Putting The Past Back

The library. The mantel is left. In removing the bookshelves I installed in 2015 the newly exposed walls lacked base molding. This was missing when I purchased the house.


To my great astonishment and great delight I found the ORIGINAL base in the basement! Note the lovely detail, far left: The base makes a right angle and dies into the floor. I adore such thoughtfulness. (The white stencil field will soon…drum roll, please…have black Bradbury and Bradbury wallpaper.) The plinth block (right) is not original. I will have to paint it to match the original finish.


The base (after refinishing) retains its 1894 faux bois (false wood) painted finish. Squee!




  1. SusanM on January 25, 2023 at 11:48 pm

    I so love these finds and details!

  2. Sandra D Lee on January 26, 2023 at 1:34 am

    That is remarkable that the base boards were in the basement!

    Did Bob Rodak store a lot of Cross House “accessories, in the basement?

  3. Bo on January 26, 2023 at 9:05 am

    That basement trove (and the folks who thought to save all the bits) never ceases to amaze me.

  4. Cindy Belanger on January 26, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    That is wonderful the base board was stored in the basement, but not surprising. Bob to the rescue again. Baseboards are such a nice finishing touch to a room. I love Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper, can’t wait to see it on the wall.

  5. Barb Sanford on January 26, 2023 at 9:07 pm

    Considering the many iterations and alterations of the house, it always astonishes me that you can find the original bits saved in the basement. I wish all old house owners had this luck — or that the previous owners had the foresight to save the original bits and pieces.

  6. JP on January 26, 2023 at 11:29 pm

    Ah, Aladdin’s cave. If every house were modified in the way the Cross house was, I don’t think I would ever oppose it again. The fact that successive owners modified but often took the time to save the bits they didn’t want anymore away in the house amazes me. In the 1885 Queen Anne I rent, 1 (one) pocket door was saved in the basement when they pulled them out of the walls for whatever reason. I have no idea why just one, or where the others went…

    I really wish more people did this. It’s just so respectful to the original house.

  7. Marilyn Franks on January 27, 2023 at 3:50 pm

    It’s so great to see the original touches. It’s like the old girl keeps getting to dress up more and more.

  8. mlaiuppa on January 28, 2023 at 3:25 am

    Great that you could find that baseboard and restore it.

    When the wall paper goes up, you can get a black outlet and plate so it doesn’t stick out so much with the black wallpaper. That kind of stuff bothers me. I really try to minimize the switches, outlets and plates in my house when there is a wall treatment. And I have only two white walls and ceilings in the entire house; the bathroom and the kitchen.

  9. Mike on January 29, 2023 at 10:45 am

    I’ve said it so many times…you are so lucky that previous owners stored all of these bits and pieces in a safe, stable place. Our house was not so lucky; we found most of the removed trim under the side porch, lying on the dirt…much of it beyond repair. Out of a stack nearly 3′ high, only the top 12″ or so was usable; the rest would crumble in your fingers. Fortunately, they put the small pieces (plinths, rosettes, etc) into two plastic milk crates and they were spared; it still makes me sick to think of the many feet of original maple baseboard and facings that were lost. We have had new trim milled to match what remains and people can’t tell what is new and what is from 1886, but I know…

  10. Leigh on January 30, 2023 at 2:38 am

    Excellent sleuthing Ross, to find the original baseboard in Alladin’s cave. Sweet original faux bois. Delightful detail on how the baseboard turned 90 degrees, to end with a flourish.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.