Demolishing the Cross House

This week we started to demolish the Cross House.

Well, not the whole house.

Just a part of the house.

Just a small part.

Just a non-original part.

Just a badly built non-original small part.



The east facade of the Cross House. This is the rear of the house, although it is highly visible to anybody driving on Highway 50 just to the right. See the white door, bottom center? That is the basement door. The door is part of a shed addition to the house. The wall the shed is attached to is rather a mess. The sill is rotted out, and about half the lap siding is missing. In order to properly restore all this, the shed had to go. And I was SO not sorry to see it go. It was ugly and ticky-tacked together. I have a very low tolerance for ticky-tack.



I know why God invented young people: so they could demolish things. This is Jeremy. He proved good, to my delighted surprise, at artful dismantling rather than ruthless demolition. He carefully took part each piece. The roof sheathing, also to my surprise, proved to be gorgeous old-growth lumber, and with that orangey color all old house aficionado’s lust after. This wood will be repurposed as interior trim in the carriage house.



The inside of the shed was paneled with ancient bead board. This, too, will be repurposed.



Carbuncle be gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sooooooo much better! Although this is the “rear” of the house it is quite stunning. Or will be. It features the same dramatic over-scaled tin cornice as the main facades. The electrical array on the back porch will be removed, and dropped into the basement. The ticky-tacky steps (argh!!!!) will be replaced with period-correct steps matching the original drawings. The rear yard will be eventually transformed into a lush oasis of grass and flowers and a splashing fountain. I cannot wait.



The stone under the carbuncle IS original. It stays, and the new basement entrance will be…



…this type entrance doors. This is what would have originally been in place.



And, back to this image. You can see the poor condition of the wall surrounding the carbuncle. It has been like this for about fifteen years. Ouch! As part of the Heritage Grant, all this will soon be restored, and the rotted sill replaced. The small window to the right looks into the pantry (there is a matching window around the corner). These windows have the same cross-hatching as seen in the dormer window.




  1. Sandra G. McNichol on February 24, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Wonderful, Ross – looks like a MILLION bucks! Yahoo!

  2. Carla Windsor Brown on February 24, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Day by day, step by step, she’s looking better and better!

  3. Ken on February 24, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    That looks so much better Ross. Little by little the the Cross house is revealing her original beauty and magic.

  4. Carole. Canton Ohio on February 25, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Is this the only access to the basement? Are there any down the road plans for basement conversion? Such a difference removing the shed has made. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be when this side is painted and landscaped. Great job Ross!

  5. Montana Channing on March 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    looking at many old Victorians as i do online and in books, i think its interesting to see how great architects blow it all on the street view and the “back 40” sometimes gets short shrift or comes out as not their finest and most coherent work. maybe architects should start at the back so when they got to the front, they’d still have some juice left but the whole thing would hang together better.
    it’ll be interesting to see what this looks like in 94 garb. i take it all your vintage photos are only of the front and south side

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