Sunday, June 28, 2015

Burgman Building: Weekend Update: Stencilling and landscaping .

So much going on I can only touch on a few details. In the shop space I have begun the stencil process of the wall borders and I hope to start field panel stenciling soon.. Its a tedious process.

We are using a  border stencil from our Neo Grec stencil line and it will serve as an example of what we do in terms of decorative stenciling.

Given all the rain lately we had a rare, and I mean RARE day of dry weather and we headed outside to work. The "courtyard area' between the garage and building had been long overgrown and neglected and we transplanted some stuff to a more sunny location where it can actually bloom. The AC units will soon be relocated to the roof ( we have to call in the alarm people to deactivate the alarms systems for relocation), and this space can be better utilized for an outdoor entertainment space but it sorely needed a facelift and that's what we did.

Behind the building we addressed an overgrown area next to the building pulling out a lot of Virginia creeper and Ivy. We re-mulched the beds, re-laid border brick, and transplanted more stuff from the "back forty" where we virtually have our own nursery. We still have to re-lay the brick on the other side of the walk, and mulch, but with everything we do, it brings a real smile to our face to know we are bringing the building back.

Restoring some 'order' to the space has been rewarding and I am starting to see the vision of the Burgan's had with the gardens.

Other great news: the closet built-in is being painted,  a bed is in and we are moving in soon.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Burgman Building Restoration; sales counter work and hidden pathways found

In a perfect world I would have loved to have a period store counter and I may yet find one, but to get us open I have had to be creative and use recycled material to come up with something. We are 'almost there" with some trim work left to do but it should serve us well.  Its sort of "Victorian updated" but most will come in and not notice it and in this case 'blending in' is a far better alternative to some wall slatted commercial pieces I seen in other shops . I used an old IMAC left in the garage as a visual about how much space our POS monitor would stick up. Still have to finish the "screening" of that area but I think its going to work. We will have a ton of storage space for wrapping paper and boxes under the counter and I'm working on building out shelving and storage.

Upstairs Greg has been busy stripping wallpaper from the "Grand hall" as we call it . 53 feet of hallway from the stairs to the Reception Parlor just before you get to the Persian Parlor...bye, bye,  1990's wallpaper border, this space will soon be transformed back to period elegance.

Days on a ladder painting have meant...what else? a break from ladders and we spend a day doing some yard work. I have resigned myself to it taking some time to fully restore the grounds on what we like to call the "Burgman block" since we own almost an entire city block of land. One of the pleasant discoveries was this stone path leading from the back yard to the back door. It was discovered when I found a stone covered by ivy and just started cutting away. This garden archeology is fascinating to me and we are just beginning to understand the thought Mr. Burgman put into his garden.We even found the old well pump base to the cistern

Although you can't tell, there is a two level pond under all that ivy! We have started cutting back the ivy off the gravel path that wound by the two level pond, but trust me it will take a lot of work and discovery to get things looking the way they looked back then.  But that will be future project! Some of our neighbor's who have lived there for decades have vague recollection's of sneaking back in "The Grotto" to play in the pond area. It was a favorite "hide and seek' playground for the kids in the neighborhood back in the day.

We also came across some paperwork. A printed listing of the house on Historic properties.com from 2005! at that time (pre 2008 real estate crash), the house was for sale for 94,000.00! In the listing it talks about how the site (3 lots) was used  as beer garden back in the old saloon days! Its a fascinating insight back.

So tomorrow? Work continues!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Burgman building: More moving and painting

One thing we have done is paint the tin appliques in the showroom window space an aged copper finish like that on the store counter and it impart an elegance and depth to the space.

Meanwhile we have been painting the other side of the shop space including the round window areas . Ultimately I plan on trimming the windows out with wood casing ( a more finished look) but for now I need to get things ready to open so we continued the color banding around them.

We keep moving stuff in and its getting full fast which will drive the timetable on the rear shop space so we can be ready for the holiday sales season. We also  put some notices out on Craigslist and other places about our impending opening and people can be seen peering in the windows daily to see what's going on.

A pleasant surprise as the Clematis' is in full bloom. We have had so much rain lately and I'm dying to do more work in the yard.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Burgman Building: Shop window display space work

One of the things we have been working on is the storefront window display space area. The shop windows are great and period with beadboard on the raised shop area panels which makes for great display space, however the walls in the display area are a bit plain. Currently the inside of the windows and the double doors are painted a not very attractive  yellow, doing a little paint research shows they were a medium green (the same as the frieze area in the store was painted originally) and our plan is to go back to that, at the same time we want to unify the wall space at a the display and differentiate it from the main walls. To do that we found a "tin style' material which is a glue up and will be painted to match the trim. This will give the store display windows a more unified look. This tin style material is made of polymers and comes in 2x4 sheets and once painted will look like we have tin wall back in the display area

We should be ready to install hanging rail as soon as we finish the wall panel paintwork and change the frieze area color at the top to the original shade of green that was there.

Overall making, progress and moving in more stuff everyday.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Burgman Building: Inquiries and moving stuff

Seems not a day goes by without someone peering in the shop windows to see if we are open yet. So even though we have tons of stuff to do, we at least staged the front of the shop so when people peer in they will see some of what we have to offer. Yeah, I'll have to move it several times as we paint walls, stencil, rework various mechanicals, but it helps build interest and it's sort of free advertising until we do open.

As it is, I have been switching out stuff in the front showroom windows.

One thing we "inherited' with the property is a bookcase, while not our style it does make a good display piece for small stuff. Boy was it heavy and even after we removed all the shelves it was all we could manage to get move it from the back room to the front.

Of course we have all sorts of interesting 'big things' coming everything from square grand pianos and pump organs to huge pier mirrors and architectural salvage so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Burgman Building: Another multi project week

Starting the build, lots to do
Well we are getting closer to getting the shop together and part of that is building retail counter. While I'd love a period store counter, we cant find one, so using some stuff we already had and we are putting one together. Still have painting to go some trim work and the new wood counter top to go on.

Lots of insulation.
Everyday is a discovery and we checked out the attic to find its well insulated, dry and well ventilated. I do think we will add some thermostatically controlled vents however when we get around to exterior work and replacing the wood panels that were removed whenever this project was done.

Some great, some good, some shot but a lot of this is salvageable.
One 'fun thing' has been the basement actually its more like a cellar. Over the years as "improvements" were made , woodwork simply got tossed down there. Damp basements are not particularly  kind to wood. There was some stuff that had been down there many years that was pretty much shot BUT there was also some more recent stuff that was good. We located some good door trims, and a lot of beadboard.

Things are blooming now there is some sunshine.
Just to "get way' from restoration and construction I've been going out and working in the "grotto" and doing some pruning and weeding. Now that I have opened up some sun by some recent pruning, things are starting to bloom.

You can see the remnants of an old metal arbor, You'd never know you were in town.
We have also located part of the concrete barn floor which was once used a patio hidden from view by all the trees bushes and ferns. It will take some work to restore it back but we will eventually get there.

Inventory is starting to be moved in even though we will have to move it around while we work but the sooner its moved in the sooner we can open.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Burgman Building: Removal of short wall and other fun things

So now that the suspended ceiling is gone, the crappy grid and now the partition wall that was added for whatever reason at last the rear shop space is back to its original configuration and we can start over.

The wall frame was hardly secured and I'm often amazed at the work of "Billy Bob" contractors. Why would you not build a wall floor to ceiling and have each space with its own ceiling system? Oh well its gone, and none to soon.

Upstairs we have begun an adaptive reuse project. The upstairs room which will now be
our master bedroom suite had a kitchenette. The cabinetry was built to fit the space and  with all the open shelving will make a perfect closet. All we have to do is install some crown molding, closet rods, and some bins and baskets for storage.

We started cleaning it up so we can get the trim work done  and repaint it. This is important BECAUSE we now have accepted a full price offer on our Indy house, which means we will need to move in sooner than later! Of course we have to sweat home inspections and appraisals but if all goes well we need to be moved in here by around the 4th of July.

So lots of things to do in Logansport and Indy and we still have restorations on-going in Cincinnati.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Burgman Building: Shop space work and other projects.

It has been days since a blog post but we have just been incredibly busy with restoration work that finding the time to blog about it has been difficult.

Right now we are making a push to get our main shop space ready. This has involved the usual detective work of paint analysis and figuring out just how the space will work. We now know the original colors in the space and have embarked on the process to paint the shop interior as well as showcase our talents. The schoolhouse green walls needed to go!

Certain things are a given and some things we have found out. The wonderful shellacked bead board is original and will be retained. We also know that there was a picture hanging rail that was 16 inches below the ceiling based on where nail patterns were. We also know that the trim at the very top was gilded so it seems likely that the hanging rail was fold as well. This would mean there was some sort of stenciled frieze at the top. The wall color was a golden tan and there is evidence that suggests that a clay color was used as a banding above the beaded board and below than hanging rail.

So we have come up with a 'panel' design  for the walls with the gold as the main wall color and clay as banging. This will then likely be stenciled  and some line work done. Artwork for sale will be hung just like it would have been done in the day from drop down wires that the artwork will hand from. It also means we don't have to put holes in the plaster anymore.

On the south wall we have two round windows. These let in excellent light into the space but lack and sort of finish trim around them. Our thought is to follow the circular pattern with the same banding using on the panels but I first must address getting some sort of proper trim on the inside. These windows actually pivoted out to let air in but obviously leaked over the years and the plaster on the inside, (over brick) has been repaired many times and they are not perfectly round. Creating curved trims is highly impractical so I will have to come up with a workable solution.  Eventually, I plan on stained glass in these openings.

With any restoration and in spite of your plans things pop up and one of them was the side street planting bed. In this case it was an overgrown mess where  a "street tree"  had died and was removed and little had been done.  Someone had tried to do a planting bed at one point  as was evidenced by some stone thrown around it . It was overgrown and was source of maintenance and needed to be addressed. While we mowed the street strip this are would require continuous weeding so we decided to address it

A few hours later we had pulled out all the stone evened it up to make it rectangular and we transplanted some day lilies from the back  of the lot  (under trees and so shady they didn't ever bloom). Its a start, and we will plant some other things in there but it looks a lot better.

More to come as I find the time!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Burgman Building: Weekend Update.

You can really see the volume of space with the dropped ceiling gone
Busy weekend working in the "saloon space" of the building. ALL the dropped ceiling is out, along with bags upon bags of insulation. At the same time we started wall removal in anticipation of  the new entry hall and reception room for the residence. This wall removal represents the location of the new pocket door and large transom that will be above it.

This should bring in a great deal of light at this point especially after the entrance doors are redone back to double doors. I cant wait to get the rest of this wall out so we can construct the new pocket door wall.

An early Four square and a mix of Victorian cottages from this view
I have to say I am really impressed with the neighborhood. while it's not "high end Victorian" (most of the homes were built between 1890 and 1910). I can not get over how immaculate and clean the neighborhood is with neatly mowed lawns and carefully trimmed bushes.

There is a row of late Victorian homes in this view.
Say what you will, but small town USA is a dramatic contrast to the more Urban neighborhoods I have restored in.

Note the green carriage barn, large two story Victorian, corner one story commercial, and in the distance another red brick  Italianate storefront building
Kids can safely wander the neighborhood, people ride their bikes, and most importantly the people are extremely friendly.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Burgman Building: Garden Discoveries

just a little cleanup and mulch is starting to redefine the space
After several days up and down a ladder on the saloon commercial space I needed a break from climbing so I decided to do something less physically tiring, like landscaping. Well it was tiring but more interesting!

lots and lots of Hostas
It took a lot of years of work and dedication to create this space.
One of the things we have learned about the Burgman Building History is Ferdinand  Burgman II who lived in the building all of his life up in addition to being president and board member of the local bank was apparently an avid gardener.

This area has a lot of rocks in it and is raised slightly. Several old Peony bushes line the walk
Huge Hostas at least 50-60 on the site and some are 5 ft across!
We knew there was "stuff' in the yard but you don't know what's there until spring and as they say spring has spring. The primary garden is a space 60 feet wide and 50 feet deep.

The scale of the lawn walkways is huge, cant wait to get the undergrowth cleared.
It is one of several garden spaces on the property and we have a lot of property! The main lot is 105 x 170 feet with a 'jog' that goes out to the alley of 55 x 65 feet.


The "grotto" believe it or not there is a gravel pathway, edged in brick and somewhere in the background (under lots of English Ivy) is where we think the pond and waterfall is.
While its a generous lawn space probably 60 percent of the site is garden space of one kind or another.
I've never seen red tulips with blue/white centers that were hidden in the under growth.

Sorting it all out will take a while and a lot more trimming and cutting than I was able to do in a few hours but boy does this look promising!