Avoiding the vice of the aged

Long time readers (or comprehensive new readers) of 118 Henry Street know that we are very much about Re-use, Repair, Recycle where old materials and fixtures are concerned. Even within the technical confines of energy efficiency and safety, we find more than enough room for preserving the old house past. The whole of our “restoration paradigm” is succinctly contained in the 3 R’s. On less philosophic terms, much of 118 Henry Street is original and worth preserving.

Exempli gratia, the doors and door hardware. Our old house was always home to working families, so the fixtures, while period, were not “high end” even for the day. Most of the door and window hardware is not solid brass, instead, they are steel with a thin plating of brass. As we are a working family, like all those residents before us and most likely those after us, we will not replace all the hardware with solid brass.

With a little elbow grease and phosphoric acid, we can get another 90 years out of the old, appropriate door fixtures without destroying their history. These examples will be used for the sewing room.

Door plates, after and before

The magic in progress

Besides, why buy an old house to gut and rebuild as modern?

Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.”   Albert Camus