Young couple tells their realtor: “We want a cool old house UNTOUCHED by time! We want it to be ALL ORIGINAL! We love old houses and want to respect history!”
Young couple buys amazingly intact old house.
And then proceeds to tear out the original kitchen and bathrooms. They then gut the house to the studs. And toss out the century-old windows (“They were icky!”).
We have all seen this. This is far more the norm than not.
But, to me, this earns one a place in….PRESERVATION HELL.
With each passing decade (sigh) I become an ever-more dedicated restorer rather then renovator. When I recall the things I did in my twenties I recoil in horror and often wonder: How many points have I earned in PRESERVATION HELL?
With the Cross House I am rather obsessed with protecting its original fabric, and recreating lost components wherever possible.
But…but…and I probably should not out myself…but…ah…I am also earning some PRESERVATION HELL points.
I will try to explain myself, and beg your indulgence.
I agonized over all this.
But, what is the point of lavishing the rest of my life and fortune on the restoration of the house if it is ultimately unsellable because of an archaic floor plan?
I know, for example, that creating a lavish eat-in kitchen where the library is will be MUCH preferred by most later owners than a kitchen shoved into the back corner of the house. But this is just not going to happen. I adore having a library.
It was obvious though that I, at the very least, needed to create an easy way for an owner to park under the porte-cochère, walk through the south entrance, and access the kitchen. This just seems a no-brainer. A must.
The ONLY option was one earning me negative points in PRESERVATION HELL.
Sigh. A classic damned if you do or don’t situation.
Already, I am amazed how much easier it is to walk around the first floor.
I do however worry about spending eternity burning in PRESERVATION HELL. So, I better add up my negative and positive points. EEK!
WHAT will be my fate????????
Removing original cabinets in butler’s pantry: – 250
Reinstalling original cabinets from butler’s pantry in servant’s hall: +125
Undo alteration to south cabinets in butler’s pantry, as detailed in previous post: +100
Recreating lost laundry chute: +200.
Recreating lost dumbwaiter: +300. BONUS POINTS: +500