Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Antique of the Week: A great Victorian Chandelier

Just in: This great Victorian Chandelier with cranberry glass shades!!!!

We rarely if ever get these in anymore and they are quickly snapped up by people restoring their homes. This one has current wiring and light sockets. It does have the gas jet screw attachment so if your old pipes are gone you will need the typical adapter to go to a regular light box which you can get from any lighting store. If you have very high ceilings there are extension pipes available that sell by the foot to bring this down to more useable height over a dining table.

The shades have the cranberry color on the edges and look very pretty when lite. Because these shades are fragile, I would not ship this, but the local shipper we often use to probably package this.. Contact me for details.

This could probably use some polishing and some work but these are just getting so hard to fin. Priced at 225.00 Firm. Contact me at victiques@gmail.com .

Monday, December 15, 2014

Victorian "restyling" Can you spot the original?

 One of the things about my work as a restoration consultant is I travel quite a bit and often come across old homes subject to restyling's done in the Victorian era that often make me wonder what they were they thinking? Few realize that the Victorians were very much about keeping up with the Jones's

I had to do a double take as I spied this one . A huge house that I spotted first due to its color and of course, hoping it represents some restoration and not further remuddling as its had more than its share. Do you see the original home? I have outlined the original in this photo to guide you.

The 'Big Victorian" was actually a second empire cottage that  was restyled to be a big Victorian
 2 1/2story. Add year of other changes made to turn it into apartments and only a keen eye will spot what was originally there. So next time you look at that Victorian and something doesn't seem quite right, maybe that Queen Anne isn't a Queen Ann after all.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Antique-of-the-Week: Parlor Grade Walnut Table

Tables, that haven't been shorted to make coffee tables (or painted in 'chippy" paint) are getting harder to find so we are happy to offer the very nice Walnut Eastlake influenced Formal Parlor Grade table.

We especially like the top design with its stepped back edges and the legs show the real spirit of the Victorian design ethic. While still delicate this table has a substantial feel and would work especially well in a formal parlor or gentleman's smoking room.

Priced at 250.00 this table is ready to use. We are not offering shipping but this item can be picked up in person or we can work with your blanket shipper on delivery. More info contact me at victiques@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Antique of the Week: A Great Stained Glass Window

We just have a hard time getting in stained glass. In part because its hard to find and two because we only buy it from trusted sources.  So today we have a special treat.

Top Sash
This is a huge stained glass window, that came from Central Illinois. Actually two sashes/one window overall although they could be used separately depending on your application. The bottom sash is 39x40 and has two condition issues. One pane has BB hole in it, and one pane needs to be refitted in its cane.  The top sash is 39 x 39 and is in good condition. In a functional frame with weights this would work out to a 39x78 size (Because of the way the windows come together for the locking mechanism) . AND it still has the window lock on it.

Bottom sash
Building a window frame unit is not that difficult and a number of window sash rebuilders can actually build you a functional frame. This would be ideal in a tower or maybe a landing and of course these could be hung in front of an existing regular window.

Specially priced to Blog readers at 425.00 (Cash Paypal, Major credit cards) This will be going on Ebay soon (where it will bring a much higher price) So if you need a window for your home, hurry! Contact me at victiques@gmail.com. As always you can pick this up or we can work with blanket shippers of your choice.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

City DRIVES OUT homeowner/restorer in Price Hill..CALL CITY HALL!

Everyone knows this happens every day in this city. People come to Cincinnati to restore a house and live in it and make a difference and the city inspection services makes their life a living hell and they just give up. On Ebay, right now, someone has thrown in the towel and is selling their home at a loss BECAUSE of city inspections. The owner will lose tens of thousands of dollars and this property will likely be picked up by some slumlord who will NOT do the right thing . Ebay listing here

What makes this SAD and makes me OUTRAGED is this is DRIVING AWAY someone trying to do the right thing. I feel his hurt, his anguish, and his sense of frustration, as someone still in a battle to save my community. I want you to CALL CITY HALL, email the city council. Raise hell, call the Enquirer to investigate, and support this man who is trying to do the right thing but his like is being destroyed by city inspections. The City of Cincinnati should be ASHAMED of the way this man is being treated! You cannot grow a city with a city government who is driving people away. Maybe , just maybe, we can stop this from happening

I urge you to read what he says in this listing and put yourself in his shoes:

"I'm throwing in the towel -going back to a cardboard box in the woods Here is my dream house -cute bungalow , that still needs work , hardwood floors , new roof, lots of new remodeling ,solid ,but still needs a handyman -I bought the house last year from a bank ,paid cash $20,000 +, I started getting it ready for me to move in and city started fining me for old civil issues from previous owners ,requested a hearing because the issues didn't even exist, trashy yard, dangerous/dilapidated garage etc , -there is no garage by the way. People were living there previously,but hadn't been paying the bills and let the house completely run down . I had removed all the old roofs ,rebuilt the decking ,and installed new 30 yr roof, put in attic stairs , enlarged the bathroom, rebuilt kitchen and bath floors , replumbed ,and was making most other repairs ,but city just kept doubling and tripling civil fines. Still had work to do to make a nice house . I refuse to pay for crimes I didn't commit. Taxes are fully paid , and I doubt I can sell this house for a 10th of what the city claims it is worth ,I put a copy of the tax bill on here so you can see all the crap your taxes pay for, I just paid about $1700 for the tax bill also .I would have to quit work and devote a month to get it reduced ,or pay a lawyer. there are no bills due whatsoever on the property, I own free and clear and will convey such ,may not be long before I start getting liens as I am not paying civil fines .Please review crime statistics for Price hill area ,if you like city life -this is for you . Only about 1 in 10 people are victims in this area.. how bad can it be . Most of the murders and stuff have been on other streets . You do have a few nice neighbors, I regret just giving up , with $35,000 cash invested , but I can't keep chasing a dead horse. You would think when a man with no criminal record goes into a neighborhood , hires the unemployed to work , starts fixing up property ,trying to be a good neighbor, and making a home . Local government would want to do everything possible to assist , not fine -fee -and harass . . By the time I would be able to move in , I would have paid the city the cost of the house . I'm gone -joining the ranks of homeless criminals ."

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Blog Focuses on Midwest Preservation

We  have started a new broader based preservation blog at your request. This new blog Rustbelt Preservationist takes a look at Historic Preservation issues across the Midwest and focuses on promoting endangered properties and historic preservation opportunities. We expect to focus on Historic Preservation Bargains with our new Friday edition called "Friday Fix!" which will focus on preservation opportunities under 25K

This will allow us to focus this blog more on Historic Period Design, antiques, our restoration work and Victoriana in general. We hope you will check out Rustbelt Preservationist and add it too your reading list. Don't forget to support our sponsors and advertisers who make bringing this information to you possible.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Antique Of the Week: A Great Summer Cover with Surround!

Antique Of the Week features affordable antiques and architectural pieces aimed at the old house restorer.

Summer Covers with surrounds are getting impossible to find. This one has great detail and is designed to work with your tiled fireplace, which more than likely doesn't have one. Measures 23 1/2 inches wide and 27 1/2 inches high, the inside arch is 17x 24 1/2 Estimated ship weight is about 30 lbs.

Priced at 225.00 . We are not offering shipping with this but can put you in touch with a shipper our buyers use locally who has an excellent reputation for properly packing and shipping items like this. Interested? Contact me at victiques@gmail.com

We have a wide variety of antiques and architectural salvage so do not hesitate to let us know what you are looking for.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Time to Hold National Chains to a higher architectural standard when they demo.

This is not your typical CVS store. It attempts to make an architectural statement and could easily looks more like an old art deco theatre, than an chain pharmacy store. Yet CVS and Walgreens routinely tear down irreplaceable architecture and build their boring bland suburban stores in historic districts upsetting the streetscape and forever changing the architecture.

What is really interesting about this CVS is that nothing was even demoed to build it. It was built in new development called Villages of West Clay and was part of their West Clay "Uptown development".

West Clay is one of those "New Urbanism " communities trying to create a small town in the cornfields of suburbia. This building looks the way it does because the ONLY way they could build in this community was to make it look old.

If the big chains can do it when they have too, why can't historic neighborhoods demand the same treatment?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Historic Westside Property Recieves National Attention

Gorgeous restoration , well priced at only 149K, is likely off the radar of local buyers, will probably have a new owner moving from out of state .
This  is the fifth Westside property in the last few months to be featured on the nationally read Old House Dreams website and seems to point to the fact that, nationally, among preservationists , the Westside has a lot to offer and the world doesn't 'revolve' around Over the Rhine.

This grand restoration on State Avenue is one of dozens scattered all over the Westside in several neighborhoods and is just the latest to receive this kind of positive national attention.

You can read the piece on the Old House Dreams website:

While the Westside may be off the radar for locals it is definitely on the radar of may well monies preservationist who are buying homes. The housing diversity and quality seems to be particularly appealing., as those from out of state realize what quality architecture exists on the Westside. When you look at the comments made from out of towers about how great this home is, you begin to realize we do have a lot to offer.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Endangered Cincinnati Landmarks and why we need real solutions, not more taxes

Saving a historic lock by cutting if off the door it came from is shortsighted, so is quick fixes to fix landmarks just because you are embarrassed,
Cincinnati must learn to deal with the national embarrassment of having not one, but two landmarks on the National Trust Most Endangered list this year. As usual to show "we really care", we now have a rash of knee jerk reactions , plans and proposals are out there.

Some are calling for higher taxes, others are calling for higher fees, some could care less. It's a typical reaction of this city to "fix it this minute no matter the cost, or, to not fix it at all if it raises our taxes". Landmarks of this size and scope are important to the history of the city but what is really called for is a long term solution that not only gets these landmarks repaired but insures that they will be financially stable, long term.

Landmarks are costly, they quality of construction is difficult to duplicate and the people, who know how to do this are expensive. The key is to think long term, not quick fix, and to be sure that this city, as current stewards of these properties, does what it can without sacrificing the economics of the whole community.

As you can see from the photo at the beginning of this piece . I saw this just the other day at an antique mall. A bin full of locks still attached to the wood. The 'short term' solution of "well the locks are valuable so I'll saws-all them off.  The locks were preserved but the doors were destroyed. This is the perfect illustration of single mindedness and impulsive solutions. "I think the locks are valuable and Ill cut them off'. The locks were for sale for 14.00 each and as anyone in restoration will tell you the doors they were cut off of would sell for 100-150.00 each if intact.

So far 'proposed solutions' are looking at 'fixing things' but none of them address the long range goal of how do we make union terminal and the music hall sustainable long term. Before we do anything we need to assess if the present uses serve the best use, and, are they profitable? Clearly if they were we might not be in this situation, so we need to look at is there space for other uses and/or is what is there in the best location?

Could the Music Hall or Union Terminal hold other things too, say a boutique hotel or restaurant space. Are there things we could add that would generate revenue? For example there is a lot of land in front of union terminal. Could a private developer be found to develop that land and proceeds from a sale or long term lease could generate revenue for restoration for example. Or consider, our small and aging convention center, too small to be major player for the lucrative convention business that goes to Indianapolis for example. Maybe we build a new convention center with underground parking and above ground hotel/condos on that land and link it with union terminal? A larger convention center could generate much needed tourism revenue and convention business and maybe while Union Terminal is under restoration a site for the museum and library to operate?

The facts are that public-private partnerships are one of the best ways to save landmark structures. Consider 'naming rights'  could we have the P&G music hall? or some other entity? Could the Music Hall hold restaurants or a boutique hotel that could supplement the operation cost and allow the building to be used in better multi functional manner?

We need to slow down and look at all the possibilities for these iconic landmarks of this city. Let us open this debate up to alternate proposals and most importantly lets not make spur of the moment decisions or fixes, that make  us feel good, but fail to accomplish the long term goal of making sure two landmarks are standing 50-100 years from now.

This will require something not normally found in this city, creativity, consensus and most importantly common sense.