Monday, November 16, 2009

Knox Hill Cottage project : Weekly update

November and in the upper 60's could you believe it! Perhaps a little late to call it "Indian summer" but the weekend weather was a treat!
My neighbor took this particular photo. They wanted to capture a photo of our "problem property" in the fall. A FAR cry from the way it looked last year when we bought it and were clearing underbrush out of the way just to get a the front door. I do not know what the "agenda" of city inspections is but one would think that they would be "a little bit more concerned' about the burned out shell of a house down the street that is open in back and has been that way for 6 MONTHS NOW! I sincerely hope some child doesn't get in there and get injured but frankly I have no sympathy for City inspection if they get sued if something like that happened. It is inexcusable for a severely fire damaged property, that has real structural issues, to be sitting for 6 months open. Ed Cunningham can continue to "defend" his department and what a good job everyone is doing, but the facts on the ground point to serious disconnect over the job he thinks his department is doing and the "real world " that neighborhood leaders see on an everyday basis. I like Ed but he needs to spend some time out in the field and understand what the issues are. That house is why we need a demolition program. I sincerely hope the council takes up the issue of what kind of service that neighborhoods get from city agencies before some tragedy happens.
Speaking of neighborhoods. I had a great visit with a community leader from OTR Saturday. We talked about some mutual issues that affect our neighborhoods. There are a lot of community leaders out there who really care about making urban neighborhoods great viable places.

We also had a visit from neighbors in Indianapolis who were down for day in Cincinnati. We gave them a quick tour of the house and neighborhood and its history. Like most people who come to Cincinnati from out of town, they were "blown away' by the architecture and views from our neighborhood. People from outside "really get' what a special place Cincinnati is, I just wish more local people appreciated what they have.
Leaves and more leaves! just when you think you are done, there they are! This was one of 3 piles we had!

Work continues on a variety of fronts inside:
We continue to carefully strip the paint back to the original paint level in the front parlor and expose the stencilling. It is time consuming tedious work but it has to be done and done right!
We also managed to get the reframing done of the basement stairs. At some point an inside basement staircase was added and the basement stairs are too steep and the treads are too shallow to be safe. The new stairs will come from the opposite direction and go to a landing, turn, then proceed down the rest of the way under the actual formal stairs. Also,all the staircases will get new period inspired railing and spindles and the staircase will once again be worthy of the rest of the house. I hate misguided remuddling! People just don't realize that someday, someone, has to come along and "undo' what they did wrong.
In the formal dining room we are carefully removing the hanging rail which will need to be relocated slightly lower to meet up at the bottom of the historic wallpaper frieze that we will be using in that room Now that it is down we can carefully patch the holes and get the original plasterwalls properly prepped and primed.

A busy weekend with lots of projects but as they say "Rome wasn't built in a day"!


Karen Anne said...

The lawn guys down the street were accumulating big piles of leaves. I snarfed the leaves all up for my compost pile. Good free stuff, I love it :-) Thank you, lawn guys.

Paul Wilham said...

My neighbors accross the street usually take ours, they have a big compost pile. Couple of weeks ago we bagged them in the heavy paper lawn bags and they use them to provide barriers to overwinter plants instead of haybales.