The Story of the Lost Dramatic Sweep.



I have never shown this side of the Cross House yet. This is the southwest corner. The image dates from 1999, when the house was boarded up and surrounded by a chain-link fence. This is when Debbi and Bob Rodak braved its purchase. What I would like you to note is the dramatic SWEEP of the porch. Wow. Thrilling! Image courtesy of Bob Rodak.



May, 2014. Just after I purchased the house. Eek! The Great Sweep has been interrupted!



Bob had worried that the Great Sweep was in danger of sagging, so he built the limestone plinth (right of center), and added a 6×6 post to support the roof of the Great Sweep. Image courtesy Justin.



Image courtesy Justin.


I really really really wanted the Great Sweep back and uninterrupted.

So, today, we removed the 6×6 post (you can see it sitting on the porch floor, above).

Lest we be thought of as damn fools, here is why we did what we did…



Some careful structural sleuthing revealed two sets of triple 2×12 ceiling joists, in a V-pattern, going all the way from the dining room wall, across the living room ceiling, then resting on the exterior wall, and continuing to the edge of the porch roof, where they are supported by the pair of columns to the left, and the remaining single column to the right (there was a pair originally). Between these triple 2×12 beams, and at the porch edge above the columns, is a huge beam at a right angle.


Anyway, what all this means is that I suspected the new 6×6 post was not necessary. So, today, Justin braved removing it. And the porch did sag. A quarter inch. Then stopped.


The limestone plinth will also now be removed. The mason, the intrepid John, assures me he can remove it in one piece(!), and relocate it over to the carriage house, where it will support a corner of a new porch. So, cool.

The missing porch railings are being restored as this is written. In a few months they will also return, and then I will order the spindles (I have some originals but need to have many more made).

And I am counting the days until the curved lattice returns!!!!!!!!!!!



An unimpeded sweep. Image courtesy of Justin.


And, to offer a tantalizing idea of just how incredibly deliciously wondrously and excitedly FABULOUS the Great Sweep will be once recreated:








  1. Lesley on January 31, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    That is so awesome, love it!

  2. Sandra G. McNichol on February 18, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Great work, bringing back the Great Sweep! It is a thing of beauty!

  3. Rick on February 24, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Man you have some really great photo’s of your home. Nice shot of the carriage house here.

  4. Montana Channing on February 25, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Kudos to Bob. He did a great job of recreating a plinth like the original.

  5. Seth Hoffman on October 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    That is very interesting. There an 1885 Victorian in our neighborhood with a similar curved porch and an extra-wide space between columns in the center of the curve. I had always assumed a column had gone missing, but now after seeing yours, perhaps it was designed that way from the beginning.

    And yes, the duplication of the limestone details on the added plinth is impressive!

  6. Chad on October 17, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Great news, and it makes me especially happy that you get to reuse Bob’s very nice stonework.

    And, I’m heading to a vintage lighting store this week to complete and un-renovate 2 fixtures; wish me luck!

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