An old house story, Part 1

Several aspects of the old house at 118 Henry Street attracted our attention when we were looking to purchase almost a decade ago. The beautiful back yard was an obvious plus. The unusual New England, Cap Cod style reverse dormers another. But, for us, the most endearing characteristic of this old house was that it was basically still an “old house”. Though some renovations had been done, most of the house, by far, remained original to 1921.

Ninety plus percent of the wood trim was original, many rooms still had the original brass light fixtures, the upstairs bathroom had all original fixtures, the floors (though covered with carpet) were all 100 year old pine, there was even the original thermostat from the steam heating system.

Thermostats.jpg

Older brother on the left

Although some days it seems like that most of the renovation done by the P.O.’s (Previous Owners) were attempts to cover up water damage from poor roof maintenance, they did drop a significant dime on building the addition and remodeling the kitchen.

The original kitchen was very modern for 1921. It was spacious, had city water, outlets for electric refrigeration and built-in cabinets. The original floor was pine, but as the years rolled on, it was covered with the same variety of materials as the breakfast nook (aka “kitchen annex”). We’ve found no way of knowing what they used for cooking fuel, although natural gas was likely available.

The back wall of the kitchen was also the back wall of the house. More about this in a bit.

Construction of the addition required cutting an entrance thru the back of the house into the new space. We don’t have any pictures from when we first purchased the house, but here is one from 2004 showing the, mostly untouched, kitchen and the entrance to the addition.

Kitchen2004.jpg

The only 1921 in this picture is the shelf, middle right

Besides the flat roof (arghh), the addition is relatively well constructed. The interior decoration, umm…not so much, with it’s 1970’s fashion sensibilities. Here’s another picture from Spring, 2004, deconstruction beginning but before the snow dams of Winter 2004-05:

Addition2004.jpg

Apparently the roof had been leaking behind the built-in for years

We will close Part 1 with an “aww..”; DeShawn, April, 2004 (note the brown carpet):

DeShawnAdditionSteps2004.jpg

The kid just got his 3rd MVP in a row for summer swim team