Saturday, August 29, 2015

Burgman Building: Opening Day! Victorian Antiquities & Design

We are open! and the opening day coincided with an article in the local paper See here , meaning we made a lot of new friends as people came by to check us out.

We spiffed up the front of the building, converting the grassy area to mulch. Eventually this will be fully landscaped

Some of our lighting selection
For the last few days we have been teasing people with our inventory on facebook.
Clocks, clocks...we have clocks
Silver galore

One of our cornices

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Burgman Building: Projects as opening day nears.

We are getting very close to our official opening day. One of the last hurdles, our state tax certificate finally arrived. Things are getting priced and polished and things move along.

One of the things I had to do was get our rear door open. It had been shut for who knows how many years. It was screwed, nailed and even silicone.

If you note the screened door and the way over the years they had to add a fitter because of the wear on the limestone step.

Meantime things are moving along upstairs with the hallway, its come along way from the lattice ceilings days. Today we had a local reporter interviewing abut our upcoming opening and work done to date on the building.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Charmed life of Historic Homes: A Historic Rossette come home 22 Yrs Later!

Historic Buildings often go through great trials and tribulations in their life. Many get lost by the wayside, demoed to progress their beauty and secrets lost forever. The Burgman Building has certainly been a treasure to us,  having spent years saving many "lost cause" buildings from demo. The completeness of the building and most importantly its decorative frescoes are a source of enjoyment as we proceed with the buildings restoration and conservation.

With any building there are always some missing things and such is the case with our building. We have remarkable window cornices but one was missing both its zinc rosettes and another one was missing one. These are not the sort of thing you just find on Ebay or go to your local hardware store and replace. In fact I had resigned myself to probably having to cast duplicates which is a long process.

We made the acquaintance of the man who supervised the façade restoration on the building back in the 1990's last week and we recent spent an afternoon with him getting as much history as we could from him. He is 73 and winding down a bit. He mentioned somewhere in all his stuff, was some pieces to our building, Well today he rang the doorbell and in his hand was box  with three zinc Rosette's. One original and two reproductions .

You just can't get these at a hardware store
The box was from the WF Norman CO of Nevada MO and the postmark on the box was Aug 3, 1993!

The original on the right in this photo
One of the rosette's had been taken off and shipped out to be duplicated or matched, It had been sent back but in eth confusion of restoration these missing pieces got misplaced and were never installed.

And now that original Rosettes and his two duplicates are back home 22 yrs.' and 7 days later Reunited with the Burgman Building. The gods of preservation are looking out for this building!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Antique-of-the-week: A clawfoot tub shower surround!

You know you want a shower!
As you know if you have  a claw foot tub you may long for the occasional shower but those reproduction shower enclosures for your claw foot tub start at about 600.00  and quickly run up to 1500. If you have tall ceilings you need the longer extension rods too and it all adds up!

Shower head can be replaced with a waterfall or a handheld
Faucet is the dual mixer single hole
Well we have one! It came with the house and as part of our bathroom renovations we are planning on a separate steam shower so this one is for sale.  The great thing here is that we have 12 foot ceilings in that room so you have the extra long rod PLUS, because of where they put it, the extension rods are both longer than normal. The actual shower enclosure (where the shower curtain hangs) is 42 inches so it will fit any tub size. Faucet comes with it and its the single hole type. I went on line and priced out the cheapest repro I could find with all the rods and stuff you would need to duplicate this and it would be over 700 bucks.

Log rod off end is adjustable or can be cut
Our price is 350.00 and this wont last long (especially if we put it in the shop when we open, and it will be a much higher price).

Side rod is longer too.

Contact me at . It can be picked up in Logansport and we are happy to store it for a reasonable time (couple weeks) while you make arrangements. We accept Paypal and credit cards too.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Burgman Building: Facade painting and dining room projects

We have been so busy working I noticed I haven done a post in 10 days so here goes.
We continue to work on the front façade, I have gone up about as far as I can with the step ladder so its time to bring out the scaffold. Overall we are pleased with colors . The capital painting is the obvious next step.

The Dining room has been a project we wanted to tackle, just off the Garland Parlor and the Persian parlor it is a good size for dining but suffers from two many doorways. We think that doors to the hallway and the Garland Room were added at some point, with the closets being gone for the new kitchen we eliminate one doorway but ultimately all the doors need to be gone.

The hallway was very dark as a result too, so we made a decision to open up the doorway to the hall to 6 feet and in its place will be fretwork and Portieres, the doors to the Garland room and new kitchen will also do and be similarly treated with Portieres.

The small door was a closet added at some point it will go away completely. The door to the right is to the new kitchen and will become an opening with portieres
Here we have started the process of opening up. This was a non load bearing wall.
New opening really adds light into the hall
We are adding salvaged wainscot and there will be a chair-rail and baseboard for a more finished look
We removed the transom window in the hall to add height to the doorway and replaced it with fretwork made from a salvaged piece someone gave us.

The fretwork adds elegance but keeps things open and visual
We restored this piece which had been in basement for decades. We like free things!

So we have been very busy! More to come!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Burgman Building: Hallway project and moving in.

Its been a  pretty busy weekend, moving more stuff and actually staying at the place. One things that immediately struck me is how quiet it is at night.

Couldn't resist taking some night photos with things lit up.

We also painted the dark cavern of a hall which had been painted dark tan/brown, we chose alight blue (period for the time). Still have some ceiling repairs to do then we can start thinking about wallpapers and stencils. Because of the size of the hall there will be two chandeliers with polychromed medallions and we plan on installing some crown molding period to the time period.

And wonders of wonders we have our internet back up with few glitches so I can try to do more blogging (faster speed) and maybe even upload some video of work being done

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A study of Victorian Design: The Persian Parlor

With everything going on, getting the shop space ready, moving not only inventory but our own stuff...and we have a lot of stuff...the Persian Parlor sits. I had placed one chair in it so I could occasionally take a break and sit there and marvel at its artistry. It is a 17x23 ft work of art and my job going forward will be to conserve and lightly restore it while preserving its "aged elegance". This week we began finally moving some things in to the space. After all we are moving in so it proves me an opportunity to study the space more and as we bring things in, determine how to "set the stage" and find the best selection of items from our collection for it.

What we know about Victorian design  comes from photos and some historical accounts of the era as well as books about "design" which often were personalized tomes about one persons opinion on what was good design. Colors of the era were 'described' but only when you have a "document room" like we have at the Burgman Building can one see first hand exactly what it looked like. Furniture placement in large rooms is often difficult as there are no records describing how this room was furnished so its a calculated and educated 'guess' at best. Most likely this room had a double parlor approach with two distinct seating areas under the two gasoliers that were originally in the space. In my minds eye I know how it will eventually look but at this stage it is introducing things into the space and then studying how they will work and play with the room's walls.

A good design trick is to take a photo of a space then edit it down to black and white. If when you have done that it looks like you are looking at an old photo and the balance of the shade of grays looks "period" you probably have it right. As we can see from the same photo in Black and white and color this balance looks right.

So over the next few weeks we move some stuff in , move some stuff out, mice things around and at some point things will be just right. But for now I am still packing and moving so this exercise will be a work in progress.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Burgman Building : Facade painting and other projects

The front of our building is wonderful. Unfortunately the two tone pastel pinks and green combo (since 1985) does not do it justice. The property deserved a 'formality' that the colors on it didn't project. The green (added by the prior owners) was fine, but it needed more to compliment it and accentuate the detail.

We elected to us black for the columns (we may faux marble the lower sections and we are undecided at the moment). To pull out detail we used a gold color called "butternut" which closely approximate the golden ochre colors used in the Victorian era. Once we get more painted we will likely add a crimson or burgundy accent color as well. So far I like the new look and we have had several compliments about the new paint scheme

The Hostas and Lilies are blooming and the gardens area sea of blooms.

After a many hours of work the old green kitchen wall in what was an "open space apartment" is being transformed into a proper master closet for the new master bedroom suite. Gone is the dark green replaced with a creamy ivory. These built ins were totally unsuited for a kitchen but they are ideal for a gentleman's closet and dressing room. I will be adding some period crowns molding and trim and the hanging lamp gets replaced with a more period appropriate lighting, but this is well on its way

We will use a combinations of custom baskets and open storage but it should serve us well when complete. Some cabinets may get cedar lined for closet storage but initially I think  we will live with this for a while, get stuff moved in and see how it works and then tweak it a bit, but some drawers will be added , I'm already sure of that. because of the master bedroom suites size 24x37 feet., we have huge space to create a grand master bedroom and provide generous closet space and a master bath all done in a 'period framework'.  The design ethic here is to create a grand space that is both comfortable and scaled to the size of the room. Hopefully we are on our way,

With everything else going on? We have new inventory coming in, This is a unique piece that appears to be a top for a buffet or even could serve duty with a fireplace, or even incorporated into a small back bar or wine alcove. Lots of possibilities with this piece and I love the beveled glass.

Another "Grand Piece" . This slate mantle was tucked in an attic in a local Logansport home for decades. This consigned piece is part of an estate liquidation. Wonderful design, and  a superb example of Victorian painting artistry. It is missing the top, but we have a slate top that would work with this and we can custom finish it to match. Contact us for details .

More blog posts coming, as we find the time!

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 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!