The Cross House was built in 1894. It is located at 526 Union Street, in Emporia, Kansas. I purchased the house in March 2014.
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My blog posts about the restoration are below.
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans — John Lennon The powerful truth of this well-known quote has made itself evident to me many times. While I furiously make plans, life often saunters in from nowhere and bashes me in the head with its own agenda. I really hate this. Life did it again in…Continue Reading
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” — Socrates An inner psychology drives each one of us. Yet how many of us actually understand our own behaviors and motivations? One thing has been a constant my whole life: resurrection. I am deeply drawn to resurrection, yet have no idea why. My income is derived…Continue Reading
NOTE: In 1999, Deborah (Debbi) and Robert (Bob) Rodak purchased the Cross House. It had been boarded up. This was the low point of the house, and it was dangerously close to being condemned and demolished. This is their story, as told by Bob: When we found out the Cross House was for sale…Continue Reading
Today, we often think of Victorian-era houses as having many many colors, and all quite bright. However, this is the after-effect of the Painted Ladies craze which began in San Francisco in the 1970s. Wild & crazy hippies took old, unloved houses and painted them in exciting, bold colors, the more the better. Images of…Continue Reading
In 2014, It is something of a miracle that the porch remains at all. Almost all late 19th-century porches were wholly replaced at some point in the 20th-century. That the 120-year-old Cross House porch remains, albeit battered, is something I am deeply grateful for. Still, with so many bits missing, it is…Continue Reading
In 1929 Scott Mouse, Sr., purchased the Cross House. It is a good thing that he did. When the house was built in 1894 the neighborhood was highly desirable; indeed, it was the neighborhood. By about 1910 however, its proximity to downtown — originally an asset — had caused the neighborhood to begin a steep…Continue Reading
When I first considered buying the Cross House in March of 2013, I stood on the sidewalk and looked just to the south, to 524 Union Street. This house was very close to the Cross House, and it was also, oddly, set WAY back on the lot. I also knew that the 524 lot had…Continue Reading
When I purchased the Cross House it had but a single window fully restored, a wonderful small round window in the four-story servant’s stair tower. This left 6,987 more windows to go. Well, maybe not that many, but it does feel like it. In addition to the standard windows, all in deplorable (but restorable) condition, the…Continue Reading
There is nuts. And there is nuts. The fact that I purchased the Cross House — a huge old pile with its every inch needing work — would confirm that I am, ok, nuts. But…there is nuts. And THIS nuts is a quantum other level of nuttiness. I am kinda embarrased to post this thread because it offers proof…Continue Reading
The two images below are instructive. In both images I was standing in the same place. In the top image I am looking south, and north in the second image. The top image is how the Cross House looked when I purchased it. It had been painted in a blue-ish gray. The second image shows…Continue Reading
There are two things I enjoy about working on the Cross House: No day is the same. Each day presents new issues, discoveries, challenges, and satisfaction when a project is completed. It is hard to explain, and, really, I am even reluctant to try and explain a most peculiar phenomenon. You see, whenever I arrive…Continue Reading
ABOVE: You are looking at the second-floor Sewing Room of the Cross House, designed by architect Charles W. Squires. In 1894, when the Cross House was built, a “sewing” room was traditionally a wife’s domain, or a Wife Cave in today’s terminology. A library was a husband’s domain. A sewing room was used by…Continue Reading
ABOVE: You are looking at the second floor of the Cross House, the southeast corner. Sorry for the dark blue patch, that is on the drawing I have. The bedroom was, it seems, the housekeeper’s room. The door shown is right off the servant’s stair, although the door was actually placed a bit over to…Continue Reading
The Cross House has like a zillion windows. OK, maybe not that many. Maybe there are actually only a billion. OK. Maybe not that many. But surely there are thousands. At least it feels like thousands. Luckily, the windows are all original. Praise the Lord that nobody in the 1970s decided to tear out the…Continue Reading
ABOVE: A lovely fall Saturday. But wait, up high, is that a bird? A plane? Why, no, it is just some bald guy. ABOVE: You see him? Over at the right edge of the scaffolding? ABOVE: Oh. It is just…me. NOTE: My expression can be correctly interpreted as: 1) WHAT I am doing…Continue Reading
I have a problem. You see, I have X amount of financed construction funds left, and just learned that I have four months to spend this borrowed pool of money, or else the unspent amount gets cancelled by the bank when the loan is rolled over into the mortgage of the Cross House at the end…Continue Reading