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Thread: Yikes!

  1. #1

    Yikes!

    I am going to start a new feature in this forum called “YIKES!” in which post Before & After pictures of the same house and explain how the house’s architectural integrity has been compromised through some totally inappropriate remodeling.

    Inspired by .Preservation Magazine, this feature will depict some of the most atrocious rehab jobs ever undertaken in my hometown of Toledo. Commonly known as “remuddling”, this slash and burn method of home remodeling is characterized by the almost total destruction of the historic architectural features of a house through the installation of modern siding, windows, additions, etc. It is a detriment to the house; the neighborhood and good taste everywhere.

    It promises to be a depressing yet fascinating journey in which you will shake your head and wonder how could someone do such a thing to his or her house. Sadly, this is just an extreme case of what is going on all across America as aggressive window and siding companies push their mass-produced, cookie-cutter, often inferior-quality products and deceive the homeowner into a false sense of “maintenance free” living and guise of "energy efficiency". Little do they know that in the long term, they are doing untold damage to their property.





    The house above was built ca 1890, and is (or was rather) an unusually decorative example of the Queen Anne style built on the Gabled Ell plan. These were among the most prevalent house types of high-density urban plats during 1880s and 1890s – so ubiquitous that entire blocks were almost exclusively built of them. They were available in several different major styles, including Folk Victorian, East Lake, and Queen Anne. Even those with little means could have a stripped down Vernacular versions of these homes built so they too could participate in the enjoyment of living one of America’s most fashionable house types at the end of the 19th Century.

    But now, as you can clearly see in the example, virtually all the historic features of this house are now gone. The original windows, including the lovely Queen Anne picture window, have not only been replaced, but also reconfigured. The original siding have been covered up or removed as has all the decorative trimwork. Original porch columns appear to have been removed and a nasty "goiter" has been added on the left side. This is absolutely one of the most blatant examples of architectural genocide I have ever seen.

    Old buildings are my life. They are among the most underappreciated and neglected resources that we have in this country. In my line of work, I’m trying to put a stop to this kind of thing but am fighting a losing battle against a glut of home remodeling companies out to make a quick buck and lazy, apathetic homeowners who don’t appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of the house they reside in. I want to make as many people aware of this ugly trend as possible. I will be doing this about once or twice a week as time permits. Your questions, comments and suggestions are welcome.
    Last edited by Super Amputee Cat; 19 Jun 2002 at 2:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Looks like they already had asphalt shingling on the gable. Unfortuneately, sometimes economics justifies these updates, although I was disappointed that they did not save the leaded glass transom window. If you're lucky, they did a cover-over and not a tear off of the lap boards. That way they next guy has a chance to uncover a diamond in the rough.

  3. #3
    That new design looks like one of those pre-fab homes. While I think it looks bad, it isn't terrible. I guess I have always supported the rights of people to do what they want (within reason) with their homes. Some people like to have older homes, but like the conveinence that vinyl siding and new windows offer. Plus, money often plays a role in these bad decisions.

    We have a residential architectural review board that tries to get people to consider alternatives to things like this.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    MODERATOR INTERVENTION

    As co-moderator of this forum I took the liberty to delete mugbub's post, and superamputee's response. They have no place on this Board.

    I respect dissenting opinions, but will not respect personal attacks.

  5. #5

    Sorry Cat

    I'm sorry if I was too harsh, but you catch my drift.

    Old homes are fine, but you can't expect them to last forever. The problem with many historic preservationist is that they have tunnel vison when it comes to rehab. They don't really pay attention to cost- all they care about is material.

    As with anything living or built there is a life cycle to things. Let the old stuff die with dignity and accept new low maintenance building materials. Sorry about the F-you thing Cat. Are you with OHPO? I did some GIS stuff for them when I was in Columbus. Too bad for you, but that organization is losing clout in a hurry. Ohio is governed by suburban and rural republicans- thank goodness.

  6. #6

    Re: MODERATOR INTERVENTION

    bturk wrote:
    As co-moderator of this forum I took the liberty to delete mugbub's post, and superamputee's response. They have no place on this Board.

    I respect dissenting opinions, but will not respect personal attacks.
    That's fine, but he lit that candle. I felt it was a personal attack and was in my rights to defend myself.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Truce

    OK folks, that's much better --- Thanks!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    It seems like the money put into that "remodel" will not be recovered. Maybe they are trying to reduce their tax load by hoping their next assessment reflects a reduction in value?

    That one surely falls into the "What were they thinking?" category... They could have put the money into a down payment on a mobile home... or should I say "new low maintenance manufactured housing"


    Good job cat, I'm with ya once again!
    Last edited by Runner; 19 Jun 2002 at 2:42 PM.
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
    WWJJD
    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  9. #9
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    I suppose that it is better than neglect.

    But looking at the house and the land it is not a high value piece of real estate. Probably worth $30-50k depending on the area. There is a good chance that it is a rental (seeing as lower income folks wouldn’t have the capital) or at the least it is owned by a lower middle class family where faction takes precedence over history beauty. I'm sure the windows hold heat in much better during the winter, saving the family on heating costs, the kids are safer because the lead paint is gone and so forth. Granted I would have picked a color other than Cat Vomit Beige.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    [OPINE] With the current screwing the middle class gets from the current socialist tax structure I can see burning it down before I had to lay out 20 K for preservation on a 30K house. Preservation should take a back seat to simple survival.

    OTOH I do think it would be a better world if we could keep more of the older homes out from under the axe of the bourgeois mullet-sporting triple-sealed double hung contractors from hell. But your passion for preservation shouldn’t be my bill to pay. [/OPINE]

    Bturk - sorry I missed the flames - Good Job Peacekeeping

    Did Dan give you a Blue Helmet?

    I want one!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    There's Ugly and Then There's UGLY

    It's one thing to ugly up a house, it's another to build one that's ugly from the get-go. The high tension power lines are a nice back yard accent too.

    Note the creative use of plastic sheeting to turn the porch into a three season room!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    EWWWWW

    What the H*ll is THAT?

    Someone lives in that? Darn mullet heads!
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    A personal favorite Yikes! from Preservation Magazine....

    Our downtown commercial buildings of a century ago have proven to be very flexible, adapting to many uses over the years. Unfortunately, their original architecture has often been masked or altered, the outcome not always being as attractive as the original design. I'm not sure what is the best part of this building, the horizontal windows with wood siding on the second floor or the Chinese pagoda roof over the first floor entrance.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Nov 2006 at 2:57 PM.

  14. #14
    Worse...

    http://drewsager.tripod.com/sitebuil...s/mar33201.jpg

    http://drewsager.tripod.com/sitebuil...s/mar33202.jpg

    This is an even nastier rehab job than my first example. At least in that one, the original footprint was more or less retained - here the original layout of the house is utterly unrecognizable. The only telltale sign that this is the same house is the small gable extension in the rear.

    Love that bay window!

    *&$%#&&^% Tripod. site

    Sorry, I'll attach upload the images on my other site later.

    Or you can right click on each image and copy the URL to the address bar and it should work.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Nov 2006 at 2:57 PM.

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