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Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

Posted by palimpsest (My Page) on
Tue, May 11, 10 at 17:35

I have posted in the past a couple of 19th c. houses that I am interested in and there has been some discussion of how much of a budget would be involved. (And unfortunately, it was in the hundreds of thousands).

I changed my search strategy and ran across this property in my own neighborhood. Its a fixer upper, apparently, I haven't seen it yet. But nothing compared to the other places I have posted.

I also found this brochure online, thanks to a current owner, who bought one of these units from the original owner. The house I am looking at is one floor smaller, although from the listing, it is hard to figure out which bedroom level is missing. The brochure has some rather fanciful interpretations of the actual appearance, although the floorplans are pretty accurate. I still wish it had a full basement instead of a utility area, but some of the basements I am looking at are pretty inhospitable places anyway.

This is a pretty big paradigm shift for me...I really like 19th c housing. However, there is something to be said for the 1960s floorplans of this particular group of houses.

The four story rendering--its pretty fanciful; they look like this but not exactly, the real scale is kinda funny:

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The three story version in reality. There aren't very many 3 story units. These were built at a time when you were a true pioneer if you moved in, so the all-original units have barred windows and doors. The back, which faces a garden area, has larger expanses of glass.
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These renderings make it look expansive:
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Floor plans: in the 3-story, one of the bedroom floors is absent.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

This photograph, from about ten years before construction is courtesy of my city's Department of Records. There is a lot of documentation of distressed historical areas that were probably going to be lost. The building to the far right is still there. If I am reading this right, the car would be in the LR of the second to last house in the row of the 1968 houses.
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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

From reading other posts you wrote, I feel the historic nature of the location as much as the house interests you.
I am intrigued by the floor plan you found, and the actual photograph of the site prior to construction.

I wish you well with this one. It looks promising and also to be a challenge.


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

I share your preference for 19th century construction, but I can see the appeal of this place to you. If it is mid century done well, then I could go for it. Reminds me of our house search; everything we looked at was 100+ years old, except for one contemporary bordering conservation land. It would have been a challenge for me, I would have abandoned all my traditional fabrics and gone with really beautiful, modern prints. I could see a leaf motif happening there. And asian furniture. But it would have been an interesting challenge to decorate it in a way that fit the style of the house, and was within the bounds of my own taste/preferences.

When I look at this floor plan, I love the way the dining room is open to the living room via the railing, and the way the levels are united. What a party house! I can see lots of mingling on those stairs. The windowless kitchen might be a dealbreaker for me. Also, is there attic storage? and where would you put your bicycle? In our first apartment, the only reasonable place to keep it (according to dh) was in front of the living room fireplace. Oh, how I hated that! I'm really glad we have a garage now; I can't imagine five bikes parked in our living room.


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

Even though it is only 42 years old, it still has a very historic look (from the outside). And, although it's a younger house, it still deserves having someone take care of it with its history in mind, which you will obviously do. I love the late 1960's renderings- they are fantastic! If this is the right house for you, I hope that you get them framed and display them proudly.

Please update after you've seen the house, I'd love to hear the next chapter!


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

One of the shortcomings of the house is that is does not have a basement, only a small utility area. Its likely that I would reconfigure the kitchen to open it to the dining room so its possible I could push things forward and get some more utility storage.

There is no attic. Most houses here have flattish roofs and no real attic space. I do have some here and I think I could do without it. Its too easy to stuff something up there and forget about it.

I have only owned apartments so I am used to no basement and some other elements lacking compared to a house...this type of property seems to be a transition between the two.

In terms of furnishings, I think I have lucked out. Most of my upholstered stuff is 1960s-70s because it is plain and rectilinear and doesn't conflict with 1840 too much. I also have a number of MCM lamps, because I needed to scale to a 10 foot ceiling.

I am supposed to look at it tomorrow.


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

This layout isn't much different from what's being built now on constricted infill lots. It's best suited to the young(ish) and fit, with intact knees for all that climbing. It still beats five-storey walkups in NYC.


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

I live in a four story walk up with a raised basement and 14-12-10-8 ceilings. I walk up about 52 steps to my door and then there is a flight of stairs in the apartment.

Everything is vertical here.


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RE: here's a skinny lot.

A 16' lot isn't that constricted around here, its pretty standard.

I am not looking at this one, but there is a house that is on a 12' x 80' lot. That means the inside is maybe 10'6" There is parking at the back so the house looks to be about 12'x 60' --somehow the interior has 1980 sq feet.


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

Palimpsest, is this the row house where the next door row house could be demolished?


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

Palimpsest, is this the row house where the next door row house could be demolished?


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RE: Shifting to mid 20th c. (only 42 years old).

Yes, this is the same house.


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