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Do you think it was surplus?

Posted by palimpsest (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 8, 12 at 22:58

I ran across this house in the real estate, in a depressed area, and a sibling nearby. The sibling is sealed and bank owned, and either can be had for less than the price of a typical car. They are tiny at about 650 sq ft.

Anyway, to my knowledge these are post war development houses about 65 years old or so. (One of the postings says 85 but I don't think this area was developed in the 20s and these don't look quite right for that.)

But look at what is in the bathroom of the sealed house. Do you think that since these houses were built fast and cheap that they used new old stock?
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Related to bathroom things, I was in the teenage home of a friend of mine, bought new in 1977 when she was almost done with HS. I was really surprised because the bathrooms were pure 60s as far as I was concerned, one blue and one yellow (not harvest gold). Fixtures and text tile floors. Again these houses were not well built (although the area is pricey) and the developer had certain...connections apparently and I was wondering if he too bought up a lot of old stock.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

Sure! My post war 1950s ranch was clad with recycled bricks. I can totally see post war or "during the war" construction using recycled plumbing fixtures.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

Could be that they remodeled, and thought the claw foot was nice. The vanity and sink as well as the floor look newer than post WWII to me. I grew up in a post WWII house and all the baths had multi-shade monochrome mosaics, as well as colored fixtures, avacado, gold and gray. Is the drain plumbing PVC?

What is that greenish haze around the tub, perhaps the walls are those sheets of faux tiles or something.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

I would say they could have been as I have a house on a lake and the claw tub is exactly like that one. This house is 117 years old so at some point, I would guess the 20s, this tub was installed. Even today the builders use recycled bricks etc.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

I am thinking now that this may be a retro-remuddle. Some of the houses in neighborhoods like this will have have the strangest, sometimes very elaborate, renovations. There is a house not far from this one that has elaborate bevel mirror covering one wall, strips of mirror alternating with exposed wall on another, and a dropped ceiling with mirrors in some of the grids. And a white sofa covered with a custom plastic slipcover. Some of these houses are pristine on the inside, and some of them have things like this half done, as if the owner ran out of time, money, or the interest in finishing.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

I don't know, it could be, but I'll gladly take the tub off their hands if they don't want it. Someday I will have one again.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

This reminds me of many still around in CA. Although I remember them as a kid in the 50s and they were old then. Recycled materials, not of that era. The ones remembered were either military base living or for those working in industrial jobs related to the war.

Nothing in the bathroom looks original to me and the tub would not have been plumbed that way. Unless there was a full wood surround torn out, but the place isn't old enough for one. Probably an install from what was once a rectangular skirted ceramic tub.

Stick on tiles? My guess too. Many homes had their bath walls covered with hard as steel sheets around the entire room as well as the tub area. Looked like formica. They were glued on and had a strip of metal along the top. Taking them out goes down to the stud. Not taking these out requires some creative thought and not always in a good way.

What else did you see in this place? Looks like new windows. But that bathroom is done so poorly I can't imagine what else they messed up in other areas.

A key to age may be the metal window awing to the left. Many houses still have these from the 40s. My daughter has the originals on her little cottage.

Really enjoy your posts.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

The house I pictured is in decent shape on the inside. The bathroom is from one that is bank owned and boarded up.

These houses are in a very unstable area. One will be nicely maintained and it's neighbor boarded up. The values for these houses even in the best of condition is probably about $40K and you may occasionally see one for under $10K. I feel bad for the people who moved into these 50 years ago and have hung on.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

My parents built a house in 1948. They had a terrible time finding bathroom fixtures especially on their, tight budget. My mother used to talk about driving 50 miles with a toilet sitting in the open trunk of her car, and the only tub they could find was a tiny, square one. Re-tooling for civilian needs must have taken a long time, and, of course, there was quite a pent-up demand for housing. I think it's reasonable to imagine builders using new, old stock----or any stock they could find.


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Question Answered :)

I found some examples that were intact. The bathrooms were about 5 X 5 with a small bumpout for the sink. These houses were a step above public housing when built, and these really small ones tend to cluster around areas of public housing built at the same time. While the idea was utopian most of the high density style public housing surrounded by "parkland" didn't fare too well, and the surrounding neighborhoods declined as well. So, it was hard to find some examples that weren't remodeled, remuddled or nearly shell-like on the inside. Anyway, here are two examples, not from the neigborhood of the houses shown, but in a complex of identical houses in a different area.

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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

Pal, those above look like they are in great condition. Wow, you should send those to Save the Pink Bathrooms!


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

I love the floor in the first one.


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RE: Do you think it was surplus?

Philadelphia historically seems to favor the full-tile bath and even the least expensive houses and rental apartments, especially the slightly older ones, all seem to have them even when other parts of the country had moved onto other alternatives.


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