Gutting Your Old House. JUST SAY NO!
As the decades passed, cities and communities across the land recognized and worked to protect their historic heritage, and what Detroit did in 1961 became unthinkable.
Then…and then…HGTV came along.
And the idea of historic preservation was rolled back to a 1950s mentality. Out with the old! In with the new!
Almost overnight, it became cool to buy an old house and knock the shit out of it. How fun! How bold!
In time, I hope, we will look back and recognize HGTV as a potent force of ruination upon the country. And we will look back and realize, too, that This Old House should have been called We Hate Old Houses as the magazine and TV show delight in smashing old houses to bits and throwing into dumpsters every trace of historic heritage.
So, this is why I am thrilled — thrilled! — to discover people who not infected by the dreaded HGTV-itis.
A few weeks ago, the always amazing Bo sent me images of Bridget’s house. Rather than gut her 1890s house to the studs (an HGTV obsession), Bridget has undertaken a curatorial approach and is carefully peeling away layers of time to reveal hidden history!
Had Bridget gutted her house to the studs, all this information and all this history would have been lost. Forever.
In my Cross House, I have made significant discoveries from clues revealed by the ancient walls and ceilings.
My friend Carl is working on an 1880s house, and he sent me this:
People like Bridget and Carl are heroes to me.
I offer each a BIG historic hug!
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