Well I’m back. I have learned that driving 16 hours a day and coming up with a daily blog doesn’t work. I really have no blog inventory at this time so I kind of fell off of the blogisphere. I had a four day Midwest run to make last week and managed to make it back home safe and sound with a load of carriages to boot. More about that later in the week.
You may wonder (or probably not) what we do when we are not fixing up ratty old carriages. Well we fix up ratty old buildings. This was one of our projects from a few years back. The former St. Vincent de Paul in downtown Columbus.
The building fell victim to a 1970’s “turn the American historic downtown into a mall” building improvement project. As you can see it has the lovely aluminum and steel awning and façade trim to make it sporty.
The best part about working on old buildings is removing the “improvements” to see what you really have. The greatest damage came to this storefront when the original cornice was removed from above the storefront windows in order to install the modern steel façade. So one of our bigger projects on the lower level was re-creating the cornice and brackets above the windows on the first floor. We chose to duplicate the detail on the second floor and it turned out nice.
The front windows were probably replaced in the 50’s and we decided they looked ok so we retained that portion of the façade. The upper glass panes had been removed when the upper portion was covered with steel. Fortunately the frames remained so we were able to install new glass in the exisiting frames. We recreated original style recessed panels below the windows.
After the removal of the plasti-wood paneling from the walls, 2x4 suspended ceiling, and orange shag carpet from the wood floor we felt pretty good about the interior. The original wood wainscot ceiling remained in good condition. The plaster on the walls needed some work but all in all pretty nice. And the southern yellow pine flooring was intact and in good repair. With new mechanicals and a pretty fair amount of elbow grease the building made a beautiful showroom for us for a number of years. We have since relocated to our larger facility around the corner and the building is currently leased to an antique dealer.
The upstairs was originally a K of P meeting hall. If you are not aware of the K of P (and some of you are) they have an interesting history of which will need to be covered in some other blog. Anyway with the addition of a few walls, a new kitchen and bath it turned into a killer loft apartment.
The second floor living spaces are the best part of historic downtown buildings. This one was really fun. It has 14’ high wood wainscot ceilings, original wood trim, wood floors and windows that must be 10’ tall. It is a great place and is never a challenge finding someone to call it home.
Sorry no carriage blog today but we have some interesting projects in the shop this week so stay tuned.
Have a great Monday.