Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Busy fall days, Many projects, Burgman Building

Well fall is upon on and I have about 1/2 the things done I wanted to at this point, but I always make a long list, so really, we have got a lot done.

Landscape work has paid off and the corner looks great, we have even expanded around the side a bit and was able to get some ornamental Switch grass planted and some bulbs and tubers for next spring

Inside the Garland Parlor is the quiet place to sit and  read a bit in the evening. So a little bit of proper space in the residence is just what I need.

Window restoration has been a big priority and while I didn't get as many done as I wanted we have a start.

In the Dining Room we have begun the paint removal process to get down to the original paint finish which has been shellacked and would have made any new painting impossible without getting down to original paint. Its slow going and the perfect project when you do not what to think about anything.

The big score of late has been this Neo Grec Gaslight which will wind up in either the Dining Room or Garland Parlor, haven't decided yet.

More to come

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Saving Midtown: Tipton School Site and saving it from out of town developers

Naturally even in a small town there are forces determined to change things and not always for the better.

Such is the case in Midtown in Logansport, as Crestline Property Management out of Indianapolis, is seeking  a PUD (Planned Unit Development) in our neighborhood at the old Tipton School Site. The site represents an entire city block that once housed this grand school. Later on they built an elementary school on part of the site and it too was town down. The site now runs from 15th to 16th.

As we can see the school occupied a large part of the site and in fact most of the massive stone foundations are still under that site under the parking lot as in the old days they just collapsed it and put fill over it.

The commercial district on 15th street tells us a lot about the neighborhood. There was a Meat Market and a Barber on the corner at 802, S 15th street,   two residential buildings and large long building that was a foundry of some sort. These buildings were demoed years ago and again, just dropped and covered. So what does this mean? Well in means this is likely an archeological dig site and that should be considered as a part of any digging on the site. This is something the developer are  overlooking and something that we, as preservationists need to be sure is addressed with any development on that site. Important pieces of Logansport history are on that site and they must be preserved.

One of the major concerns of the community is the proposed size of this project is 69,000 sq ft and goes from one end of the street to the other. It would house 42 apartments and be over 40 feet tall. It will tower of the smaller cottages built between 1860-1890 and will negatively impact them,  of particular concern is the negative impact to The Shondinger building at 825 and the small one story at 805 (now a garage )that was originally a Tailor shop as it project will literally block out the sun.

Similarly this will negatively impact the homes on Wright street.

The smallest house is on the NE corner of Wright and 15th  is a 600 sq ft one story shotgun cottage circa 1865 (restorable).

This illustrates what this house might resemble post restoration:

On the opposite NW corner is a yellow brick 1 story storefront that would be part of the Midtown 15th street revitalization project which envisions a future community retail or shop use and redesigned sidewalks

There are also Victorian era assets along Wright St including small 1 1/2 story cottages circa 1875 cottages and a two story (circa 1885) on the  corner of Wright and 16th that still have a high level of interior architectural integrity and just need exterior restore including correct sized windows.

This shows how these street might impact the community if restored.

This is the point.  A large scale 69,000 sq. ft. 40 ft tall, 42 unit apartment building (low income), with only 43 spaces will overwhelm the neighborhood, create traffic and safely concerns and negatively impact the quality of life in Midtown which is why we must oppose bad development.

This project will require state tax credits to move forward and it will be up to the community to let officials know that large scale sprawl is not needed in our community. We can not have historic single family neighborhoods in small towns over run with large scale buildings and traffic.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Year Two: The shop feels "right".

A recent acquisition: displayed, as always, in a room vignette to help you visualize how it might look in your home
We just recently started Year two of our shop, Our first day was August 29, 2015. We started with just the front room, It was a "little sparse" as we were still bringing things in.

When we opened we had a lot of blank floor space. Today its a different story
The shop has been an evolution and the naysayer's who said your crazy to open in a small town have been proved , well wrong, To date people have made pilgrimages from 22 states.

Now with two showrooms, and a full inventory, we can offer you a great shopping experience
Our goal is , now and always will be Victorian Furniture and Design and we will always provide a variety of price points for our clients. We understand that many of you are sinking your life savings in your historic home and Antiques are a bit of  a "nicety" that always take a back seat to saws and paint stripper and the inevitable "unforeseen" event that goes with old home ownership.

So as we enter year two and head into our second holiday season we are cautiously optimistic that we "have it right" and we thank you for your support and patronage.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Burgman Building Restoration: A little more outside work FINALLY!

None of this was here when we bought the building. Flowers all transplanted from other places on site.
It's been oppressively hot and the shop has been very busy with people shopping, so work has been limited.

The lattice wall defines the garden space.
A cool day gave me the opportunity to do a little more outside work. We installed the picket fence but needed to get the 'lattice screening" in the back. This lattice will support the grapes that will be planted along the back wall of the garden space.

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The lattice now creates a backdrop to the pond and once it gets grown in it will look great.

We eventually plan on re-installing the windows that were in the garage so in the mean time I have done a little art project by painting the boarded windows with what else window painting.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Burgman Building: Landscape Restoration "we have another pond"

We knew there had once been a pond on the North side of the building , we just didn't know where as it had been filled in years ago. Well we found it while clearing out some concrete that was sticking up near our garden spot.

An afternoon spent we had a huge hole and a pile of rocks.

We used the broken concrete and dirt to build a hill for the upper feeder pond and we ran our pump test yesterday to se how it would flow.  Next steps are to fill it the rest of the way up and plant some aquatics but I plan on taking it easy today after moving over a ton of stone.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

More color selection at the Burgman Building: Window details

Well after lots of testing and changing and moving round I "think" we have the combo that will go on all the second floor windows.

We have retained all the same colors used on the storefront just moved them around slightly.

So Far I think its going to work.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Facade restoration continues: Burgman Building

Some quick updates: working on the fa├žade, no major surprises and the colors are going on nicely.

As color is added the building seems to get taller.

Elected to use black on the doors. Still trim detail to do there.

More info as it develops.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Small town living: Reverse Urbanism "The Leap to Logan"

As someone who has lived in large metropolitan areas most of my adult life and as a Historic Preservation Consultant working mostly in large cities, I am routinely asked "why Logansport"?

My response is why not?

I have learned of late that I am not the only one making this "urban exodus", we have people coming into the shop and I make of point of asking where they are coming to us from. Increasingly more and more people say Logansport but they are recent transplants from Chicago or Indianapolis. It's not hard to figure out why, just this last week, 6 Dead, 63 Wounded In Memorial Day Weekend Shootings in Chicago.  In Indianapolis Three men were arrested in connection with a shooting early Sunday at a Downtown parking garage that hospitalized four people, another four people shot on memorial day as well in other instances.

For all the "allure and hype" of Urban living in major cities ,the facts are major violent crime is on the rise in big cities and now commonplace and many are looking to get out before they become a statistic.

As someone who grew up in the 1960's we rode our bikes anywhere we wanted, we might go to the store by our self, we didn't see crime on our streets and we knew people were keeping an eye out for us. If you are kid riding your bike or taking a walk in a major city today you are likely to be pulled over by the  police concerned for your well being. CPS will be called and your parents will be investigated for "negligence" letting you be on your own.

Why Logansport? Kids can still ride their bikes or walk down the street...they can be kids. Now some negative locals will talk about crime, but if you press them they have never lived anywhere else. I can mow my lawn without the need to carry a sidearm as I did in Cincinnati, I can walk down the street without worrying about fighting off a thief as I did one morning walking to work in Louisville and I'm not worried about someone unloading a gun clip in the side of my house as they once did in Indianapolis because I reported their drug dealing

Urban pioneering had risk and rewards years ago. You would buy a historic home fix it up, organize your neighbors and have progressive dinner parties and before long the neighborhood was reborn. Urban pioneering in some cities today means putting you life at risk and at some point even the most dedicated preservationist finds one self asking the question "Is it worth it"? We  now have a great historic building, in a great neighborhood, surrounded by sane, normal people here in Logansport and I wake up every day with an optimism that has replaced the stress I felt before.

Yet you get the inevitable comment...must be boring. Well hardly, for a city its size Logansport has many of the amenities of big cities. Excellent parks, walking trails, farmers market, weekend concerts in the park.  The restaurants are good, the waits are short and you have cool things like the State Theatre, arts events, classic car shows, theatre productions, the list goes on and on and frankly you couldn't get to every event out there if you tried because there is that much to do.

Throw in antique shops (like ours), places like The People's Winery, The Record Farm and all sorts of small craft and gift type shops.. if you can't find something to do you are not really looking, or trying.

I've met people who moved here from Chicago, Indianapolis,  Dallas, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Washington DC, Santa Fe and other places attracted to the incredible historic architecture and small town living. Small towns are making a comeback. I've met people who have left Logansport and moved back because they realized, when they went out in the world, it wasn't as great as they thought it would be and small towns really have a lot to offer.

I can buy Thai food in Logansport (who would have thought)  and the steak at Amelios on the River is just as good as any eatery in a major city.

Small towns are making a comeback, Logansport is making a comeback...its just that some of the locals haven't figured that out yet. As more and more people are attracted to Logansport for its great architecture and small town life they will figure it out. Reverse Urbanism is real, I see it every day now... we made the "Leap to Logan".....and I'm glad we did

Monday, May 30, 2016

Logansport Landmarks Tour and picnic a success. Back to the restoration.

Courtesy of Rich Voorhees Studio: All rights reserved

It's been a week since the Logansport Landmarks tour and things are starting to get back to normal, basically I'm back to working my priority punch list. But I thought you'd enjoy some photos taken by our good friend, Rich Voorhees of Voorhees Studio Inc. here in Logansport during the event. His work is amazing and he has that unique Old house eye for catching the details. It was great to show our "in progress" work and hopefully inspire others to start their own restorations.
Courtesy of Rich Voorhees Studio: All rights reserved
The images of the Garland room even in its unfinished state take me back to the era of the Burgman's.

Courtesy of Rich Voorhees Studio: All rights reserved

Of course we had things that didn't get done , like the medallion installs but it gave us an opportunity to explain "order and process' to people on the tour.

Courtesy of Rich Voorhees Studio: All rights reserved
We had a good turnout and received some excellent feedback on focus of Logansport Landmarks and what people felt were important. We were glad to open up the shop, and the residence for this worthwhile event.

Of course now, its back to that punch list of "warm weather" stuff to do.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Decorative finishes/Medallion Work continues in Persian rooom and Dining room

Just a quick update the first of the two medallions is painted, one more to go, Colors were chosen to match colors used on the frescoes in the room.

Lots to do still but we also have painted the medallion for the dining room. Again to match the colors used in the room:

Updates as time allows.