We began the restoration of this magnificent Heritage structure in May. We installed a garden using sandstone retaining stones, as well as planted some trees, in an existing limestone parking area. We have removed most of the siding from the South side, and the lower portion of the east side. We have also removed the porch posts and rebuilt the porch floor framing. new flooring is on order and we are restoring the posts. We hope to re-install the posts soon and then begin working on the upper level of the west gable, including restoring the magnificent gable end light.
It is clear from the undressed stone that there once was a stoop in this location. There is a perfect cut out of the crown from the original door surround. There must have been at least a transom window, and likely side lites to the door. We have the original front door, that is 7-8″ tall, 39″ wide and full 2″ thick. The plywood opening is 55″.
A visitor last week, Harold Anderson, said his aunt and uncle Stephens had a roll top desk in front of a window that is now the low entry door. (his mothers sister Helen was his aunt) Dr. Stephens sat in the big room in his broken down Macintosh chair, next to the fireplace, smoking cigars. Mr, Anderson said he would help his uncle drive his Lincoln out of the garage on the way to Congress lake Country club.
This week Kim Plough stopped by. She is 71 and said she worked as an assistant to Dr. Stephens in his office for 3 years. She was 19 when she started. She said Dr. Stephens was “all about the Congress Lake Country Club”, which is what Mr. Anderson told me. He was a member, but only fished in the lake.
For the past two weeks we have been working on the West side of the building, primarily the porch. We have the porch flooring primed, and yesterday got the final paint colors selected. Tim painted the west wall of the porch and I painted the ceiling. With a little good weather we hope to get the high areas painted so we can install porch floor this week, and maybe some of the columns.
We continue to have a steady stream of visitors, yesterday it was John Mendiola, a retired Ravenna Barber. We had one woman roll down her window on Poplar Lane and yell out something like, “is the house being restored?”, “i thought that they would tear it down.” “gonna take a lot of time and money”…”I hope you do it right.”
It has rained a lot the last few weeks, so in-between we have been scraping the porch columns, and I have done a little bit of sash repair. Much more to do of course. Should have the building permit soon so we can begin to work on the interior modifications.