Friday, June 29, 2007

Progress on 11th Street - revitalization ain't easy

Last week I visited 1746 Ekin Ave as work is getting underway for the restoration there. This week I strolled a couple blocks from my home to see the progress at 921 E. 11th Street. Here are the before and current shots:
The story is the same here as it was at 1746 Ekin – steady decline, upset neighbors and a home scheduled for demolition. But Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana intervened, worked with the owner and helped find a buyer ready to start work immediately to stabilize the home. Mr. Greg Doty purchased the home and the work is underway.

Residents of the S. Ellen Jones Neighborhood Association are pleased that the home will not become another vacant lot.

This sign of progress was tempered with an act of senseless vandalism at the Cardinal Ritter Birthplace. One of the large storefront windows was broken this week.

This act occurred the same week that the original, restored front door was added back to the home.

In the short term, the broken window means nothing. In the long term, the steady reclamation of the Ritter home is what is most important. Perseverance is a quality Cardinal Ritter was known for and a quality the neighborhood is going to need.

Nobody said revitalization was easy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Installment 9: Cascading waterfalls in my living room

Each new weekend (rehabilitating my home) brings me delightful experiences that broaden my know-how relating to house restorations.

I’m peppered with new terms and phrases continuously. Here’s the phrase from this past weekend – “dry in a roof”. It sounds simple enough. If a roof is “dried in”, it implies that no water will get into your home. It will not leak.

Here’s an example used in conversation:
Homeowner: “Is my roof dried in?”
Roofer: “Yes sir, your roof is dried in”.

My roof replacement began last Wednesday. It’s the first time in my life as a homeowner that I’ve ever had a roof replaced. I was excited. The excitement didn’t last.

I was told the roof was “dried in” on Friday. On Saturday I discovered it was not. I love waterfalls, but not in my house. No homeowner horror compares to seeing water cascading down an interior plaster wall.

The damage was not that bad due to some quick action and a thankfully short rain storm. I’ve learned, in great detail, how to “dry in” a roof. I’ve also learned that no matter how good it would have felt in the short term to apply a hammer to another persons head, the long term consequence of that action would not have been beneficial to Ted.

Life and the work on the house go on. I’ll share some pictures of the roof another time. Despite the problems, I really love it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Sweet Sounds Rehabs and Restorations - 1746 Ekin Ave

This summer, the sound of hammers and saws can be heard all over the city. Over the next couple weeks I plan to visit and feature rehabs in progress around the area.

The home at 1746 Ekin Avenue – in the Uptown Neighborhood Association – was my first stop. The work is moving right along.

New owner Greg Doty has had crews at the house working hard. The improvement is striking. Mr. Doty acquired the home from Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (HLFI). It was HLFI who worked with the previous troubled homeowner to save the home from demolition.

The home had been in steady decline over the last two decades. Neighbors were fed up. The home had hit the city demolition list but thankfully the Building Commission had the patience and foresight to allow the time needed for HLFI to facilitate the transfer of the home to a preservation minded buyer. This tale appears to be on the way to a happy ending for all.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Installment 8: Progress report on Ted’s house – 1/39th of the way done! Cause for celebration

We got ourselves a final coat of paint on another part of the house. I’ll have an extra brew this evening to celebrate. The following slide show tells the tale better than my babbling.

One step forward typically means a step backwards somewhere else. We found more rotted wood here than was anticipated. It’s going to be a long hot summer…

Monday, June 11, 2007

Installment 7 - Work Continues after a week long Siesta

I took a week off. I spent a little time at the Outer Banks, North Carolina. It was a great trip. However, there was a little bit of house work done before and after the trip.

We’ve got some trim work back on the porch which I’m really happy about.
Box gutters have been gutted and returned.

It’s progress.