We are waiting on our new architect to come up with a few schematic suggestions for our internal staircase. He has a 2 week window of needing to attend to another project and suddenly 2 weeks is feeling really long.
So I came up with some filler due diligence work for myself. When you buy a house that you know is built in 1894, it is worth checking into its documented history. And what I found is that a well funded library + volunteers with passion for things past + a small town = a crazy organized history room. I gave our address and less than a minute later, I had a manila folder in my hand.
And sure enough, there she was...
|Image from 1974|
On the Historic Resources Inventory that accompanied this photo, were some hand written notes. I smiled mostly at:
12. Description - Altered
Yup, she is altered alright. Our real estate agent even dared to say "bastardized" at one point. I didn't hold it against it - if you could see our house you wouldn't hold it against him either.
There is very little left of what once was, which on one hand is good for us because it means our house is not listed on a historical register that would dictate what we can and can not do. But it also means that we have ourselves a hodgepodge of design styles and additions, that make our renovation like a twisted ball of necklace chain - you know you can get the knot undone but it takes pulling here and tugging here and letting go here. A load of patience and a pair of very pointed tweezers is helpful too.
16. Statement of Significance - One of the oldest houses. Was visual landmark from center of town.
Yup, she is old.
And yup, you can see our house from downtown. Less now with the addition of new houses and growing trees, but she is there. Which just reminds me that the location of this here house, is ideal. And you know what they say: location, location, location.
But what does old and altered and landmark mean really?
It means that we can't (and won't) just tear down this house and build something new. It means that we care about what was here before us and have every intention of keeping what we can and fixing and updating what we can't. It means that we need that load of patience and that pair of tweezers.