UNeroding a Historic House
Recently I did a post about the mystery of the porch lights for the Cross House.
In short, what is there now is not what was there originally.
Oh, the horror! The horror!
To correct this egregious historical injustice, I knew I had to remove the lighting sconces to each side of the front doors. This of course meant that there would be holes in the siding, so this, too, had to be repaired.
All this effort was generated by something I often ponder.
Over time, historic buildings get…eroded. I don’t mean a physical erosion but rather visual. You know, beautiful wood floors get covered by carpeting, unpainted interior trim gets painted, fabulous original hardware is replaced with less-than-fabulous, wood shingles on the roof get replaced with asphalt, wood shutters are taken down or replaced with undersized plastic versions, original windows are replaced with white vinyl, porch railings are replaced with much taller and much skinner Home Depot crap, and on and on and on.
Over time, such incremental changes, seemingly innocuous at the time, add up and what was originally just perfect visually, and stunning, is so much less so in 2016. This is akin to taking a beautiful painting and removing bits, painting over bits, tacking on some bits, and replacing the frame with plastic. You can imagine the results.
For me, it is always a victory to UNerode a historic building. And every act of UNerosion, no matter how small, is a special delight.
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