Congratulations! It’s Victorian!

So, let’s review.

488 in c.1930s

Here’s the house in about 1942. Our goal and inspiration for change…

488 from the outside, C. 2003, probably taken by Katy Gray

…from this. The legacy of mid-century modernistic tendencies (i.e. clean lines), practicality (because that never-have-to-paint siding really is much more practical than wood), and budget. None of which aesthetically serve a 1896 Victorian built by a banker wanting as gracious a home as his substantial wealth would allow. Our lovingly playing catch-up with that aesthetic service brings us to (drumroll please)…

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…this. Not bad. Pretty darn spectacular, in fact, if we do say so ourselves. Hardly recognizable as the same house.

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No matter what angle…

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…you view it from, the transformation is astounding,…

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…the results elegant, gracious, and welcoming,…

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…and already offering new places to congregate or step away from the crowd.

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Our home feels like a Victorian mansion from the outside as well as the inside, finally,…

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…and it wears its vividly historic colors proudly, from up the block…

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and down.

I think the banker would be pleased. I know we sure are.

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Published in: on December 8, 2014 at 7:40 am  Comments (2)  
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Tying Up the Loose Ends

We’re at the point of cleaning up some final details.

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We created replica lattice for the bottom of the porch. The original idea was to clean up some original we found, but it would have been prohibitively expensive.

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We finished up the faux stone paint treatment on the foundation of the house.

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The front door trim has been created…

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…and painted, giving the front door surround a substantial and clean look. Especially as it’s contrasted by the naturally finished original oak door.

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A new house number display and a painted and rehung mailbox finish off the entry. (The wreath, while fetching, is not part of the holiday decorating plans. The letter carrier would not be happy as the mailbox opens from the top.)

The last big project is a new roof for the house, which, while not adding to the aesthetic, does have the benefit of keeping out the weather. And then we just keep working away at the last small details until the project is finished. At least for this round. You know what they say about historic houses….

Published in: on December 8, 2014 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pillars!

Exciting developments!

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We have added  most of the standard porchy frills, including…

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fluted pillars, round and square…

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and railings, complete with ranks of turned spindles.

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These elements work harmoniously with the existing trimly furbelows…

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to add a truly elegant character to the sheltering and structural functionality of the porch.

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Some of the round pillars were original to the house, making up the first porch. They were cut down for the little porch, and built back up for our new beauty.

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Unfortunately, measuring twice doesn’t always prevent mistakes, so we had to do some adjusting to get a perfect fit.

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But, you’d never know it from the final product.

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The square pillars were constructed in situ. (That’s almost a visual history of the clamp right there.)

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Those were the last major elements needed to make the house look like it truly belongs in our historic neighborhood.

Published in: on December 8, 2014 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Corbels and Consultations

We’re busy and excited.

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Still no pillars, but lots of activity on site. The fellow in the dark shirt on the right is shaping corbels out of blocks of wood.

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And here they are being painted, along with spindles, and doesn’t the paint gun make that job a heck of a lot easier!

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Here are the corbels installed, along with a glimpse of the finished paint job on the third floor dormer.

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A view of the porch’s completed yellow pine ceiling, and someone already enjoying its expansive shelter.

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A close-up of the faux finish on the house’s foundation. We decided, upon experimentation, that removing the green paint would be way too resource intensive. It’s a much better fit with our color scheme than the green would have been.

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The owner, architect, and contractor consulting. We’re much closer, but there’s still a ways to go before all the details are taken care of.

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A beautiful Minnesota October day, one of the last hurrahs before the snow flies, part of which we spent lunching outdoors. Maybe next October someone will be enjoying lunch on this welcoming front porch watching the world go by.

Published in: on December 8, 2014 at 12:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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