Friday, November 14, 2008

When bad things happen to good houses.


I decided to copy Julia at Hooked on Houses. I am starting my own version of "When bad things happen to good houses" I plan to show you how some people remodel ( or as they used to say in Victorian Home magazine, "Remuddle") historic homes and RUIN THEM! I can physically feel pain when I see some of these. I am going to start off by showing you a picture of a lovely little Victorian home that was only a few minuets walk from my childhood home. I loved this house. I always wanted to live there. I drew countless pictures of it. I studied it. It still influences my designs to this day. It was surrounded by large ash trees, had a lovely cabbage rose garden out front. In the back hallway was a large painting of the house in its hay day. It was a lovely red/orange brick with white trim and a green roof. The square bay window in the front was a balcony. It had some great Victorian trim, and a killer side porch.. My sister an I and some other friends looked at to turn into a wedding reception center at one point. Money was an obstacle then. A few years back someone finally bought it for a reception center. They made repairs to the house and landscaping. I was happy the home was getting some love. UNTIL! Last year I drive by and they are removing the back porch. I'm thinking they are making some needed repairs. Then they began digging this huge hole in the yard. The gable trim disappears. I began to sweat and wring my hands. Construction begins on what looks like an addition. I worry profusely. The finish product was more than I could bare. The windows were wrong. The addition of a bell tower on what was looking like a barn almost rendered me unconscious. I cannot even begin to tell you how disgusted I am with finish product. An other town landmark bites the dust at the hands of amateurs. Now the above picture I did some quick photoshoping to remove the offending parts. To see what it has become click here.

4 comments:

Anne said...

It's enough to make you cry isn't it? Only one of my friends understands why I get so upset over this type of remuddle.

Angel said...

Oh dear. That's brick? How sad. (That's how I feel about painted wood.)

Angel said...

Arson? Bad thing for this beauty. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20081114/NEWS/811140388/1024/COMM

J9 said...

I often comment as my husband and I drive by homes, of their lack of any discernable character, of things gone terribly wrong. He often says 'once again hon, they didn't ask you.' and I reply, 'well they SHOULD have, because I have some great ideas that would've saved them from this atrocity!' It's in the details, scale and so on.
My grandparents house is in Logan UT and I have the old pictures. When my son graduated, I decided to take the opportunity to find it, as my cousin had done. AAARRRGGGHHHH! I don't think 'remuddled' EVEN covers it. Sad.
I agree with Susanka that McMansions are boxy and ugly, stripped of everything but ostentatiousness (is that even a word? LOL) built to impress.
YOU on the other hand, actually have the skill to help. Reminds me of the line from 6 Million dollar man; 'we have the technology, we can rebuild him'. Keep up the good work. Thanks for your blog.