Two years ago today I took possession of the Cross House.

This seems both a brief time, and forever.

In the VERY long projected timeline to restore the house, two years is a blink of an eye.

In terms of my life, the last two years have seemed very very very long. In a good way!

It is hard recalling my pre-Cross House life. The house has overtaken my mind, pumped up long deflated passions, and infused every cell of my body with excitement.

WHAT did I do every day before the Cross House? I cannot quite recall.

And I do not miss the old life. My new life is way way way more fun.


We have started to remove the plaster from the wall built in the 1920s when the Cross House was converted to apartments. The wall was created so that two kitchens could be installed, one for each of the two adjacent studio apartments (former bedrooms). When the house was converted into a motel in the 1940s, the kitchens were removed and two bathrooms built in their place. Yet later, one bath was removed, and the space converted to a small bedroom (with bath). The door to this bedroom is seen in the image.

Two years ago today, the first thing I did in the Cross House was to knock down the 1929 wall bisecting the upper stair hall. The wall had transformed a wondrously expansive, grand space into something, well, decidedly un-wondrous. And dark, for on the other side of the wall was a triple set of stained-glass windows. Two years ago these windows were in shockingly poor condition.



Last month I picked the windows up after their complete restoration, and soon they will once again grace, and light, the once again wondrously expansive, grand upper stair hall.


While my new life is way more fun, it is not perfect. It is not like I ingested magic beans and everything became happiness and sunshine.

There have been a number of things in my life, non-related to the Cross House, which have been very difficult. And restoring an almost 9,000 square foot home is not easy; the Cross House is a demanding passion. Some of these struggles I detailed in a recent post.

I suspect though that 2016 is going to be a fun ride.

And I greatly look forward my next anniversary!



  1. Sharol on March 1, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Happy, happy, anniversary Ross!! Hoping for many more happy anniversaries for you and the Cross House!!

    • Ross on March 1, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you, Sharol!

  2. Carla Windsor Brown on March 1, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you for letting all of us tag along on this ride you are on!

    I drove home from work this evening going through the city vs the quick way on Kellogg. I was at the stoplight at Douglas and Hillside, an intersection I have driven through countless times. But tonight I looked over at The Dockum Building and I caught a glimpse of how you would look at such a beautiful building. I saw the stained glass for the first time, the intricate detail of tile work and the architecture itself. I said a prayer for it, that someone will restore it soon! Then downtown at another stoplight I looked up through my open sunroof and looked at the tops of those old buildings, wow! The detail that was put way up there where few would notice it astounded me. Sure, I’ve “seen” it before without truly seeing it…..

    So thank you for taking the time to write and start to open my eyes…….


    • Ross on March 1, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      What a lovely note! Thank you, Carla! It means a lot to me.

      (Note to readers: The Dockum Building in Wichita.)

  3. Marti on March 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Congratulations! Like Carla I am noticing the details on historic buildings in my area (SW Mi) with new appreciation! Last week while driving through Niles, Mi I was noticing the finials on the roof of the biggest Victorian in downtown and thought Ross needs those…then inside the funeral home they had a gas/electric light (converted to all electric) but the arms faced up and down…then the trio of stained glass windows on the stair landing …all I could think was I needed to take a photo to send to you!
    So Happy Anniversary and thank you…

    • Carla Windsor Brown on March 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      LOL! Yes! I was noticing the lighting on Downton Abbey, it was pure electric! I’d have not noticed or known the difference a short while ago!!!

  4. kerri on March 1, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Congratulations Ross on two years! Amazing how much you have accomplished. Looking forward to seeing what all you do in 2016. You have inspired me to look into restoring another historic home, after all, live life to the fullest doing what you enjoy most. Right?

  5. Sandra G. McNichol on March 2, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Happy 2nd Anniversary, Ross and Cross House! Congratulations, and I wish you many many more happy years together! Cheers!

  6. Cindi M on March 2, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Happy Anniversary, Ross, and thanks for your blog. So much to learn and see. I see the forest but I’m starting to see some trees,too, thanks to you.

  7. Kelly on March 2, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Happy Happy Anniversary! 🙂

  8. Barb Sanford on March 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Happy anniversary to you and the Cross House! May you have many more happy years together.

  9. Vicki F. on March 2, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Congratulations on two years! I’ve followed you from Day One and can’t wait to see what you tackle next. I think you and the Cross House are definitely good for each other!

  10. Montana Channing on March 3, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    hope on your second anniversary that its warmer there right now than it is here ( 4 F). sending you warm wishes and strength as you go into your next joyous restorative year

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