Saturday, January 6, 2007

Peeling an Onion

The demo continued next into the Dining Room. It was like peeling back the layers of an onion - each one leaving your eyes a bit teary. What was once a magnificent formal room with oak trim, wrap around window seat, and who knows what kind of fancy windows was reduced to this.

Two layers of paneling later I was down to plaster - at least what was left of it. Between the nails breaking it up and a previous bathroom leak above - this room would need to come down to the studs as well.

Once gutted, I was able to see the path of the fireplace flue pipe. After it turns 90 degrees towards the back of the house, it changes to a cast pipe which runs across the kitchen ceiling and into the brick heater chimney. Mounted to each stud along its path were pieces of slate which served as a heat shield.

Of course there was plenty more of buried wall switches and 5 lights - yep, 5. Originally there appears to have been a center chandelier gas/electric fixture for over the dining table. But at each corner of the room was another electric light, long since buried. This probably made for a nice addition to the room and I planned on putting it back.

The bathroom above had been updated with copper piping which was a plus. I found the original lead drain still in the ceiling. Also found a newspaper dated 1948 which is when the bathroom was probably updated. The topper was an old pair of tighty whities shoved under the bathroom floor! Looks like they were used to catch any solder drippings when the copper work was done. There are those who were meant to find money, others - maybe some neat object of times past, ..... and then some.....well......I know my place on the ladder.
I shoulda took a picture of that one!

chandelier and lights for dining room - before restoration

Anybody need kindling... well seasoned??


Patricia W said...

The condition of your plaster walls reminds me of the plaster in my house. Not a hope could save it. Mine was all jiggled loose when my house was moved back in the 50's, it comes off in huge sheets. Before I found this out, I thought that maybe the plasterer was plastered when he put up the walls. But it has made one thing nice, R-13 batts and vapor barrier in every exterior wall. When I'm done, it'll be great.

Also, almost every stick of original woodwork was removed to make way for wood paneling. I could see the outlines of the woodwork they ripped out!

Thank goodness there are lots of places that still sell nice trim!

Greg said...

Were those 5 light fixtures still in the ceiling above a drop ceiling, or are those old fixtures you've purchased and are going to restore and install?

mike & rachel said...

All the fixtures you see were EBAY finds. They didn't even have ceiling lights when I bought the place, everything was buried under patching plaster.