De-evolution Progression

We spent much of the this weekend reverting the kitchen to what’s left of its  1921 heritage. One of our favorite parts of the un-construction process is the backward exercise in time travel to reveal original design and intent.

With the kitchen, for example, we now know that ours will certainly be the 3rd, possibly the 4th, remodel. Regards the back kitchen wall, now shared with the addition, many details of the original floor plan and design were revealed.

Circa 2004, still all about the 1970’s

With much of the intervening years removed, we found that the back wall used to have a window, apparently looking directly out to the back yard.

Original walls, chimney, and framing

Looking at the same wall from the addition

The dashed line is where a load bearing stud, a big old fashioned stud, was chopped to make the entry opening.

A close up of the terribly under-engineered, make shift header…sigh.

No wonder it’s sagging

Going into the addition from the kitchen, the PO’s had a couple of curved, carpeted steps. We took up the carpet early in our tenure at 118 Henry Street.

Poor design, originally covered by brown shag carpet

The rectangle in the addition floor is an access panel we cut, more about this in a sec.

With the stairs gone, we could see what was likely one of the prettiest aspects of the house, destroyed in the addition build: a big, farm style kitchen sink looked out the window into the back yard.

The water pipes came up to the right of the drain

You can tell the change in floor color where the cabinet for the sink was built, and, of course, where water leaked from the sink drain. 

Here’s the view from the access panel in the addition floor.

That’s a big, big piece of wood down there

The original sill looks to have been a piece of wood 12” tall by 4” wide. On closer inspection, it was completely rotted thru with water and termite damage.

No respite for the old house restorer

This destructive work of water/termite damage is a very common theme for us, examples, here and here.

With the de-construction vibe running strong, we persisted with the decoration revisionism, and continued removing the vestiges of the last kitchen remodel.

Photo-composite of cabinet removal activity

We decided to take the chimney even further back in time and remove the plaster. Carole and I both liked the warmth and texture of the original brick. We are going to leave it au naturel.

Trying to get a preview

A hint of things to come

How apropos that we found Ganesha this week.

Creator and Remover of Obstacles, Deva of Intellect and Wisdom