June 2, 2009
When we signed on to do this project with the City and the non-profit Nuestra Comunidad, I had pretty high hopes for saving lots of the original historic fabric. But given the condition of the house, I definitely should have known better. This house was not only foreclosed upon, but it had also been vacant for quite some time. It is astounding to see how quickly a once well cared for building can deteriorate if not properly maintained. Exposure to extreme heat and cold, moisture, and in some cases to direct rainfall (in one area there was a wide open hole in the roof) has sadly left most of the period details beyond salvage.
Two survivors, however, are pictured here – the two matching newel posts (one on each side of our duplex) and one marble fireplace surround.
The surround pictured is actually from the more badly damaged side of the house; it was found largely in tact (complete with beer can adornment) and has been removed for safekeeping and eventual cleaning and reinstallation near the end of the job. The fireplace surround from the other side was missing; we later found it in pieces in the basement. Part of it had been used to patch (!) the failing fieldstone foundation, and the other pieces lay broken in the dirt on the floor.
We’ll be seeking a replacement at one of the local Boston area salvage yards…let us know if you’ve seen a similar one, or if you’ve seen a match anywhere in your travels. It’s been a while (since our Washington DC project, where the house was in in similarly bad condition) since we’ve been out to the local salvage yards in search of a period fireplace surround.
Next post I’ll file a report on the plaster details, as there is a bit of good news (and bad) there as well.
(11) CommentsComment on this Blog
If this project isn't airing until January, whats going to be shown in the fall? Just more re-runs?
There are 17 before pictures if you follow this path: Home/Planning Ideas/Remodes...will try to post link:
A link from the "overview" would be a good idea!
Here we go again. Why does TOH bother installing webcams if nobody is responsible for their operation? Since their installation they have been "live" for only 10 days and have been frozen on scenes from 5/28 for 13 days!
This is a problem with every project, usually during the most interesting parts. I guess nobody from TOH looks at their own website.
Very sad and disappointing for your loyal fans!
I am really looking forward to seeing this home air. Love the vintage details shown. Replacement trim carpentry is going to be the key.
Keep up the good work,
Patrick L. O'Toole
Editor & Publisher
Qualified Remodeler Magazine
Our new Building Product Locator may be a good resource directory.qualifiedremodeler.com
Another project (+) and another never updated blog (-).
At least TOH is consistent.
We are working on a period house in the UK.
It has some stunning features,check out the ornate ceiling at
I'll try and update as often as possible,it may be of interest to some of you.
Many of the original features will being kept.
Disappointing to see the window choices shown in the elevations on the website. Are they based on any evidence of the historic architecture of the house? It would be great to see TOH be more of a leader in good preservation practice, following more closely the Department of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation. Old houses with historic character are irreplacable.
I am looking forward to seeing this project. I am restoring a 1871 Second Empire in Cincinnati,that was on its way to demolition. I am restoring the original stenciling we found in the parlor right now. Second Empires like mine are demoed by the city every year as part of "blight abatement'.
Glad to see Roxbury is more 'forward thinking". We still battle our city to save our history.
Fabrics such as those are hard to find. Their historical value are quite pricy.