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!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Burgman Building: Commercial "un-muddling" begins

The front storefront has few changes
While one could justifiably argue that the front commercial space is 'period perfect' down to its wainscot , period storefronts and beaded-board ceiling, the side street unit is not.

The back storefront is a 'different' story
In fact this was the area of greatest re-muddling, undertaken by the prior owners who were trying to... who knows what? What they did do is install the "Great wall of kitchen" as we call it, drop ceilings, install florescent lighting and put in crappy carpet.
There should be a law to prevent this!

These "periscope ceilings' do nothing to show off the large windows and period trim.

The new floor plan works better for our use
Of course it ALL has to go! We will be reconfiguring the back 2/3 of the space as additional shop space connected to the front shop and the front 1/3 will be turned into a formal entrance for the upstairs, with a large pocket door between this entrance and the commercial which can be opened up for large events where we might need to use multiple entrances.

Amazing detail on this capital
This back space was originally built as a saloon and it had been updated a few times over the year so little is known about its original paint colors. However when  we began removal of the dropped ceiling we exposed the original support column with its polychrome paint. Faded and chipped but enough to go by.

And there is the round window and 13 ft ceilings!
We also exposed the circular window along the back wall which makes a big difference! Still have lots of drop track to remove, and we now have a 7 ft high tall stack of acoustic ceiling tiles and we filled 30 bags with fiberglass bat insulation.

This short wall will come out and a full height wall built to house  a pocket door with a large arched window over it to let in light
Coming soon will be the old duct removal and patching any holes cut in the ceiling with some matching bed board.

Of course now that everything is out of the Persian Parlor, I just had to throw down an oriental rug which has some blues that compliment the wall nicely.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Burgman Building Restoration: Upstairs Hall: Bye Bye 1980's

This may have been trendy in the 1980's but it does not belong in the 1880's and HAD to go
When the window and wall company had its offices upstairs they made some , well lets say "unfortunate" decorating decision that I am sure were cutting edge in the 80's..thats 1980's not 1880's. One of those unfortunate decorating decisions was row of brass track lights and a dropped ceiling of lattice.

no more brass track lights
Now we have long held that Victorian should look like a Victorian and this "Italian restaurant" look had to go and did not belong in a 40 ft hallway leading to impressive Victorian parlors. First to go were those Brass track lights.

And we have ceilings again!
Next was removal of the lattice and the 1980's were banished! We love the ceiling height and now the challenge will be to determine how best to light it most likely this will be a combination of wall sconces and a couple of overhead Gasoliers. Needless to say that wallpaper must go as well.

I envision this as  gallery space for our private art collection some top crown molding will be called for. A proper hanging rail and a chair rail.  Wallpaper with gold inks in them or stenciling but this space calls for something with a gallery like formality.

Front Page!
Well we knew the local paper was doing a piece on the acquisition and the reporter emailed me to let me know the article was out online and would be out today. What I didn't expect was 2/3 of the front page of the paper and 1/2 a page on another!

Well today was the last phase of removal of the 'closet thing' in the Persian Parlor.

And now its gone! More updates as they happen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Burgman Building : Weekend Update: The Garland Parlor and fabulous finds!

A quick dose of "ugly removal" and the Garland Parlor its on its way back
The Garland Parlor is now back to its original size now that we have removed an addition done back when this was a drapery shop. the garland room is named such do the garland frieze stencil work. This room and eth long hallway both had evidence of a hanging rail and we presume this The Garland room might have been where the family hung Artwork. The removal  of the workspace involved removal of a built in box, workbench and some shelving and a partition wall.
I have no clue what they were thinking here, but this will be gone VERY SOON!
We cannot explain the "lattice work" hanging in either the Garland Parlor or the entrance hall, other than is tack and poorly installed, but that makes it easier to remove. Soon we will be back to original ceiling height in the  entrance hall.

Tucked away we found this treasure
Four days since close and so many changes and finds.! Tucked away was this Antique Zither, while it needs restringing , we are amazed anyone would just leave it.

Mapping it out is a must do when planning a kitchen
Today we mapped out the new kitchen. At 12x 19 feet its not the largest kitchen but will have room for side by side fridge, Large sink dishwasher and a commercial gas chefs range and plenty of storage due to the 12 foot ceilings. The island will be 42 x 72 and have bar seating and we sill have room for bistro table. The kitchen cabinets were put in about  a year ago and are of good quality with 42 " uppers. Our plan is to have them re-sprayed (they are currently a light oak) and we will reuse the green quarts counter top and be adding an extra 6 feet over what is already there. Fortunately we can get a perfect match for this counter top. The cabinets will be done in Antique Black and the island will be custom built as a free standing unit and in a different finish. Not sure if we will do a butcher block or some sort of copper top. We will use salvaged wainscot on the walls. With the additional trim work we will do we are going for a 'butlers pantry" look.
We knew this area was the most damaged
On Friday we met the director of the Cass County Historical Society who stopped by and we were interviewed by a report from the local paper who brought a photographer with here. Lots of questions and lots of photos and I guess the piece will come out in a few days. They photographed  the removal of the awful retail hanging board that was in the parlor revealing what I knew was the worst part of the Persian Parlor wall and this weekend I started removing the awful corner cabinet.

Fortunately this is where the new Valor gas fireplace , slate mantle and renaissance over mantle mirror will be
Fortunately this is the area where we will bump out slightly for the gas fireplace and the Slate mantle and Renaissance over mantle mirror will take up most of this heavier damaged area leaving me with only some repaint/re-creation work

Things are moving right along!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Burgman Building: Initial Assessment & the mystery of the blue flower

Our first day onsite was initial assessment and refining some plans on the building. We wanted to signal the change in the building and the first thing we did was fill one of the store windows with antiques and remove the totally inappropriate vinyl blinds.

I am impressed by the level of detail in the residential part of the building , the mid trim decorative blocks are amazing.

Also the hinges and hardware are exceptional.

The Persian Parlor is  a true decorative find and the fact it is still there and not covered by layers of paint is  a miracle . I am looking forward to paint testing in the other rooms to see what might be there. Now that we have the junk out of this room the size and scale is impressive.

I am always impressed with other artist work and I wonder about the 'blue flower". In the entire room over 85 Linear feet of mural and stencil work there is but one  blue flower cluster. I am sure it has a special significance known only to the artist who did this fine work.

Tomorrow we have newspaper interviews

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Project: The Historic 1884 Burgman Building

We are pleased to announce that we have acquired the historic Burgman Building, an 1884 commercial Italianate building in Logansport Indiana.

The building was listed on that cities historic preservation inventory but had been 'delisted' at the request of a former owner . The last owners had been 'remodeling it' but fortunately nothing irreversible was done.

The building is a period perfect example of a Commercial Italianate corner building and was built for the Burgman family who operated a corner store on the 15th street side and a saloon on the Smead St side.

Of critical importance historically is the second floor residence of the Burgman family. This second floor has only had minor alterations over the years and still retains its high ceilings , original Eastlake woodwork and a rarest of the rare "Persian Parlor" with its hand painted and stencil designs. That room will be restored to its original excellence

The building will undergo a complete restoration to Secretary of the Interior standards for Historic preservation with the goal of a local state and national ,historic status.