Monday, April 5, 2010

Knox Hill Restoration Project: Weekly Update

This was the "spring cleaning weekend" at our Knox Hill Project.
For months we have been staging construction debris and yard cleanup on the foundation from the Old Carriage house and Summer Kitchen that once sat on the site. In fact even when we bought the house there was debris there. A previous dumpster rental had cleared some of it, but not all and this is the first time we have actually viewed the site cleared.
A 15 cubic yard dumpster is equivalent of FIVE pickup truck loads of debris . We had A lot of old 'deconstruction' debris inside from the kitchen and upper back bedroom ready to go out as well.

So it was time for this to be done. With the help of our neighbor Mark the three of us filled the dumpster in 1/2 a day and cleared the site. My how time flies when you are having fun.
Work also continues on the front yard. As it turns out the old carriage House floor was made up of old limestone pieces (some of Antone Nagele's mistakes brought home from the stone Business?) and they had been covered with a thin layer of asphalt which I chipped off. This left us with some really great stone to use for the front rock gardens. The re-terracing of that eroded hill looks good and will hopefully stop the problem.

We added some Plume Grass on the West edge of the Bed and that will eventually create some area for some shade plants. We also introduced some snapdragons into the mix.

The "concept' of planting flowers is somewhat foreign to some of neighborhood who watched in amazement or was it befuddlement? as we created a flower beds. The concept of landscape is totally foreign to them as 'landscaping' is that green (crabgrass) part of the yard they have to mow where they forgot to park the pickup truck.
Between our yard and Diane and Marks efforts across the side street from us with their rain garden and native plant flower gardens we are creating a "oasis in the hood". Of course the criminal element was none to happy to see people out and about and several "slinked away' to other parts of the neighborhood. One of our local police beat officers drove by and He stopped and we chatted about the changes in the neighborhood and how things were getting better. The local thieves up the block (responsible for all the copper thefts in the area ) were working in the front of their house trying to hack open an AC compressor that they "acquired' somewhere and were planning on "recycling'. They immediately retreated inside to their house like cockroaches in a spotlight. The Police know who they are and what they are doing so its only a matter of time before they wind up in jail. I do not know why Cincinnati doesn't take the tactic many cities do and only allow recycling of plumbing and AC parts by licenced contractors. If their wasn't a market for them to exploit, these people would stop tearing up vacant houses. I look forward however to our locals thieves winding up in jail. Since most people are using PEX now for plumbing their days are numbered as is their presence in our neighborhood.
Not only is it starting to look like neighborhood again but it's starting to feel like it. Neighbors wave or stop by as they drive by, there is a sense that things are getting better.

Also a sign of the changing times.

On the east end of our house the sidewalk is lined with daffodils. Not true last year when some of the local children decided to hack them off. Those children are gone now and the neighborhood is a better place. New people are moving in and things are getting better each month. With some of our cleanup efforts we have planned in the neighborhood and continuing our own restoration we should look considerably different by end of summer.

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

That looks beautiful...

How rewarding it must feel to do this.