[rescue] restorations and keyboards

R. Lonstein ross-sunhelp at lonsteins.com
Tue Feb 3 14:13:11 CST 2004

On Tue, Feb 03, 2004 at 02:05:37PM -0500, Phil Stracchino wrote:
> My wife figures that instead, what should be done with
> most old buildings is what she calls historic restoration
> -- where you preserve the external appearance of the
> hole, the restorer is getting a usable building out of
> the deal.

This is usually what gets done. The grousing seems to come most loudly
from the folks who have a historic register home or find themselves
classified as such some time after purchase and must go to a board,
society, or committee to get approval for paint schemes, roofing
material and replacement windows. I'd get a kick out of knowing how
many of the bright, authentic Victorian paint schemes you see now were
laid onto houses that spent the previous sixty or seventy years
painted white or dull red.

It's a mistake to think that the remodelling that gets called
"remuddling" is somehow new. Before there was asphalt or asbestos tile
or vinyl siding there were a lot of houses that received improvements
that didn't match the original. I've seen the grafting of a Georgian
revival facade and second story onto a little wooden frame house, a
Queen Anne turret onto a squat brick building, shaker shingle second
floor atop a board and batten first floor and all manner of
interesting Spanish-style tile and stucco onto just about any other

Of course, since I'm looking forward to buying just such a registered
house my mind might change when I end up wanting to repair the roof
and find they also want me to tear down a chimney or hide a stack

- Ross

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