Something never seen in the 128-year history of the Cross House: A dumbwaiter shaft from the second floor down to the basement. The shaft originally was only between the first floor and basement. The wood paneling (kinda like center) is the original ‘car siding’. This is still made, and will soon panel the entire shaft. Ross excited.
In order to install the final plumbing for the kitchen sink, the original wainscoting needed to be reinstalled. Here, the many layers of caked-on paint have been removed, and the original shellac finish has been recreated. Ross excited.
For no good reason whatsoever, I decided to restore ONE door in the whole house: the door from the kitchen to the basement. It is the most pitiful door in the house and I grew weary of its condition. Soon, it will be restored to its original shellacked finish and should look splendid. Ross excited. (NOTE: I thought the infrared stripper should be ideal. But, I discovered that old-fashion paint stripper requires the east effort. The trick is to glob the stripper on a section and walk away for 24 hours. Then, the many layers of paint pretty much come off easily.)
Before I can move in, all the floors need to be finished. In the dining room, the titanic-heavy radiator needed to be removed as the floor joist supporting it had been inexplicably removed (???). The radiator, thus, was being supported only by the flooring. This is bad. It was actually sinking into the floor on the west side, and this caused a leak which has been rotting out the flooring. This is VERY bad. Hi Scott (L) and Justin!
After much ado, the radiator is moved. Now, The Other Justin can repair the damaged floor (covered by the 1×12 board) after Justin reinstates the lost floor joist. Ross excited.
The south hall has a ceiling! The original ceiling was removed before I purchased the house. A trunk line for the AC was then installed below the original ceiling plane, which I removed in 2014, and then replaced with another trunk line. Hi young Brock (L) and Scott!
Light! Light! There is lighting in the hall for the first time in who knows how many decades! Ross excited! The vertical bump-out (upper right) will soon be matched with a bump-out on the ceiling, meeting up with the original vertical bump-out (left), thus recreating a lost original feature.
Light! See the marble?
It is finally back in the powder room after eight years. I had to remove it to rebuild the wall behind it. The blue tape shows where the 1894 marble vanity was. Above it, you can see the outline of a later high-backed sink. This was later replaced with a third sink.
The west slab back in place, topped with original trim. Ross excited! You can see the outline of the late 1920s tub, which I removed in 2014. The marble is actually quartz. It needs cleaning. It is desperate for cleaning. The floor is original but was altered in the late 1920s. I plan to fully restore it. This will excite Ross to no end.
Oh! Back to the south hall! The 2014 trunk line had to shift UP to avoid the door to the left and its transom window. You can see the new ceiling plane, right. But, how to bridge this?
An elegant S-curve seemed ideal. Justin cut 2x10s to shape but the curve was not quite right. So, I created a paper template and Justin has now redone the 2x10s. We tried to use very thin sheetrock but it was obvious this would not work. After much ado I realized that the curve needed to be created from plaster on lath. Ross excited!
You see the south entry door. To its immediate right is where the library door was relocated in, I think, 1929. I removed that in 2014 and moved it to where Brock is. Now, I have moved the door back to almost its original location. I have the missing Lincrusta and trim.
While restoring the south hall was not remotely on my to do list for 2022 it unexpectedly became a project. All renovation projects are like this.
The hall became a project due to:
Moving the library door back to its near-original location meant that the flooring under would need to be redone. The idea of having all the floors done and then having The Other Justin return to later redo this small area seemed…not ideal.
Before I can move my lights into the basement, ALL the plumbing and electrical need to be finished. This work included, as it developed, the south hall. I also need to redo the central vac system, and this included moving the wall hook-up from where the library door has now been relocated. The hook-up is now where Justin’s hand is in the picture above.
And so on.
While an unexpected project, getting the south hall restored will excite Ross greatly.