Thursday, September 24, 2015

Preservation Day at the Burgman

LtoR: Paul Willham, Greg Drake, John Shiflet, Paul Hayden
Some very dear friends of our John and Debra Shiflet from FT Worth Texas came to visit Greg and I as part of their annual "architecture vacations". John is the Moderator of VICARR a group dedicated to the discussion and sharing of information about houses and structures of the Victorian era. They were I town to look at two Victorian Homes for sale as they have their own home for sale and are looking for their next project as they head into retirement.

Paul Hayden and I discuss the history of a slate mantle in the shop

Paul Hayden from Indiana Landmarks joined us, and after we explored two great homes, we came back to the Burgman building.
Greg with Debra Shiflet in front of the Burgman Building

I gave them a tour of the building and we all sat down in the Persian parlor to discuss the homes we had toured and Preservation in general. It was a great way to spend the day and we were pleased to show off Historic Logansport to experts in the field.
Discussing the history and paintings in the Persian parlor
We hope to host more Preservationists in the future as we show off the incredible architecture that Logansport offers.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Burgman Building: Some more history revealed

People just keep stopping in and telling us their stories about this Burgman Building. We met some former neighbors who were present when the 'big auction' was held years ago after Mr. Burgman died. The furnishings were quite elegant and dealers came from all over to bid. He talked about the copper  tub that was in the back building they drug out from under a bunch of stored stuff. The star of the auction was a 1959 Chevrolet that was in the garage and had been sitting for years. I wish I could go back in time for that one as I'd be outbidding  everyone for that one (it sold for 1200.00!)

Another elderly lady was telling me she attended one of Mr. Burgman's parties years ago when  she was quite young. The front Persian Parlor was emptied out and used for dancing. I imagine it was quite the elegant affair. This home and building has so many happy memories for so many people.

The big find was gentleman who stopped by to show me his Burgman memorabilia . He had an original Burgman  Billhead from 1908 and a Burgman Beer bottle.

Speaking of bottles, we cleaned out the cellar under the saloon and have bunch of old bottles. We are keeping a couple but will clean up the rest and sell in eth shop. These are great old green and amber glass bottles.

Business has been great and the number of people coming through our doors exceeded my expectation's. The next push will be to glaze windows for winter and get the back shop space ready for us to expand and offer more inventory.

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!