The Cross House
One can be delicate. By the I mean that one is easily offended, and easily upset about small matters.
One can be strong, but have, ah, some delicate sensibilities.
These are two very different things. And I suffer, occasionally, from the latter.
Or perhaps I have watched too many movies based on novels by Jane Austin!
With the Cross House, when some horrible structural issue is discovered, I basically shrug, because I expect structural issues with old houses. When some bid that I expected to come in at X comes in instead at XXX I shrug again. This happens, and I either bite the bullet and economize elsewhere or come up with a creative roundabout.
But…but…dirty windows? EEK! This upsets my delicate sensibilities!
As do other…things.
The Cross House is a construction zone, and there are two working toilets. Well, you know what toilets look like on a construction site. But at the Cross House I take some small pride in having gleaming toilet bowls. To have otherwise would upset my delicate sensibilities.
So, too, with mess. I work to keep the grounds and interior mostly free of debris and collected flotsam. Several times a month I go around and wipe down the tops of all eight mantels. Weekly I wipe down the top of the huge table in the dining room. For, I can deal with most of the rooms looking like bombs have gone off in them but a dusty table top? Oh dear, just too much for delicate sensibilities!
Because I have spent decades restoring old houses I have learned what freaks me out and what does not. Luckily, the freak-out stuff is normally easily and inexpensively dealt with: keeping things clean and neat. There is a trade-off-off for this because, somehow, discovering a floor massively damaged by termites is easier to deal with if the mantels are clean. But termite damage and dirty mantels? Oh, where are my smelling salts!
I cannot really explain this but suspect that there is a fine line between joy and depression. Paying attention to my delicate sensibilities keeps me tipped over the line to joy.
Tragically though there are some things which vex me (note the Austin?) but for which there are no quick solutions. And this is quite vexing.
The three condensers kinda hugged the NE corner, and this also freaked out my delicate sensibilities. For, they distracted from the beauty of the corner. Oh, the horror!
I had the condensers removed and they are now in storage. This spring they will be reinstalled in a fenced yard away from the house. All the pipes/wires shown above will installed in a buried pipe, and through the foundation.
Then the window will be restored. And my joy will be great.
But, this lovely, interesting feature has been almost wholly swallowed by an electrical array!
I have already installed a massive new electrical panel in the basement and have been slowly rerouting wires to it. In a few years this onerous task will be completed and the entire array pictured above removed.
Oh what a day that will be!
The rear of the house is quite beautiful and the current parking area is going to be a private garden/oasis with a significant waterfall feature. By moving condensers and gas meters and electric panels the rear of the house will, after a long hiatus, be as it was intended by architect Charles Squires.
And, I have no doubt, his delicate sensibilities, high up in the heavens, will also be relieved.