We missed you.

John Shiflet
Reply to  Julie | 90 comments
7 days ago

Well, thank you, Julie. Had a death in the family (my spouse) six months ago from yesterday, so slowly trying to readjust my life and get back to something approaching normal. I always find being with old house friends and colleagues here on Old House Dreams to be cathartic.

Julie
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
5 days ago

I am so very sorry for your loss, John.
I hope you’re doing ok. It’s nice to get lost looking at old houses. How is yours coming along? If I remember correctly, you moved from Texas to Ohio?

DJZ
Reply to  Tony Bianchini | 241 comments
9 days ago

I hope for the love of all that is historical and elegant they at least saved the wainscotting and the trimmings. I just dont understand why it would be gutted, that house looked amazing in the poor quality video, but still so very elegant.

Gregory_K
Reply to  DJZ | 600 comments
9 days ago

Tony Bianchini, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I wrote an entry on this earlier today. Apparently I did not save it properly, or it was too offensive. I noted, as did John, the tremendous cost of destroying the interior of this house, and the absolute fact that they actually reduced the value of the property. What possessed them to undertake such an ill advised effort?

In my opinion, thugs with money. .

CvZ1200
Reply to  Tony Bianchini | 241 comments
9 days ago

Heartbreaking!

Komiza
Supporter
9 days ago

I love the setting of the women in the photo.

Ranunculus
Supporter
9 days ago

Not to offend any lovers of Brutalist architecture, but…

FBI headquarters in DC tops list of ugliest buildings in the nation
https://wtop.com/gallery/dc/fbi-headquarters-in-dc-tops-list-of-ugliest-buildings-in-the-nation/

The infamous Watergate hotel/apartment building is on the list too.

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Ranunculus
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
9 days ago

The Watergate, at 4th ugliest in the US

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CvZ1200
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
9 days ago

They used a fascinating (if flawed) methodology to arrive at their list, but it’s almost impossible to get a truly representative sample of public sentiment on something like this.

Still, I agree with most, if not all, of the conclusions. As a DC resident, however, I feel that I have to come to the defense of the Watergate. The building isn’t very photogenic, but I find it almost beautiful in person. It embraces its lot with elegant, curving arms, and its distinctive balcony design is reminiscent of Aztec designs. Perhaps it has an unfair advantage in that it occupies a space between substantially uglier buildings – and benefits from the comparison.

The interior spaces are bright and airy, and they offer wonderful views of the Potomac. The ones I’ve seen make very interesting use of the curving spaces.

I generally don’t warm to buildings of that era, but the Watergate has somehow wormed its way into my affections.

Ranunculus
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
8 days ago

I completely agree with you on the Watergate. And the outdoor restaurant plaza areas with the river view are delightful.

CvZ1200
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
8 days ago

I agree! I’m surprised that Penn Station/Madison Square Garden in New York City didn’t make the list. After all, the demolition of the original station turbocharged the preservation movement. I think the architectural historian Vincent Scully put it best: “one used to enter New York City lite a god. One scuttles in now like a rat.”

Gregory_K
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
8 days ago

That’s a superb quote; I’d forgotten all about it.

My father took me into New York, and we made a special stop at Penn Station. He was late to his meetings because we couldn’t leave.

We spent that night at the old Astor Hotel, a turn of the century architectural festival in the Second Empire style (1904-1905, expanded 1909-1910). We spent so long exploring that we almost missed Dinner! The menu was extensive, but the gent waiting on us, dressed in black and whites, with a bow tie, suggested that the kitchen could create anything we liked, as long as they had the ingredients required.

I had some kind of fish, I don’t remember how it was prepared, but the potatoes I’ve since learned were Pommes Duchesse. They were shaped like miniature vegetables, breaded, then fried. The stems were pasta, made tender because it was fried.

The dining room was astounding, like eating dinner inside a wedding cake. It was destroyed in 1967 for a very ordinary glass and steel cheese grater.

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CvZ1200
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

What wonderful memories! I wish I could have experienced something like that.

The original Penn Station had fallen to Robert Moses and his crew not long before I was born, so my only experience of Penn Station and its environs has been to be driven to my gate like cattle through a dim, low-ceilinged stockyard.

M J G
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
8 days ago

Ugh, dont even get me started on this. I will always feel rage thinking that NYC lost its one of its most stunning railroad stations to that monstrosity and ugly tower building. I only wish I had been able to see that 150-foot-tall waiting hall with its coffered ceiling and Corinthian columns! People also forget that Penn Stations grand waiting hall was even taller than Grand Central Terminals which is 120 something feet (i can’t remember the exact height). Must have been quite something. Plus, what would it have been like to enter that huge glass train shed.

JimH
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

It was quite something, and I have a memory of walking through as a little kid in 1959. That epic day out also included a ride in the jump seat of a classic Checker cab, lunch at the Horn & Hardart Automat, and a matinee of the Sound of Music with Mary Martin (where I fell asleep).

M J G
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
7 days ago

You walked through it? Wow, I’m so jealous. I was born in 1977 so that was far demolished by then.I think by that time you visited was when the hideous clam shell had been installed in the waiting hall cutting off the direct access to the train shed and demolishing all the original ticket and beautiful travertine marble tick booth counters. Many say, and I agree, that was the final nail in the coffin for that station. Would have been a cool mid-century design for another building, but NOT this place.

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JimH
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

I don’t remember that – I was just looking up and thinking “This place is REALLY BIIIIGG!” The Checker and the Automat were the best parts for 5 year old me tbh.

Gregory_K
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
8 days ago

CvZ1200 and Ranunculus, you’ve both made very interesting observations.

I am accustomed to buildings with obvious charms, buildings that are perhaps folk art, wonderful revivals, elegant or witty and sophisticated.

The Watergate has a difficult to define quality that balances being elegant but somehow simultaneously verging on ugly.

However, as you have observed (I hope I am not misinterpreting your remarks) it is completely different in feeling when you experience it in the flesh. The curves seem more Gaudi-esque, and the unrelentingly repetitive balcony railings, in fact the entire complex, moves with the weather. I’m not accustomed to a building that changes so completely. It’s dramatically different on a windy day, with clouds constantly changing the light, in the rain, or on a sunny day.

Architectural pictures try to capture the building in bright sunshine, recording as much as possible in a single shot, perhaps because so many people have mixed, even negative feelings about the complex, and thus historians do not believe it merits more than a single shot.

Ranunculus
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

Well stated, Gregory! I do have some concern that the buildings’ notoriety colors the opinions of many, and that one day there may be sufficient impetus to raze them and build some overly dense, bland, uber-expensive condos in that coveted waterfront acreage.

Gregory_K
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
8 days ago

Actually, the complex was entered on the National Register of historic Places in 2005, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation has moved their offices there in 2015.

It had been allowed to deteriorate, and the demolition by neglect made developers reluctant to buy it; it was offered for sale a number of times, with no officially interested buyers.

It eventually sold to preservation oriented developers, who have renovated it, with extensive modernizations. The complex appears unchanged from the outside but I have no idea what may have been changed inside.

Unfortunate changes made during the Reagan administration made it legal to demolish National Register properties. However the move by the National Trust has brought needed attention and cachet to the complex.

Because of the repairs, recognition of its historic status, and the occupation of some of the offices by the National Trust – which helped make it fashionable again – I doubt that it will be so endangered that demolition will be considered again. At least in our lifetimes.

Ranunculus
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

OH YAY!

CvZ1200
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
8 days ago

I agree. The building’s very name has come to denote scandal.

CvZ1200
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

I don’t think you’ve misinterpreted my comments at all!

M J G
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
8 days ago

I’m one of the rare ones on OHD that greatly dislikes brutalism. One of the few styles I can say I hate. While some of it is cutting edge, and I can appreciate the thought that went into it, I have and always will get an uneasy feeling when I see this architecture visually. It is an emotional feeling that I get of disgust or unease that I just can’t shake.

Ranunculus
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

🤫 Truth be told, me too! I have TRIED to find the allure, but it all feels like parking garages. A step above a house made of ice. Even the brutalist artwork feels so angry. I much prefer either cozy or elegant abodes!

I’ve long had a hatred (apparently in good company) for the FBI building in particular, and not just how it doesn’t do the alabaster federal city justice but how it looms cold and dark and heartless over anyone nearby… I always figured the latter issue was “by design”, considering the group it houses.

For a long while there, the FBI was looking at areas outside the city for relocation, and I crossed my fingers this building would be… replaced, shall I say, with something more appropriate and aesthetic, whatever group next resided in it. But that move didn’t ever happen.

M J G
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
7 days ago

Since I was a kid, we would drive through 95 in New Haven CT and I always saw this building and always bothered me. I would hear people talking about what a work of art it was, and while the concept of it being setup like that and I respect the effort and design, I could never gain a liking for it. I know I know… the tomatoes and eggs will start flying at me for even saying it. It was abandoned for many years but now it’s being turned into a hotel. I remember walking through it with a few people long before Ikea was built and it was in terrible shape.

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for those who love this style.
How a Landmark Marcel Breuer Building Became a Groundbreaking, Energy-Conscious Hotel – Dwell

CvZ1200
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

I remember this building from my years living in New Haven. I believe it was the Pirelli Tire building. I never liked it, in part because it embodied the worst aspects of urban renewal in the city: mow down an established neighborhood and replace it with a concrete colossus enmeshed in a network of freeways. That was what became of New Haven’s waterfront!

As for my opinion of brutalist buildings more generally, it depends on the building. Yale’s Art and Architecture building, also in New Haven, is almost tolerable, though Paul Rudolph knocked down much lovelier buildings (in my opinion) to make room.

My mother lives in a beautiful brutalist building in Virginia. It’s wonderfully vertical from the outside, with slender concrete spires alternating with other structures that suggest battlements. The interior spaces are lovely, with windows that evoke the adjoining rectangles in a painting by Mondrian. And the interiors are bright, bright, bright!

M J G
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
7 days ago

That’s another thing too. A lot of times when I see that style I think about what it replaced.

Kirsten
Reply to  Ranunculus | 468 comments
6 days ago

Oh God…the FBI building. Preach!

Kirsten
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
6 days ago

I’m with you on pretty much detesting brutalism, MJG. There may be a few exceptions, but not many. Aside from my aesthetic issues with brutalism, which are legion, many of these buildings were designed in a way that makes them thoroughly unreadable to someone trying to navigate them from the inside. That’s clearly not something that you want in a building.

I give you my own Exhibit A: the George L. Mosse Humanities Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which I frequented in my graduate school days but NEVER entirely figured out. I found my way to my lecture halls, seminar rooms, and the offices of a couple of professors after significant roaming around. But a special event in an unfamiliar part of the building would send me scrambling all over again. What a mess of a place. I seriously defy anyone to make sense of this building’s floor plan. If you have a class in Humanities on your first day on campus, start early. I’m not kidding. In looking for a full photo of the building, I actually ran across an article entitled something like, “Can We All Just Agree that Humanities Is the Worst Building on Campus?” I literally laughed out loud.

Of course, now there’s an effort to tear this building down and replace it in 2029-2030 with something more trendy. A year or two ago, not long after they floated plans to replace Humanities, they started to publicly point out issues with the building. Concrete degrading, structural issues, ventilation problems. They finally have it in for this place, and they’re busy justifying the fundraising campaign. No doubt the current dean of the School of Humanities has more legacy to leave. If there’s one thing I like less than Brutalism, its bloviating UW deans with a penchant for making their mark on the campus. The amount of beauty and history they’ve destroyed over the years is astonishing, and no doubt Humanities was one of their pet projects. I shudder to think what lovely old buildings were demolished to make way for it. And now, in its turn, it too will disappear. I wish I could call it justice. I’ll settle for some form of irony.

And there, MJG, is some biting commentary for you. 😉

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Kirsten
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

A full-length article I found on the Humanities Building at UW:

https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/how-the-humanities-building-went-wrong/

M J G
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

Great commentary. Glad I’m not alone.

DJZ
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
5 days ago

i greatly distaste brutalist architecture especially the buildings in DC. behind the smithonian castle, its like a row of an 80’s lacklust of architecture

Anne M.
Supporter
8 days ago

1748 “Old Stone House” in Salisbury, CT $1,085,000 accompanied by an 1891 mill house, very attractive setting.

salisbury.JPG
Kirsten
Reply to  Anne M. | 1394 comments
8 days ago

Here’s a link to the listing:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/264-Taconic-Rd-Salisbury-CT-06068/123951440_zpid/

The photos provided are lovely, but there are only 35 of them. From what I can see, it’s a beautiful place. Much of the interior feels more contemporary than I would prefer, though, and I’m not fond of some of the color choices. Much of it feels too white. The red bathroom feels too bold in relationship to the age of the home and the rest of the interior. But there’s unquestionably a lot here to work with. And the setting is gorgeous.

Anne M.
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
8 days ago

I did it AGAIN! Got so involved in making sure I attached the picture, I never put in the link. Thanks, Kirsten!  😚 

Kirsten
Reply to  Anne M. | 1394 comments
8 days ago

No problem, Anne! I’ve left stuff out in my own comments. I was just really intrigued to see the rest of the listing photos, so I went digging!

CvZ1200
8 days ago

Beautiful! The masonry around the fireplace looks very 20th-century to me, but I’ll defer to others with more knowledge.

Gregory_K
Reply to  CvZ1200 | 64 comments
8 days ago

You do not need to defer to anyone! You’re correct. It is handsome and well built, but also very modern.

And you are correct, in my opinion: ‘Beautiful.’ In these very spare and modern interiors, there is very little that appears to be an historic detail other than the beams. However, it is easily possible that these very elegant spaces reflect the fact that very little survived. so they are the result, making reference to the building’s age while being straight-forward about their actual age.

CvZ1200
Reply to  Gregory_K | 1286 comments
8 days ago

I had the same thought. At least on my phone, the floors look like portions could be original, but this looks like a house that might have been empty for a while before someone undertook a sympathetic, if not authentic reconstruction of the interior.

Anne M.
Supporter
8 days ago

Well, I have determined I can share the link or a photo but somehow am not capable of both in one post.  😉 
1963 mid-century also in Salisbury, CT $1,850,000 period appropriate furnishings & do check out the baths
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/86-Twin-Lakes-Rd-Salisbury-CT-06068/123952919_zpid/

Gregory_K
Supporter
8 days ago

Golly, you folks are so interesting and knowledgeable, I look forward to your comments. What a nice site Kelly’s hard work has created.

Cora
Moderator
8 days ago

Once you get past the kitchen, this very large home has alot to offer. Lovely glass and unmuddled, unpainted woodwork. The carriage house is extant. This would have been a modest home for a large family, and could still be today, with a price tag of $85K.

Frost, MN
1921
$85K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/305-Howard-St-Frost-MN-56033/114987855_zpid/

Cora
Moderator
8 days ago

The carriage house, though maybe not original, may be my favorite part of this home. The wee little bump-out tower-like entry to match the house feature…is adorable! The in-law suite in the upper portion is extra nice.

Photo 29 of the house…if I did yoga, that’s the room I would do yoga in.  😉 

Silver Lake, MN
1907
$465K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/300-Frank-St-NW-Silver-Lake-MN-55381/2119910451_zpid/

JDmiddleson
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
7 days ago

Great looking home, Cora. Thanks for sharing this one. If the carriage house is a later add-on, they did an outstanding job of tying it into the main house. Yea, I don’t do yoga but if I owned this house, I might want to consider it just because the room in picture #29!

John Shiflet
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
7 days ago

Nice early 1900’s Queen Anne. I’m somewhat convinced this is a house design from the Keith Architectural Co. in Minneapolis. They had both planbooks and a monthly magazine in the pre-WWI era. Here’s a 1908 Keith’s “Architectural Studies” (the name for their planbook) https://archive.org/details/MLKeithKiethsarchitecturalstudies0001/page/n1/mode/2up?view=theater and below, a similar house design. Cora, thank you for sharing.

Keith Design No 181.JPG
Cora
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
7 days ago

That does look very much like this house, John!

M J G
Reply to  John Shiflet | 6379 comments
6 days ago

I can see that. Nice find. Similar to this for sure. And though it may not be the case with this house, I recently saw a house here in CT that several shingles fell off from the gables exposing what appears to be a Tudor design like this.

Barbara V
Supporter
8 days ago

Here is an 1871 former schoolhouse in the NY Finger Lakes Town of Skaneateles for $659,000. It has been updated in an unusual manner, partly due to its current use as office space, and in that context is much more appealing than most. The hvac venting setup is unusual, and I’m curious whether it is a modern creation or some sort of throwback.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4202-Jordan-Rd-Skaneateles-NY-13152/84097208_zpid/

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M J G
Reply to  Barbara V | 2004 comments
7 days ago

I really like Skaneateles. Years ago when driving the back roads up to Niagara Falls Canada, I drove through this for the first time and was shocked at that huge finger lake. Had to stop the car and sit there for a while. Nice center too.

Barbara V
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

Me, too! (Are you surprised?!) When I am heading to western NY and have the time, I love to take Rt 20 rather than the thruway – always so much to see and interesting places to stop. A few years ago I spent a night at the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles – it is beautiful:

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M J G
Reply to  Barbara V | 2004 comments
7 days ago

There is a church up in that region that has original Tiffany stained glass windows and under layers of white paint, original stencil work. They exposed one section. I want to stay in Skaneateles when I go up there for that!

JimH
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
7 days ago

Yeah, they thought it was “too loud” and needed to be toned down. Idiots!

https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Attraction_Review-g29845-d2257866-Reviews-Willard_Chapel-Auburn_Finger_Lakes_New_York.html

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M J G
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
7 days ago

Yup. Idiots. People are so afraid of color. Sadly all white washed completely erasing the original interior but there is a lot left and I can’t wait to go there. I spoke to someone named Sydney a few years ago when I planned on going. I emailed asking for more detail in the Tiffany works and told them knowing Tiffany I assumed white walls were not a Tiffany thing and if they knew what was there. This was one of many replies :

“Willard Chapel has quite a bit of history. It was built for the Auburn Theological Seminary in 1892 until the Seminary relocated to New York City in 1939. From there it was threatened to be demolished and then neglected until 1957, until the Seventh Day Adventist bought it that same year. They owned it as their private place of worship until 1989. The following year a man bought the chapel and planned on selling the tiffany and turning the chapel in to a night club.

You are absolutely right about Tiffany and his love for colors and stenciling! The original walls were a dark crimson red color, and there was a gold and green Moorish stenciling that wrapped around every window. The organ pipes had gold stenciling, and the Rose window wall had a beautiful royal blue and gold stenciling. Due to the neglect of the chapel, the slate roof was not being maintained and therefore the walls were really badly water damaged. The Seventh Day Adventist had no choice but to paint over the walls. I’ve attached an image for you to see, however it is only in black and white and a little hard to see. We did recently do a paint analysis on the interior in 2018, so we are able to see what type of paint Tiffany used at the time. We even have a small portion of one of the walls that was uncovered to show Tiffany’s paint and then replicated to show the stenciling that wrapped around the windows. We plan on restoring the chapel back to its original colors within the next couple of years.“

People are so darn obsessed with interiors being “ light and bright and airy” that they forget the effect in a darker room with this kind of jeweled glass and jeweled mosaics makes the art glass 100 times better and more effective. The glass is the star of this interior. Sitting in a low lit room with darker walls, lower lighting and have sun streaming through will force your eyes to study the beauty of the work that goes into these molton gems.

JimH
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
6 days ago

100%! Fortunately, the white paint didn’t adhere very well, and should come off relatively easily.

More photos from Wiki:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Willard_Memorial_Chapel

Many more photos from Google Maps:
https://goo.gl/maps/2yMzdsxAzssRtWt49

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M J G
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
6 days ago

and… dude… I’d drive there just to look at those lamps!!! I love Tiffany glass. There is a rusticity to the cut of the glass and the gems but an effect that is just unreplaceable. Even though La Farge had similar looking glass and it is said Tiffany learned from working with him in earlier years, I feel Tiffany took it to a different level.

Thanks for those links. I wish in the meantime they’d paint the walls that red color just to dim the place down so you can really see the effects of those chandeliers and glasswork.

M J G
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
6 days ago

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You can see behind the organ also had a different elaborate design too.

In the picture below on the bottom left of the red walls you can see the original design exposed from analysis.
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JimH
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
6 days ago

Just as I’m climbing out of the rabbit hole, you’re there saying: Go back, Go back down! lol

M J G
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
6 days ago

LOL. That’s payback my friend. You always send me back down them!  😂 

Barbara V
Supporter
7 days ago

Here’s a 1910 in Syracuse, NY for $170,000. Many of the usual updates, but lots of nice features remaining. On the market for a while, so apologies if shared before:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/531-Court-St-Syracuse-NY-13208/2061149287_zpid/

Barbara V
Supporter
7 days ago

Another likely repeat – the 1864 Fairfield Estate on 4.5 acres in Manlius, NY, for $1.7 million. A mix of high-end originality and over-the-top updates. The listing includes the property’s history as well as a number of early photos:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7078-Genesee-Tpke-E-Manlius-NY-13104/2061301974_zpid/

Barbara V
Supporter
7 days ago

1869 in Watertown, NY, for $269,900. Lovely details, despite the white-slathered woodwork:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/302-Keyes-Ave-Watertown-NY-13601/60561751_zpid/

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M J G
Reply to  Barbara V | 2004 comments
7 days ago

Cool window! I really like this house. Love that staircase. Too bad it got painted. This design usually was stained and varnished from what I’ve seen. I’d pay to have it stripped. Too bad someone install those 20th century french doors in the vestibule. I bet the original doors were much more bold and fitting to the design. Sadly, it looks like many of the interior first floor doors were invaded by this popular 20th century trend.

Cora
Moderator
7 days ago

Here’s a big beauty that needs a hero…and soon. Although it still seems to be standing straight and true, something about it seems vulnerable and precarious from the exterior views. The interior looks significantly better than expected.

I like the big, chunky columns on the front, and would hope that at some point in this home’s history, there was a fancier balustrade for the second-floor balcony that could someday be re-created.

I believe the house next door was featured on OHD a few years back.

Whitewright, TX
1900
$125K:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/400-W-Grand-St-Whitewright-TX-75491/193045811_zpid/

Barbara V
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
7 days ago

You’re right, Cora – I imagine this house began its life as quite a beauty, and it’s hung on to a fair bit of potential. Something seems to be going on with the foundation, though, as some of the lower clapboards appear to actually be below grade – I’d expect a house of this size to have a minimum 12″ and better 18″ +/- of exposed foundation above ground level. Maybe someone who is familiar with soil conditions and building practices in Texas could speak better to what may be going on.

natira
Reply to  Barbara V | 2004 comments
7 days ago

I think that is the result ofthe application of vinyl siding. I wonder how much of the ornate trim they pulled off…. unless they went over it, of course. This house could be amazing!

John Shiflet
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
6 days ago

Intriguing house, Cora. One does not need to be a structural engineer to visually detect major problems that are about to get a whole lot worse.(see Google scan below) The entire porch structure is weakening at a rapid rate as well as additional on-going deterioration that could leave this soon as a collapsed pile of debris. The estate sellers are aware of the situation and do advise prospective buyers to bring contractors and professionals with them to assess the situation. I see this as a race against time. I do hope besides recognizing the rapidly worsening condition issues, the sellers realize considerable flexibility in pricing may be necessary to save this home.

Architecturally, it is a common Late Queen Anne style house with Colonial/Classical Revival ornamental details. The turn of the last century saw considerable prosperity in this region as Dallas started becoming the dominant city of North Texas. A string of smaller towns like Denison and Sherman as well as a couple of dozen rural communities like Whitewright expanded in those early 1900’s years. The town is but 19 miles from Sherman, the Grayson County seat. (side note: both of my parents were born in Grayson county) and 62 miles to downtown Dallas. As sprawl and development from Dallas-Ft. Worth gallops northward towards the Oklahoma border, smaller communities like Whitewright are seeing new growth coming in from the south. Communities nearer to Dallas like Plano and McKinney have seen meteoric growth in the past couple of decades. I expect this growth trend northward to continue into the future. The population of Whitewright has grown since the last (2010) census to the current 1,725. The town was already large enough in 1891 to have a bird’s eye map made: comment image showing a prosperous agricultural community served by two railroad lines

A few last words of advice; Fast forward 5 years from now, and in all likelihood if nothing is done this once proud home will be gone. Therefore, for anyone interested, act soon while there’s still something to be saved. I’m wishing any prospective buyers the best and keeping my fingers crossed for the survival of this fragile faded gem.

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M J G
Reply to  Kelly, OHD | 14612 comments
7 days ago

Comcast tech mucking something up?? Sounds like every time I have them come over my house for something!

Cora
Moderator
6 days ago

Here’s an 1882 San Francisco beauty. Nicely preserved. The price tag seems huge…but it’s relative for SanFran.

I am curious about the little sink in photo # 21. I see these fairly often while browsing 100-yr-old+ homes…a tiny sink in a completely random location. This one is in the stair hall! I wonder what the thinking behind these teeny lavatories was?

San Francisco, CA
1882
$2.9M:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/814-Grove-St-San-Francisco-CA-94117/15078239_zpid/

JimH
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
6 days ago

The understanding that disease could be transmitted by “germs” became common after the Civil War, and improvements in indoor plumbing allowed sinks (and full baths in mansions) for hygiene. Soon after, mothers started to yell “Wash your hands” at the kids all the time.

Kirsten
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
6 days ago

That’s quite a house, Cora. If someone has the money, I think it could be even more stunning. I’d love to see that entry and stairwell redone. The current color scheme feels too greyed and drab to me, flattening the space. It cries out for richer color and more contrast that would allow to expand and soar.

I suspect that whoever purchases this place will have some work to do to correct water damage in the kitchen. Looks to me like there’s maybe been some water damage where the piping inside the wall leads to the sink. The spot I’m talking about, under the window, is most visible in photo 25. I think I’m also seeing some floor sag in that photo, which may be from the same issues with a leaky pipe causing issues over time.

Is that exterior door in the kitchen (same photo) in the process of being completely sealed off? Or is it being replaced? Wonder what’s going on there…

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M J G
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
6 days ago

I love that about these late 19th century homes. New technology in areas you don’t always expect them. I had one in the corner of my bedroom and sometimes you’ll see them in halls under the stairs or in the back so people could wash up after coming in the house. You have a wonderful find here.

Jkleeb
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
6 days ago

It’s rare to find a house from this era in SF that hasn’t been ruined through updating. Live everything about. I’m curious about the wallpaper in the stair halls. It looks like a very accurate representation of the style of the 1880s, wall fill and the paper near the cornice. Would love to know what the experts here think.

Barbara V
Reply to  Cora | 2267 comments
5 days ago

Beautiful, Cora! I’d love to be able to see the interior without the distorted photography.

Kirsten
Supporter
6 days ago

This one makes me so sad. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else share it yet. Hoping the right person will discover and champion it.

1890, Coxsackie, NY
2987 sq ft on 0.5 acres
$305,000

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/30-32-Riverside-Ave-Coxsackie-NY-12051/2059997719_zpid/

There’s clearly been exterior deterioration, most notably all aspects of the front porch–from roofline and support structure to flooring and surround. From what I can see in the limited pictures, though, the foundation looks uncompromised and the roof is holding. Only more interior pics or an onsite inspection would confirm structural soundness, obviously. The side porch looks like it’s on its way to the same overall problems, though it looks from a distance like it may be in better shape than the front. The yard definitely needs some love, as it’s alternately patchy or completely overgrown. Adding its high perch to the picture, the place currently has the feel of one of those isolated, crazy-old-lady houses that every town has. You know…the type that kids love to dare each other to ding, dong, ditch.

Listing says that the current owner is a hoarder and an animal lover…and that there is strong animal smell in the house. The minimal number of photos likely stems from the real estate agent’s efforts not to show the full extent of the hoarding (and perhaps some of the damage wrought by animals).

But there is clear evidence here that this place was a beauty at its beginnings. The balance of the exterior design is truly lovely. I especially love the window distribution, with that ribbon of windows on the first story under the gambrel, the four larger windows on the second story, and those two small windows at the top. I’m convinced it could be magnificent again. And with that overlook view of the Hudson…? Jeepers!

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M J G
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

Oh no. That is sad. And it has nice river views too.

Kirsten
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
6 days ago

Exactly, MJG! So much about this house that could be amazing. And the river views would be such a boon.

No doubt, a lot of initial grunt work to clear stuff out, shore things up, and remediate odors. But it doesn’t look to me, at a glance, like the structure is unsound. If the foundation and bones are good, there’s a lot of hope here.

Barbara V
Reply to  M J G | 5513 comments
5 days ago

Wow, Kirsten, this must have been gorgeous in its day, and surely could be again! It is somewhat nearby to me, and I’m surprised that not only did I miss the listing, but that I don’t recall ever even seeing it before. Thank you so much for the find and the share!

JimH
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

Last week, the New York Times featured Coxsackie in the Real Estate section, titled A Special Place on the Hudson. A half hour south of Albany, and 3 hours from NYC, it’s at the northern edge of the weekend home market. It’s likely the house will sell fairly quickly and be rehabbed, hopefully in an authentic manner.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/18/realestate/coxsackie-ny-greene-county.html

The property is shown on an 1891 map as the home of brickyard owner Winslow Case (1827-1893). The former saloon-keeper’s brick business was behind the home where the warehouse is now. His brother and partner Allen G. Case at one time owned the landmark Van Slyke Homestead Mansion just north, built in 1780 with later additions.

HomesteadCoxsackieNY.jpg
Kirsten
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
6 days ago

That is happy news, indeed, Jim. I very much hope your prediction comes true!

I was hoping you might dig up something on the history of the house, and I got my wish. Thank you!

Ah yes, just did a little tooling around in GoogleMaps and saw the Van Slyke Homestead Mansion just across the street. Fascinating!

Barbara V
Reply to  JimH | 7581 comments
5 days ago

This area is becoming ever more popular with downstate transplants, some of whom seem exceptionally respectful of historic originality, and some very much the opposite. I hope it is the former that gets their hands on this one!

JDmiddleson
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

It’s a great looking house, Kristen. Sadly, the porches seem to suffer the most in old homes. It is subject to weather from all sides and often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. “Let’s just put another coat of paint on it and it will be fine.” Because of the nature of the weather and water, it will find its way into the smallest of cracks and start to compromise the structure over time. If that isn’t bad enough, porch footings were often undersized for the structure they were carrying. Take into account porch footings that are close to the main foundation are often put on backfill that hasn’t been properly compacted and it will settle more over time than the rest of the building. The comforting thing that I see is that the damage has been limited to the porches……so far! It will need to be addressed properly or it will spread to the rest of the structure.

Kirsten
Reply to  JDmiddleson | 5050 comments
6 days ago

So interesting to have your insight into the various reasons porches seem to suffer on so many homes, JDMiddleston. Thank you for enabling me to understand something more about those issues! Do you think the undersizing of the footings was a matter of people viewing porches as less integral to the structure and maybe even transitory? Or was it a problem with carpenters who just didn’t understand the support needs of the structure? I’m sure codes were different when a lot of these places were built, if they existed at all. But I’m just wondering if there’s a general rule to why that would have happened.

JDmiddleson
Reply to  Kirsten | 389 comments
6 days ago

Personally, I think it’s a combination of a few factors when we see porched sag and deteriorate. Some can be blamed on not having a clear understanding of types of soil conditions or how compacted it may or may not have been. Foundations were over dug and then backfilled when the foundation was in. Footings on this backfill should have been compacted but it’s anybody’s guess if that happened. The other thing to consider is the climate and how the water is drained off the roof. Do the gutters pour water at the end of the downspout or is it taken away from the house? Then there is the size of the footings themselves. Were they sized for the load as well as the compaction of the soil? Different types of soil take a load differently. Then there is maintenance on a porch as well. One should keep in mind they are subject to the weather from ALL sides. Then there is the factor of what type of wood they used in the framing. If it’s exposed to moisture, as porches are, there is a limited lifespan. They use treated wood nowadays to extend this life.

On that beautiful home you posted the picture of, I would most likely be looking up as well. There is a gable that intersects the porch and flashing was used in the valleys or should have been. It’s most likely past its lifespan, causing the roof to leak and the beams to deteriorate. That porch as well as the house is worth the task it would take to fix!

Boring, I know, but this is the labor-intensive part of restoring an old home and I love it!

Kirsten
Reply to  JDmiddleson | 5050 comments
6 days ago

Not a bit boring, JD! Very interesting, indeed. And extremely helpful. Thank you for the additional insight!

bobby white
Supporter
6 days ago

1927 Georgian $3,895,000
5bed 5.5+bath 6,562sqft
0.25acre lot
384 Walnut St,
New Orleans, LA 70118

From the listing:… across from Audubon Park. This stately Georgian home has panoramic views from every room of the exquisite gardens, featured in the Smithsonian Museum’s Gardens of America. Elegant formal entertaining rooms flow to the eat-in chef’s kitchen, garden room, all opening to grounds…
https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/384-Walnut-St_New-Orleans_LA_70118_M83389-06441
I like the kitchen wall color.. A lot. Also, the sun room and the library. The rest of the grounds are neater than this pic. Many green shapes and textures.

N.O. RED KITCHEN HPUSE EXTERIOR.png
Barbara V
Reply to  bobby white | 287 comments
5 days ago

Beautiful property – I especially like the rooftop greenery:

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