Detroit in ruins

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by dhermann1, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Nine

    Nine New in Town

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    England
    Rue,

    I always found it makes you wonder about who lived there, what they did, and that sort of thing. I just have a weird hobby for abandoned places, I actually went and saw my Grandmother's childhood house in the middle of nowhere in Scotland, and it's begining to fall apart, and it's just like, wow.
     
  2. I wonder the same thing too. I can't believe there's a clothing line full of clothes. It's really weird.
    I'm sorry about your grandmother's childhood home. That must be disturbing in a lot of ways.
     
  3. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,919
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    rue, have you seen the inside? Ive been thinking about this house. It might not be profitable to sell it if it is structurally unsound no matter how historic/nostalgic it is. This may be one reason why its sitting there.

    Its impossible to tell from the outside, except for that porch. If thats all thats wrong with it, its not an overly complicated fix. Maybe theyre planning on doing just that and selling it, furnishings intact.

    Please let us know if some dough loosens them up a little on some of whats inside.
     
  4. You too? That house haunted me for months and I guess still does. The inside is in bad shape, but the walls still looks structurally sound. It needs to have the floors repaired, so I didn't walk inside, but my husband did and he said it wasn't any worse than the house a friend of his repaired for about 40k (those are Ohio prices mind you, not NY or CA)
    As far as I know they are just letting it rot, but when we get out there again, I will definitely give an update. Right now, we're still pouring money into our own old house lol
     
  5. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    I don't know who here watches This Old House, but they renovated a really poor-condition house in Roxbury last season: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20281870,00.html It convinced me that basically anything can be saved- they had to knock out and replace about half the foundation. Things often aren't as bad as they look- they can jack an entire house up off the sill and replace it, if you are willing to spend the money.

    For those that have never seen This Old House, they are mostly a home renovating show- not a home restoration show. I don't agree with most of what they do, but I have learnt a lot from them. This is the first project I've seen from them in a long time I could stomach without screaming at the TV (a few of them have been tear downs).
     
  6. DanielJones

    DanielJones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,042
    Location:
    On the move again...
    That Chernobyl village is just a radioactive time capsule of 1986. Crazy and sad all at once.

    Yes, houses can be restored from the foundation up even if the wood structure needs replacing. They've done it to several houses in my town that are over 100 years old. I think those restores were around $40k as well. I just love old brick houses, and the one thing that kills me is to see one whitewashed. There was one that had that done and the new owner in the process of restoring the home and carriage house (yes, a carriage house, it was built in 1889) had the paint on the brick steamed off. It was fully restored and even survived the 2003 quake that devastated the down town brick structures.

    Cheers!

    Dan
     
  7. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

    Messages:
    4,891
    Location:
    Vintage Land
    We used to renovate houses. I used to say it should of been in our vows do you promise to go forth and renovate with this man.
    It is hard and expensive to find replacements. Most of even the trim is not standard and things like weights in the old windows or replacements etc.
    -------------
    One thing that really, really bothers me with these old structures is the safety issue of new buildings. I am not talking family homes as much as Churches etc. I rode out several hurricanes as a child in a church or even a school gym once.
    Recently we had a tornado hit Arkansas in Cincinnati. Blew the Fire Station apart. All I could think of was once upon a time I would think a Fire Station surely was built better.
    Now I understand about hurricane clips and such but..it was also a level 3 tornado so pretty bad.
     
  8. p71towny

    p71towny Familiar Face

    Messages:
    85
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I hate to see old buildings let go. I've worked very hard to make our 96 year old house as sound as I can make it. Even though the home inspectors said the floor joists were ok I still sister braced some of them where the powder post beetles got to em. My previous job was in basement/foundation waterproofing. That job taught me that many, many homes/buildings can be saved. Its not that difficult at all really. Stair step cracking is what I'd look for in a brick home to see if the footer is moving. My anal retentiveness drives the wife crazy but I want to make sure our house is SOLID. Maybe I'll post pics next week of the crap I've done to the house next week.
     
  9. MissMittens

    MissMittens One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,627
    Location:
    Philadelphia USA
    In honor of Detroit, I just watched "Roger and Me" on Netflix. Don't always agree with the filmographer, but he told the story of Detroit well I think
     
  10. Miss Golightly

    Miss Golightly Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,312
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    That house is so beautiful Rue - it's criminal that it's just being left to rot - I would definitely see if some hard cash might make them more open to you salvaging some things from inside - I mean if they don't care about the house what difference would it make to let you go in and take whatever you fancy (even if they want a few quid for it)?

    In my neighbourhood there are some really stunning Georgian houses that have been refurbished to a really high standard (in the midst of the Celtic Tiger boom) but now there are so many that are only half finished and the workers have downed tools and I wonder if these houses will fall into disrepair as no one has the money to complete the job....
     
  11. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    If the house has been condemned, you'll need to get a certificate of occupancy. Here that means you have to bring the house entirely up to code before you can occupy it. Which means if the treads on the stair case are a .5 inch too short, you have to rip out the staircase and build a new one.

    If you take something like this on, someday you will find that you are "no longer like the others" you know. As you tell your war story about replacing part of a sill with two car jacks, you'll have to keep yourself from punching the person who suggests that next time maybe you can buy a new house. The fact that you want to punch a person for suggesting such an innocent thing meant to help you AND the fact that you indeed would do this willingly again- you look forward to the challenge- is part of the crazy of restoration.

    Nash's book, Renovating Old Houses, has these sentences in the introduction:
    "You will soon find that as bad as you thought the place might be, the reality is much worse. Your original estimate of time and money needed to restore the house to bare livability will increase by a factor of three ...Yet even when you discover that the only thing keeping the place from blowing away is the weight of the mouse droppings in the attic, you wouldn't have it any other way. If this is the case, you might be one of those old-house people, a peculiar kind of maniac who is one part ability, one part inventiveness, two parts determination, three parts romanticism, and six parts damn foolishness. "

    You know if that describes you.
     
  12. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

    Messages:
    4,891
    Location:
    Vintage Land
    So funny sheeplady and so true. One of my top fav funny shows is "Money Pit"
    Some member here actually spoke of this very thing and called his house the Money Pit it seems. Have no idea who the guy was or if he is still here.
    It isn't a one day job that is for sure. (I know I personally must of stripped at least 6 layers of paint off with a heat gun and probably breathed in years of chemicals but we were young and had so much fun working together fixing our first home.
    At one point we had some guys bring out about 10 heavy duty jacks as our home was on blocks. It was a little bit unlevel. They could not budge the thing. At all. They may of not had a clue what they were trying to do but.....
     
  13. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Just in case anyone was in need of a good sob.
    This:
    http://www.hebners.net/amtrak/amtStationCF/DetroitMI.jpg

    replaced this:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/keetb/2718594640/
     
  14. I hope you do share. I, for one would love to see it :)

    I hope it works Miss Golightly, I really do.
     
  15. I have that book and it definitely describes me :crazy: ;)
     
  16. DanielJones

    DanielJones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,042
    Location:
    On the move again...
  17. DanielJones

    DanielJones I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,042
    Location:
    On the move again...
    Such a large building seems like it could have plenty of viable office space for a number of companies. Even if it never sees train service to it again, at the very least they could open a locomotive history museum on the bottom floor and them commercial office space the rest of the way up. And being on the National Historic Registry, it deserves to be saved.

    Cheers!

    Dan
     
  18. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

    Messages:
    4,891
    Location:
    Vintage Land
    When I was a child I lived in an old house with pillars and balcony that seriously looked like something out of the pictures. My aunt had oodles of money and my Father had none. She gave him a job of living in the house. It had 6 apartments on the property and he was to manage them.
    It even had a library with French doors leading out to a large porch. Completely furnished with antiques and such with leather bound books, and canopy beds. Our bedrooms had another balcony even.
    It was beautiful and next door even had a more beautiful house I got to play in with a huge winding staircase.
    I had to move away in 4th. grade. (long not real good story) Came back after married a few years and sitting in the place of our home was a gaudy brick 2 story square house.
    Next door a Doctor had bought the place and completely remodeled it to an even more grandeur state if possible. I still weep for that childhood homeplace.
    I am sure this like so many things also played a huge role in me becoming an antiques dealer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  19. Very nice, although I would have saved and refinished the sink and tub, but I can't complain since it's a beautiful job :)
     

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