The Cross House

Cody SCORES!!!!!!!!

So, y’all know that Cody has found several gas/electric sconces for the Cross House.

I “met” Cody in 2014 when he began leaving comments about an incredible house on Old House Dreams. Here. Prepare to gasp.

At the time, Cody was a teenager. He lived near the incredible house and was highly protective of it. I thought: Who is this kid with such a passion for old houses? I liked him right away.

The incredible house finally sold, and I would occasionally wonder: What happened to Cody?

A few years went by, and then someone named Cody left a comment on this blog. I replied: Are you THE Cody, from Old House Dreams?

He was!

A few months ago, Cody wrote me about an incredible score he made. On Facebook Marketplace, he came across an “old sconce” for $30. He liked it, and had a curious thought: Is this sconce by Tiffany?

It seemed impossible but Cody was not going to pass up the potential score of a lifetime. So, he drove three hours, paid for the sconce, and dove back three hours.

And he was pretty sure he had purchased a Tiffany sconce…for $30.


The sconce had no shades but Cody scored another deal by finding a vintage set for just $300. Oh, and isn’t Cody gorgeous! I have offered to marry him several times but he just ignores these proposals. Sigh.


Incredible. Cody is sending the sconce to a place that will do a proper restoration.


A comparison pair. These are by Tiffany.


It thrills me that a young person is interested in such stuff.

Maybe humanity is not doomed!




49 Responses to Cody SCORES!!!!!!!!

  1. I’m always happy to see a young person interested in antiques and just plain old stuff. this appreciation has to pass to the next generation, otherwise these beautiful and well crafted items will end up in the trash as 19th century pieces were thrown out in the 1950’s & 1960’s. I once bought a brides basket in the early 70’s and brought it home. My mom said, oh Grandma had one like that, she threw it out. So sad.

    • I’m not terribly young anymore (34) and many of my buyers (I’m a Realtor) are around age, and we love old houses! We’re a pretty resourceful lot not afraid to DIY and have an entire Internet of tutorials to guide us, unlike our parents did. The wealth of knowledge is astounding.

      I think it’s also that so many of my generation grew up in soulless newer builds, and are rejecting the ‘burbs in greater numbers that our parents did. Old houses are the perfect fit.

  2. Ross, I say this with love and as a super hot supermodel: don’t talk about people as though they’re a buffet. You wouldn’t stand for it in a straight man.

    • Hi, Diana!

      Yikes! Am I out-of-touch? Is complimenting a person is no longer acceptable? Yikes!

      For, I think Cody is gorgeous and see nothing wrong with stating as such.

      I adore Cody, and my highly positive thoughts about him long predated even knowing what he looked like. I love his passion for history, I love that his passion exists in somebody so young, and I love that he uses his voice to protect history.

      Because I am a highly visual person, I respond to beauty, be it a person, stained-glass window, a gorgeous sunset, or a cat. And because I am also highly expressive, I enjoy talking/writing about about beauty.

      Indeed, I purchased the Cross House because it was so friggin’ beautiful!

      Would I find a person attractive if, say, they were not a nice person, no matter their physical beauty? No. To me, inner and outer beauty are necessary. My post makes clear, I hope, that Cody has numerous qualities beyond his externals!

      A few weeks ago somebody told me that I was handsome! I was thrilled! It’s been a long time since anybody said that to me. Me! At 61!

      NOTE: I also want to marry Nancy Pelosi. She’s gorgeous, too, and so amazing. I LOVE HER!

      • Ross, you are young and hip and definitely not from the dinosaur generation that thinks jokes from friends and bosses are harmless. Speaking from experience, it makes you cringe and feel disrespected, which I know you would not ever want someone you admire to feel. #himtoo. Ross, you blow my mind with your energy and skill and passion. I regularly send your before and after house pictures to everyone I know. You are singlehandedly plugging along with such a dedicated vision and with impeccable attention to detail. You are literally the only blog I read. I don’t have Internet in my log cabin, but I drive to Starbucks so I can read your blog (and watch Colbert), because you absolutely inspire me to get out of bed and get to work on my house. I adore your passion for politics and sticking up for human rights and decency in this Trump nightmare. I’m serious when I say you are a real inspiration to all of us, not just fixing houses, but following your bliss and living the dream and caring for kitties.

        See, that is a compliment, and if I’d added, “Oh, and nice boobs!” see how that would have diminished the compliment? This is just a friendly lesson from a supermodel. I absolutely adore you and am grateful for your voice and enthusiasm!

        • Hi, Diana,

          Thank you for the kind words.

          If (as you wrote) you had added “Oh, and nice boobs!” I would have been confused as I don’t have those.

          Had you added “Oh, you have a nice ass” I would have been uncomfortable.

          But, had you added “Oh, and I looked at your About Me page and think you are handsome” I would have found that flattering rather then objectifying.

          Focusing on a person’s body part IS a sexualized objectification. And I agree that is not appropriate.

          But I stand by my previous statements. If you like somebody, and SEE their inner qualities, AND you think they are attractive, I see no reason to hold back such a compliment.

      • And I don’t mean to speak for Cody or your workers, but in MY experience, in MY life, it puts ME in the position of not wanting to say anything to make the person leering through humor feel uncomfortable even though that person is regularly making me feel uncomfortable. I know you would be mortified to know you are inadvertantly doing this to people you admire. I am a goddess with the most beautiful breasts on Earth, and the only person who has any business commenting on my beauty would be my boyfriend. If I had one. Apparently, I’m annoying.

        • I don’t know if this makes any difference or not. But Ross often offers marriage proposals. I was with three senior women when Ross offered to marry any one of us if we had enough money to buy wallpaper for the Cross House. We were on a tour of the Cross House when this offer was made, not once during the tour but twice. Even the fact that all three of us are older than Ross by many years and all of us are married had no effect on Ross.

          I also wish to add that the news of the day must make all of us more sensitive to how we describe others and approach others. No matter how kind and charming we are, words can effect different people different ways. The three ladies on tour with Ross laughed at his marriage proposal. I imagine most people do laugh at his proposals because it was obvious to us that he did not really want to marry us, he just wanted wallpaper or a green kitchen sink or a gas/electric light fixture.

          From the time I spent with Ross, I judged him to be a very kind, thoughtful, sensitive, and charming person. I cannot him ever imagine him wanting to harm someone he appreciated or admired.

          • Claudia. I in no way want to devalue you or your friends worth but Ross can be had for a period-correct brass light switch plate *wink*

          • Hi, Claudia!

            You wrote: “I was with three senior women when Ross offered to marry any one of us if we had enough money to buy wallpaper for the Cross House.”

            This made me burst out laughing!

            I have no memory of doing this. But…it does sound like something I would say!

            And thank you for the kind words!


  3. First time commenting, but I’m only 15 and ADORE your blog! I some day wish to own a home with as much grandeur and history as the Cross House owns!

    • Nice to meet you, Aj!

      Well, I was unable to do something like the Cross House until I was 57! So, you have plenty of time!

      Start with something small! Like a sweet 1920s bungalow! Then work your way up to Crazy Scale!

    • I’m JP, I’m 17 and I never thought other people as young as me had discovered this blog. It’s nice to see I’m not the only person who really likes old houses..

      And ross’s sense of humor.

  4. Cody is a beautiful young man & incredibly astute about old things! Such an eye!!!

    Ross– you are passionate & appreciate beautiful things– hence u are the Cross House owner & restorer to formal glory!

    You are always respectful & it’s preposterous to think you disrespect beautiful people like Cody as if they are a piece of meat– utter nonsense! Anybody who would objectify and focus on gender & orientation as if that is what you do is inane!

    You are passionate & affectionate!

    I treasure our times visiting & sharing when I am at Cross House! You are so funny & full of life– nothing to do with orientation…

    I’m straight & in a committed loving relationship w my guy… doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy admiring beautiful young people!! Makes me reminisce about my youth & halcyon days of yore!

    Ross I loveyou just the way you are!!!

    Never change!

    Be your wonderful exuberant self! As you said once … ” you make me look like a glacial monk” because I have joy and I love life & people — as you do!!

    Stuff & nonsense!!

    Never change & keep admiring people for their inner & outer beauty!!

    All people!!

    • Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you!

      I appreciate Diana’s concern. Objectifying somebody is not a good thing. But this is a very different thing than complimenting somebody. One can do the latter without it automatically being the former.

      By objectifying a person, one is ONLY responding to their appearance. But as I hope my post made clear, I really like and admire Cody, inside and out!

      • Darling Ross as always the voice of magnanimity! What a thoughtful reply! Also Diana did write, “out of love”….as a caveat…..

        Thank you for point– counterpoint!

        However Cody is so handsome & so amazing finding the most glorious fixtures! They make me drool! Especially that beautiful blue glass w multiple gloves! You need to find these glorious pieces either 4 Cross House or your light fixture “The Old Above.” business!

  5. I am 33, not quite young, but I have always had a fascination with old homes. That has developed over the years into an appreciation and coveting of everything old – I much prefer it to anything new and shiny! My young-ish cousin is a historical preservationist by trade, so all is not lost on our generation!

    Have been reading your blog for years, and really appreciate your fine eye for antiques and architecture.

  6. When I received your e-mail, I saw the photo above Cody first. I thought he had found a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Cross. Hah!

  7. Well, personally, I don’t see a problem with saying someone is attractive. I think it’s nice that someone would say that. There is a difference and I think Diana is the only one who sees it one way.

    I noticed the old photo above Cody and wondered about it as well.

    And lastly, Cody, thank you for helping save the Cross House!

  8. As a feminist woman who was objectified quite a bit in my youth (it’s been a week or two at this point :)), I agree with you whole-heartedly, Ross. There is a marked difference between complimenting and objectifying. Beauty is a wonderful thing and it would be a travesty if we agreed as a society to never mention it again.

  9. It’s very simple: “Would you prefer if I didn’t make comments about you?” Try it, World. Don’t make me risk my life to drive in the snow to Starbucks to show you a picture of my fantastic breasts, which would be inappropriate on an old house blog. People should be able to come together and share interests about houses and lamps and philately and ornithology as equals or earn a living without introducing the MILF/cabana boy element. That’s inappropriate.

  10. Wow cabana boy element? Diana, Ross didn’t do that. What your saying is insulting. I’m sorry if your world has been full of idiots who can’t get past your FANTASTIC BREASTS to see the real person inside. Not every compliment is meant to degrade. There was a time when a person could compliment someone and hear Thank you as a response.

  11. Hi everybody!

    These comments have kinda run off the tracks in a way I never imagined and I am thinking about deleting the post, something I have never done before.

    I am always open to a free exchange of ideas/opinions but this thread has gotten kinda crazy, man! Crazy!

    • Hi Ross!

      I hope you don’t delete the post. If people follow the link, they will see an amazing house and, if they read the comments, they will see that the house has a happy ending. It is well worth reading.

  12. I LOVE the incandescent blue of the shades. I’m really looking forward to seeing the sconce post-renovation. Good job, Cody!

    I also love hearing the commitment in the comments of younger generations of home rejuvenaters. Thank you, all!

  13. Yikes! It seems that I’ve caused quite the scandal!

    Let’s be clear here: I’m more offended at the lack of compliments on my sconce than I am regarding Ross’ (obviously joking) marriage proposal. I have NO PROBLEM taking a compliment. I’m rather vain. Bring it on! If I felt objectified, I’d speak up for myself. I’m no damsel in distress.

    This sconce is now the crowning jewel of my collection. I can’t WAIT to ship it off to LA for restoration.

    There are a few issues that need attended to:
    -I’m missing the turn switch on the canopy. These are now expertly reproduced from original molds.
    -Some of the distinctive patina has been worn away and will be reproduced.
    -The downward facing finial is supposed to be cinched to the body with a threaded rod, but the threading inside the finial body is worn out beyond saving, so the finial will be filled, and new threading tapped out so that it can be reattached.
    -One of the original porcelain sockets is completely shattered, and it will be replaced with another antique, period socket to match.

    This work isnt going to come cheap, but even after all that I will have sunken into it at that point, I will still be much less invested in it than I “should” be.

    I have suddenly developed a taste for Tiffany Studios lighting that I didn’t realize was hiding beneath the surface…pray for my pocketbook.

    • H, Cody!

      I was wondering if you would dare step into this!

      You are a brave man!

      This made me laugh: “I’m more offended at the lack of compliments on my sconce than I am regarding Ross’ (obviously joking) marriage proposal.”

  14. Oh, and I already have my eye on a matching table lamp with the same urn shaped body and 6 upward facing arms with lily shades….like I said, pray for my pocketbook. Maybe if I save every extra cent, I’ll be able to afford it in 50 years.


  15. Ross, after lurking around your blog for years and reading every single post I have to say thank you for restoring such a beautiful house. As a 22-year-old Aussie woman I must say you are a LEGEND! We do not have many old houses in Australia so I have to live through amazing people like you and Old House Dreams. Maybe someday I might have to build a Queen Anne and be that crazy cat lady who lives in the “spooky looking’ house on the hill. By the way I am totally gonna make a holiday to Emporia to see you and have a tour of the Cross house!!

    • Very nice to meet you, Megan!

      I will be thrilled to give you a tour of the Cross House! That will be a big journey for you!

  16. Cody, your sconce is unbelievably beautiful! What a treasure- and so glad it lives with someone who really loves and appreciates it!

    Aside from that, I am fascinated and stunned with the amount of diversified people of all ages, cultures and professions who read this blog.

    It’s great that we all have a common love and interest for restoration, old houses and of course, Ross…

  17. I’ve loved old houses, old things, and old people since I was a little boy; now that I am getting old myself, it is gratifying to see young people who appreciate “oldness” too. I have had some health issues recently, and my daughter remarked last night that we might want to consider selling our big old Queen Anne and moving to something smaller; it warmed my heart when our 8 year old granddaughter teared up and offered to help us with the house, that it is her favorite place in the whole world, and we can’t sell it to anyone but her…😊

  18. Hey, only eighteen here! Dont worry, I feel comfortable saying that there is a new generation of people who appreciate the past as much as you do, waiting eagerly to inherit the splendors (and the responsibilities) of times gone by just as you and your generation once did. I found that ~special~ house, the type you dream of one day owning, probably at age 12. I only hope I may be so lucky as to own it one day and give it the proper care and attention it deserves. Much like you have. Also, what a gorgeous fixture! Any man with such immaculate taste in lighting is one I’d want to marry as well. Also I think anyone with any sense would agree that Diana having her hackles up the way she did over your simple affectionate remarks is a bit silly. Thats my two cents on THAT subject.

  19. Hi all! I’m only 41 but I have always LOVED anything that ‘lived’ before I existed. Things that have stories, you know? It would make me sad to drive by an old abandoned house and think about all the memories created there, but no one to love and care for the building. Ross, your blog provides a sort of balm to all the wounds those abandoned homes have created. Cody, your dedication to knowledge and restoration has always impressed me. I’m absolutely blown away and twice as impressed that you are so young! Best wishes to you both and all who share our love and dedication to the past!

  20. UPDATE:

    Y’all, I’m on spring break, and I visited the Morse Museum today in Winter Park, FL. They house the worlds’ largest publicly viewable collection of Tiffany’s works. Lamps, paintings, stained glass, art glass, pottery, and architectural salvage from Laurelton Hall (his mansion). A little bit of everything. Would definitely recommend, if any of you ever find yourselves down south! Regular admission is $6, or $1 with a valid student ID.

    Mr. Morse wanted great art to be accessible to all, which is why the price is so low.

    It was life changing. Mind blowing.

    Oh, and my sconce is on its’ way back from LA as of yesterday. Restoration complete. Photos to come (via Ross) once sagely at home and installed! Stay tuned just a bit longer!

  21. Thanks for the Morse Museum information.

    Can’t wait to see the restored sconce, Cody. It was gorgeous beforehand. Now it should be breathtaking.

    Starting the world’s longest drumroll…

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