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Y!kes

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
Before

94BAKER1125-2.jpg

After
94BAKER1125-1-med.jpg

This is absolutely the worst "remuddle" I have ever seen. OK, I recognize that people can't afford new wooden windows, but could they at least make the vinyl windows the same size as the original openings?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
What the....

:-#

I could do better with a skill saw some lumber and a can of paint....
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Hmm must have been a price break on that size.

Since I live in house with some overly tall/long windows, I can say they are sometimes a pain. Try placing furniture when the wall has a floor to ceiling window, or windows that are only 24" from the floor. When you have the luxury to waste space it is nice, but when you have to put double beds and desks in the kids' rooms, it is hard.
 

PlannerByDay

Cyburbian
Messages
1,827
Points
24
That' s a bummer, it was such a neat historic house.

Check out the siding there are 3 layer, old clapboard, with asbestos/concret tiles siding then it looks like the are putting plastic siding on top of that.

To bad, it must not be in a historic district, that would never be allowed in the historic districts where I live
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Too bad, but I have seen many like this, and many far worse. Like Ludes, I lived in an old house with the tall windows. I do like them, but they cut down on your privacy and they can be a bit difficult to place furniture around. Large rooms make this less of a problem.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
ludes98 said:
Hmm must have been a price break on that size.

Since I live in house with some overly tall/long windows, I can say they are sometimes a pain. Try placing furniture when the wall has a floor to ceiling window, or windows that are only 24" from the floor. When you have the luxury to waste space it is nice, but when you have to put double beds and desks in the kids' rooms, it is hard.
Well, they should have at least put some "knock-out" panels below the downsized windows (and kept the same width), like you see in some commercial buildings in old downtowns. But here, they widened the windows as well, further adding to the horror. And once it is all sided over, you won't be able to tell where the original windows are at all.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Satan Speaking Here

Q. - Who gave the preservationistas the right to place a financial burden on individuals to support what they think is a grand idea?

A - Normally I agree with most of your rants SAC. But this one is different. Why is it a "shame?" So, some people are adapting a home to their needs in the best way they see fit and in a way they can afford. It is obviously an old house in an old neighborhood. Will keeping a crappy house looking like a crappy house increase its resale value? Will keeping a crappy house "in-period" do anything other than please a Preservationista? Will dumping big money in to the house to stay with NHS suggested design critera in any way enhance the resident's lives? No, thinks I.

You don't know the owner/resident's economic or life circumstances. The people may need more light from bigger windows because they are older and have failing eyes. There could be many reasonable and rational reasons for what they are doing to that home.

And, it is obvious that the construction on this home is not yet complete. It may look nice to average folks (not preservationistas) after the construction is complete. It may be the investment needed to stabilize the neighborhood.

To the presercvationistas I say "If you don't like the way a property is being managed - buy it" Otherwise, let people live their lives without the unwanted comments. I think SOME preservationistas would have us all wearing wool in the summer and ridding our buggies if given a chance. :)
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
As the proud owner (hopefully not for long) of a home that has had every single unsympathetic renovation(vinyl siding, windows, doors, foundation) that could be done to a 125 year old home I just shake my head.

I only wish that I had the time and money to have done work on the outside.





Some interiors during and after are available in the gallery.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
el Guapo said:
Q. - Who gave the preservationistas the right to place a financial burden on individuals to support what they think is a grand idea?

A - Normally I agree with most of your rants SAC. But this one is different. Why is it a "shame?"
Because it looks so absolutely ugly. I'm not asking them to preserve in an historic sense of the word, just keep the window openings the same (or put panels below downsized windows so you can at least tell where the original openings were)

It's a shame because every time I drive by this house I have to see just about every single violation and no-no of even the most basic level of good taste in home appearance. This house draws attention to itself in the worst way. It sticks out like a cockroach on a wedding cake.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
While I agree with the "ughs," I also agree with Guapo on this one. It may look "ok" when done. I have a problem with rigid preservationist regulations.

Modesty of means to me is allowed more leeway.

Save the real focus of your rants for the mega-mansions. (God you should see some of 'em in my town. If you have $750,000 to spend, couldn't you hire someone besides Billy Bob the Local Yohkel to design your house) You do Yuppie rants so well, Cat.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,706
Points
69
Looks like a Community Development Department rehab job of some sort. If it's subsidized by a local government., don't expect any sort of attention to architectural detail.

It does look bad ... but IMHO not because there's siding and plastic windows. The new architectural elements are horizontally oriented, while the house is vertically oriented. A rhythm is broken, and it's a problem that could have been easily solved by using more vertically-oriented windows, even if they're plastic and have fake mullions.

The house was never a beauty to begin with. It wasn't a textbook Queen Anne Victorian, Italianate or shingle style, but rather a simple vernacular style that was considered plain for the day. The house seems typical of a style popular among simple German working-class immigrants, who probably built it with their own hands. Note the two front doors - it was a two-flat, which meant the original owners were probably not that well-off, using rent from a tenant to help pay the mortgage.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
BKM said:
While I agree with the "ughs," I also agree with Guapo on this one. It may look "ok" when done. I have a problem with rigid preservationist regulations.

Modesty of means to me is allowed more leeway...
Before I was here, this town made the mistake of having a local historic district in a very working class neighborhood. It didn't go over well, and the designation was revoked. If a community wants to be strict about preservation guidelines on homes, most owners need to have the means to pay for the extra costs.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
el Guapo said:
Q. - Who gave the preservationistas the right to place a financial burden on individuals to support what they think is a grand idea?
Why does zoning have the right to tell the common person how many sheds i can have on my property?

Why does zoning have the right to limit the amount of pavement I want in my rear yard?

How can governments require big boxes to meet specific architectural and landscape design criteria?

These are all intrusions onto private property rights, yet are generally accepted. They all place different levels of financial burden on the owners.

Will keeping a crappy house looking like a crappy house increase its resale value? Will keeping a crappy house "in-period" do anything other than please a Preservationista? Will dumping big money in to the house to stay with NHS suggested design critera in any way enhance the resident's lives? No, thinks I.
According to National Trust and other preservationalist groups, historic design regulation and district designation often ensures property value stability in declining areas and greater property value increases than adjacent, undesignated neighborhoods. I'm too lazy to find links, and I can't verify this. But it's a claim that's used.

You don't know the owner/resident's economic or life circumstances. The people may need more light from bigger windows because they are older and have failing eyes. There could be many reasonable and rational reasons for what they are doing to that home.
The new windows actually appear smaller than the old windows to me and would permit less light. The new windows are being put in for two reasons, energy efficency and the affordability over windows of the same proportion.

No one said this house is designated historic, but in our historic preservation ordinance, economics are considered in the ability to meet the design criteria. Some preservationalist do have a heart.

To the presercvationistas I say "If you don't like the way a property is being managed - buy it"
I agree. Community preservation can only be successful if the preservationalist own the property to be preserved. Unless their are government subsidies, grants, and other.

I think preservation is a good thing, but not all needs to be preserved. EG, this home remodel is a disaster and I don't need to see a finished product to know that. It is a disaster IMO. It may suit the function and affordability of the new residents, but some people value form over funciton. The form of this house is destroyed and all the defining characteristics that it exhibited when originally designed and built are gone. In this case, it's not designated (I think) and there are no regulations against these remodels. The owner can do what he wants with it.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
You make a point, Boiker, but one could argue that purist historic preservation regulations are based on a "freeze the moment" philosophy that I don't really agree with.

As for reviewing all residential remodelling (Dan's windows comment) we don't touch that, really, and I am in regulate-everything California (some cities DO. The neighborhood battles are epic.) Your arguments could be extended to any residential remodelling. I myself don't want to go there. There is a difference, maybe perceptual, between regulations that infringe on a single family home versus those that affect more "public" or communal" buildings-even commercial buildings. Maybe I am seeing a difference that shouldn't be there, but I still sorta believe in the "man and his castle."

As for shed regulations, one could at least argue that they preserve the open character of a single family neighborhood. Still, even there I would agree we may be over-regulating. I would probably chuck anything except building code setbacks (three feet). Since we won't and can't build enough affordable housing for our increasingly third world-pay-and-benefits labor force, let individual landlords add second units in their back yards. The middle class neighbors who would complain are probably the same people who shop at WalMart and chain restaurants (Sam's Law again :)) and burble happily about the money they save.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
BKM said:
While I agree with the "ughs," I also agree with Guapo on this one. It may look "ok" when done. I have a problem with rigid preservationist regulations.

Modesty of means to me is allowed more leeway.

Save the real focus of your rants for the mega-mansions. (God you should see some of 'em in my town. If you have $750,000 to spend, couldn't you hire someone besides Billy Bob the Local Yohkel to design your house) You do Yuppie rants so well, Cat.
Believe me, there's nothing I like more than trashing Yuppies, but to be fair, I have to hold the working class accountable for remuddles such as this and the attending destruction of neighborhoods. Sure, screwing up this house is preferable to some fresh-money a-hole in places like Hinsdale, Illinois or Stone Harbor New Jersey tearing it down and put up some $750,000 gaudy piece of crap, but the fact remains that this house has been turned into a shell of its former self.

Actually, I would rather go after the "seller" rather than the "user". That is, the vinyl window company or contractor that pitched these windows instead of the misguided homeowner. I don't know how it is in your market, but fly-by-night vinyl window and siding companies have been heavily promoting their crappy products for years around here. They have dumb, annoying commercials that sell you the illusion and fallacy of "no maintenance". Most of them are illigitamate operations that hire inexperienced laborers as window installers to save on overhead. Most go bankrupt after a few years - or change their name to fool the BBB - thus voiding any warranty that may have come with the windows.

Somebody needs to investigate these high-pressure companies, and shut down the ones that look like they won't honor their warranties (which just by looking at these windows, they are destined to fail within 10 years).
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
Replacement windows are not always the best alternative. Modern single-pane glasses can achieve very high energy efficiency without the destruction of architectural elements that are important to defining the structure and its environment. (An important fact, particularly if you are a neighbor that has invested in the sensitive rehabilitiation of a historic structure.) Interior storm windows are another possibility that would have been both cost efficient and architecturally superior to replacement windows. Those wood windows lasted at least 100 years -- will the vinyl perform that well for that long?

This looks to me like putting a Hundai grille in a Volvo. It's just not right.

Preservation that does not go hand-in-hand with education is not acceptable. These homeowners might have saved money and ended up with a better project if they had consulted a preservationist, IMO.

<<<<<< [OT] Halfway to the Clube[/OT]
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
Dan said:
Looks like a Community Development Department rehab job of some sort. If it's subsidized by a local government., don't expect any sort of attention to architectural detail.
As far as I know, this is a private rehab, but you're right in a way. Outside of historic districts, community development projects can pretty much do anything they want.

It does look bad ... but IMHO not because there's siding and plastic windows. The new architectural elements are horizontally oriented, while the house is vertically oriented. A rhythm is broken, and it's a problem that could have been easily solved by using more vertically-oriented windows, even if they're plastic and have fake mullions.

The house was never a beauty to begin with. It wasn't a textbook Queen Anne Victorian, Italianate or shingle style, but rather a simple vernacular style that was considered plain for the day. The house seems typical of a style popular among simple German working-class immigrants, who probably built it with their own hands. Note the two front doors - it was a two-flat, which meant the original owners were probably not that well-off, using rent from a tenant to help pay the mortgage.
Well, it doesn't have to be pretty to be historic. This style of house is what I would call Minimal Greek Revival: Two story gable front with three bays and a minimal of architectural detail. Literally hundreds of them were built in cities like Toledo during the 1840s to early 1870s.

However, they are rapidly approaching extiction here. Those that weren't demolished during the urban renewal eras from the late 1930s to early 1980s - or stood in the way of 1960s slash-and-burn Interstate Highway construction - have been the victim of aggressive spot demolition campaigns of the late 1990s to present day. Others that survive have been altered so badly that they are unrecognizable: Replacement siding and downsized windows. And these houses are so plain or vernacular in the first place, that even moderate alterations have a devastating effect compared to more resiliant styles like Colonial Revival or Arts & Crafts.

Even within in the historic districts, these houses have a hard time surviving and are not prime candidates for restoration. In Toledo's oldest historic district, Vistula, many Second Empire, Stick, and Queen Anne houses were rehabbed in the 1970s and 1980s, but little or no rehab work was done on the more vernacular types such as the Greek Revival or I-House. The result - a near extiction of pre-1870s architecture in Toledo and a lopsided picture of that city's architectural moziac.
 
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michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
To quiet an extent, I am in support of historic preservation on homes that deserve them. This house does not. I agree with Dan about the rhythm and flow of the house. I think since the windows are wider, they should incorporate other architectural features to better stabilize a single style. Maybe if the code permits it, a front porch or addition. Or even decorative latticework along the eves, and quality landscaping. In Reading, the city went by an index number of historic quality rating. Houses above a particular number where limited on what changes they could make, ones below a particular number, had to do improvements to make it fit in with the period. It seemed to work very well…
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
Super Amputee Cat said:
As far as I know, this is a private rehab, but you're right in a way. Outside of historic districts, community development projects can pretty much do anything they want.
You must not be talking about CDBG. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act would not permit a remodel of this nature with CDBG funds. If CDBG were used and the HUD CPD office visited this rehab, the sh!t would hit the fan in these parts.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
Gedunker said:
Replacement windows are not always the best alternative. Modern single-pane glasses can achieve very high energy efficiency without the destruction of architectural elements that are important to defining the structure and its environment. (An important fact, particularly if you are a neighbor that has invested in the sensitive rehabilitiation of a historic structure.) Interior storm windows are another possibility that would have been both cost efficient and architecturally superior to replacement windows. Those wood windows lasted at least 100 years -- will the vinyl perform that well for that long?

This looks to me like putting a Hundai grille in a Volvo. It's just not right.

Preservation that does not go hand-in-hand with education is not acceptable. These homeowners might have saved money and ended up with a better project if they had consulted a preservationist, IMO.
Exactly right. Perhaps if someone had gone to the homeowner and told him that by getting vinyl windows that were the same size, it would retain at least some of the character, and a lot of this disaster could have been mitigated. The result would have at least preserved the temple-front, three bay appearance with long-narrow dignified windows instead of the hole-in-the-wall pieces of crap you see here.

But the windows companies sure aren't going to do it. They will circumvent historic guidelines at any opportunity they can in their relentless request to sell you the illusion of no maintenance and sell their mass-produced one-size-fits-all products.

Kind of like hammering a square peg into a round hole.

Here's another thing. Don't you think that any savings that may have come from buying these nasty square windows is instantly negated by the extra labor required to close off the old openings and create new frames for the square shape? Not to mention a few extra square feet in vinyl siding?
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
Gedunker said:
You must not be talking about CDBG. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act would not permit a remodel of this nature with CDBG funds. If CDBG were used and the HUD CPD office visited this rehab, the sh!t would hit the fan in these parts.
Yes, but this house, despite its age is not in an historic district, so such a rehab would be determined to be "No Effect" and we could do nothing to control the type of window being installed and only offer recommendations.

In this market, vinyl siding and vinyl windows are a absolute surity once a building is not determined to be historic, but even among CDBG funded rehabs (outside of historic districts) I have never seen anything this bad.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
michaelskis said:
To quiet an extent, I am in support of historic preservation on homes that deserve them. This house does not.
Why don't you think this house is worthy of being preserved? Just because it isn't "high style." In Toledo, there were a lot more of these houses built throughout the working class ethnic neighbhorhoods during the mid 19th Century than the rich enclaves of high style Italianates or Gothic Revival, so I would argue that this house type is more significant for Toledo as it was home to such a large strata of working class residents.

Sure, this house by itself is not significant, but it certainly would be worthy of being a contributing structure in some sort of ethicity based historic district if the integrity was there.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
This house.... no... one that might be in better condition... yes.

From many of the indications in the picture, (apathetic attempt and a wrap around porch, abandoning of the window styles, and obvious neglect of the yard as well and maintenance) make me think that this house might be just this side of disrepair.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
I agree with all the points about better choices, quality design, etc. I am just not sure that the police power of the State should be used to enforce this. Maybe I have been contaminated too much by the "l" force rampant on the internet.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
Here are a couple of more pictures that I found.

94BAKER1125-3_2002-med.jpg

The first one, taken in early 2002, shows that the original wood clapboard siding, has been covered up with asbestos siding - a popular replacement siding during the 1940s and 1950s. As seen in the photo, the asbestos siding has deteriorated revealing some of the original siding underneath.

94BAKER1125-4_2003-med.jpg

This photo, taken in April, 2003, the house has been vinyl sided but there appears to be evidence of fire damage. The original windows are still extant, although the surrounds were covered up or removed when the vinyl siding was installed.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
michaelskis said:
This house.... no... one that might be in better condition... yes.

From many of the indications in the picture, (apathetic attempt and a wrap around porch, abandoning of the window styles, and obvious neglect of the yard as well and maintenance) make me think that this house might be just this side of disrepair.
You're right about that. The housing violation file on this puppy was over an inch thick!
 

Gedunker

Moderating
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Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
Super Amputee Cat said:
Yes, but this house, despite its age is not in an historic district, so such a rehab would be determined to be "No Effect" and we could do nothing to control the type of window being installed and only offer recommendations.
I disagree SAC. Any building listed or eligible for listing in the NRHP must be protected under 106. Rehab would qualify as an undertaking, triggering 106 and my SHPO would determine that this remuddle would have "an adverse effect". (Fortunately, we operate on a Programmatic Agreement, so SHPO and Advisory Council don't look over my shoulder on every project.)

SAC: Do you guys have a survey of historic sites and structures? Indiana has nearly completed all 92 counties (and updated many, including my City). Outstanding resource. Unfortunately, not on-line |-)

michaelskis: I would rate this house as a "contributing" resource to a historic district (based on the b/w photo), meaning that, by itself, it is probably not eligible for the National Register. However, if more research showed that it was a unique example of its style or construction, or if it had an association with a historic event of person, a possible "notable" rating. Notable means that it may be eligible for listing in the NRHP (but is not a sure thing). In Indiana, "Outstanding" resources are individually eligible for listing in the NRHP.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
Gedunker: planner of historic preservation? Our SHPO would react exactly as you described, and in fact, has before.\

It is a contributing structure to a larger district. However, liberal use of the contributing tag would mean that practically all of the old housing stock in my town would qualify to be included on the national register.
 

Gedunker

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Moderator
Messages
11,487
Points
41
boiker said:
Gedunker: planner of historic preservation? Our SHPO would react exactly as you described, and in fact, has before.
Boiker, you found me out: Preservationist wolf in planner sheep's clothing :-D

boiker said:
It is a contributing structure to a larger district. However, liberal use of the contributing tag would mean that practically all of the old housing stock in my town would qualify to be included on the national register.
That is a real problem. When nothing but the scale and massing remains, and when such a situation goes on for block after block, it is a valid question as to the historic integrity of an area. Our updated survey was done with a pretty sharp eye for integrity and, when it was largely gone from an area, the neighborhood was not determined eligible.

As others would agree, old does not necessarily mean historic.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,251
Points
30
Gedunker said:
I disagree SAC. Any building listed or eligible for listing in the NRHP must be protected under 106. Rehab would qualify as an undertaking, triggering 106 and my SHPO would determine that this remuddle would have "an adverse effect". (Fortunately, we operate on a Programmatic Agreement, so SHPO and Advisory Council don't look over my shoulder on every project.)
Yes, but that's the point. This building would be classified as Not Eligible, even before the alterations. It is located in an area that has not been determined to be Eligible for the National Register. The area that this building is located in has undergone a significant amount of alteration and demolition over the past 50 years, compromosing integrity to the point that the area does not meet the criteria for eligibity in terms of integrity. Also, no historic context could be found for the neighborhood. It had a somewhat noteable German population in 1880 (40 - 50%), but many other neighborhoods (in more original condition) had much greater German elements during that era and would thus trump this neighborhood based on that merit.

SAC: Do you guys have a survey of historic sites and structures? Indiana has nearly completed all 92 counties (and updated many, including my City). Outstanding resource. Unfortunately, not on-line |-)
We have surveyed many neighborhoods over the past nine years, and I even got one listed on the National Register. As far as the neighborhood in question goes, the surveys were incomplete and based on windshield survey data documenting demolished structures.



michaelskis: I would rate this house as a "contributing" resource to a historic district (based on the b/w photo), meaning that, by itself, it is probably not eligible for the National Register. However, if more research showed that it was a unique example of its style or construction, or if it had an association with a historic event of person, a possible "notable" rating. Notable means that it may be eligible for listing in the NRHP (but is not a sure thing). In Indiana, "Outstanding" resources are individually eligible for listing in the NRHP.
I would have classified this house (before recent alterations) as contributing too if it had indeed been part of a listed or eligible historic district, which it is not.
 

Gedunker

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41
Super Amputee Cat said:
Yes, but that's the point. This building would be classified as Not Eligible, even before the alterations.
Yeah, I just scrolled back and saw the more recent phots. I would have been contributing in the b/w photo, but later alterations removed too much fabric, IMO.
 
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