Show us your vintage home!

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by LolitaHaze, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,535
    Location:
    New York City
    We have similar thoughts around phones, etc. There is currently a cheap plastic phone in our apartment that rings to and receives calls from the front door of the apt building. I checked with the super and as long as it is "three wired" (which I'm told is no big deal to get an electrician to do), he said I can put in any phone I want. So, we've been looking at 1920s intercom phones for apartment houses and they are incredibly cool - solid, black, heavy, with simple lines and great feel.
     
  2. DecoDame

    DecoDame One of the Regulars

    You DO have working radiators! Well. That's fantastic. I'm so pleased for you. I've gone on about them elsewhere before, but I'd have them in my home in a snap. Question: If the other apartments have ripped out all the "old things", is the super really keeping the furnace going just for your apartment? How is that working? (Forgot to mention: Sounds like your super is a keeper)

    Bless. :D I love that you did that. Because I may have been similarly guilty too...
     
  3. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,535
    Location:
    New York City
    What most people have done - and unfortunately the previous owners did to three of our six radiators - is they took out the originals and now feed the hot water pipe into a new HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning unit) that is all digital and controls the flow of heat in a more precise manner (that's it, that's the extent of my understanding of the mechanics of these new units). That said, and to your question, the building's boiler is still supplying the heat, it is just that most apartments use new HVAC units to control the heat dispersal in their apartments.

    These HVAC units don't hiss or clunk; they blow the heat via a fan, and, in my limited experience, they don't give that enveloping feeling of heat nor do they have the personality of the old radiators. The super says the tenants love them because most people hate the hiss and clunk and love anything digital, i.e., they can set the temperature for 68 and the unit will kick on and off to keep it there versus the old ones where you just turned a handle and learned by trail and error (another thing I love and that gives the radiator personality). Just to add to the ugh factor, the HVACs have a remote control because it is such an effort to walk over to the unit to turn it on or adjust the temperature.

    For the HVAC units (which are ugly bland metal boxes stuck in the wall where the radiators used to be) we are going to have old style radiator covers (wood frame with metal gratings) built so that at least the appearance is vintage.

    And, yes, this super is a gem. I've lived in many apartment buildings over the last thirty years and, in truth, most supers are pretty good if you treat them with the respect they deserve (although, I did live in one building where the super was a crook - getting kickbacks from subcontractors, etc., he was eventually fired, but he was brutal), but this super is a true gentleman who cares about the building and - as noted - loves its history and vintage.
     
  4. LadyBaltimore

    LadyBaltimore Familiar Face

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Baltimore
    I guess we ought to be thankful for cell phones, if only so we can shamelessly call up our landline and listen to it ring. :D
     
  5. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,535
    Location:
    New York City
    I wouldn't admit that away form this forum, just as I tend to keep silent about liking the hissing and clunking of old radiators - must people think we are crazy for loving these things. I have a friend who has paid good money to have the clunking "fixed" in his house.

    It is amazing - as noted in my previous post about the new "radiator" units (HVACs) having remote controls - how much people like new and not having to move. It would never occur to me that a heating or air-conditioning unit would need a remote control.

    While we haven't moved in to our "new" 1927 apartment yet, the radiator in our current 1929 apartment house - no exaggeration - just this minute started hissing and clunking (it always starts up with a few good clunks just to let us know it is working) - it makes me feel good to hear it.

    I do have a steam engine whistle as the sound on my cell phone for new text messages - it is a lovely sound for what can be a brutal communication method.
     
  6. DecoDame

    DecoDame One of the Regulars

    *Rolls Eyes So Hard They Fall Out Of Skull*

    Thanks for explanation though. I wasn't aware of this kind of "updating" being done the old systems. I like your solution of radiator covers too...

    To touch on the love of new tech though - we just got back from a brief visit with my in-laws (disclaimer: nice folks). We had dinner at one brother-in-law's and they were showing off their brand new custom built house (where it was "craftsman inspired" without a single "old" item in it - nothing any other hands had ever touched before they got it). So after dinner we all settled into the large living room and he said "why don't we put on the fire?" I watched as he turned on his wall mounted large screen TV and played a loop of a video of a wood fire burning. I laughed so loud, until I realized he wasn't joking or being ironic (oops) and everyone took turns ahh-ing over the pretty view. And during lulls in the convo, they'd look over at the "fire" burning. Sometimes I wonder why I leave the house. I'm started to feel like the insane one... lol
     
  7. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    13,535
    Location:
    New York City
    Wow - the fire on the TV is stunning*. We probably looked an extra two years to find an apartment with a true, working wood-burning fireplace as, IMHO, even gas feels fake. To each his own - if your in laws are happy in their house - good for them - but that stuff doesn't work at all for me. I love that you laughed out loud and then had to pull it back (been there).


    *Kind of reminds me of the yule log on TV in the '70s when I was a kid - on Christmas day, a local TV channel used to play a loop a a fireplace with Christmas music on in the background. Very '70s kitsch, but not something I could see someone really wanting to do the way your in-laws did.
     
  8. DecoDame

    DecoDame One of the Regulars

    Yep. It was their dream house and took decades for them to get it exactly like they wanted - something we have in common anyway (though mine is ever on-going), so I'd never (purposefully) rain on their parade. But I can't for the life of me relate to much of it.

    And oh yes, I remember that TV yule log. The kitsch we've seen and lived to tell...
     

  9. Wow! That would take five coats of paint to get rid of that pea soup color. :doh:
     
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    They need to rig that up with some infra-red bulbs to give off the real "warm fire" experience. And maybe an arc coil to throw the occasional spark on the carpet.

    Then, if they really want to push the boat out, they need to get Wii Woodsplitting.
     
  11. DecoDame

    DecoDame One of the Regulars

    Sounds like you can set them up just fine, Lizzie. I'll pass on your number. ;)
     
  12. Panadora

    Panadora Practically Family

    Messages:
    526
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Sounds like the art of bleeding radiators is a lost art!
    - Mine also makes noises ;)

    My desk (with keyboard and mouse moved out of sight).
    The table is made as a 'free standing' table with no ugly backside. The tabletop is one solid piece of mahogany.
    Another Frits Henningsen chair (the seat has springs!).
    A radiator cover in the background.

    [​IMG]
     

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  13. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    That is not uncommon on old houses. My house has very ornate radiators through out the house, except for the two in the parlor. They are very plain, they were made to be covered with a wood box with brass screen in the front. That was considered more up scale in the late 19th century!
     
  14. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    Here are some of the hardware I have bought for my place. I have more on the way. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Stray Cat

    Stray Cat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    :nod:

    Never had a "brown" mood - I had some grey thought, blue mood (on one or two events I must admit I've experienced a purple-glasses syndrome) - but I have never had a brown.. [huh] ...there's a first for everything :D
     
  16. Panadora

    Panadora Practically Family

    Messages:
    526
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    A glimpse of the kitchen

    [​IMG]
    (my espresso machine is under development, so the thing to the right is only temporary)

    [​IMG]
    Early morning (with my old coffee grinder)

    [​IMG]
    Irish stew with artisan beer (and a slice of bread)
     

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  17. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,458
    Location:
    down south
    Very nice, Panadora!
    I really like the porthole door and the lamp over the sink.
    The espresso bar looks awfully inviting, too.
     
  18. Panadora

    Panadora Practically Family

    Messages:
    526
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Thanks

    Finally (last picture I could find) here's a view from the dining room into the study

    [​IMG]
     

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  19. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,212
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    Who died and left you Lewis Mumford?
     
  20. We have all appointed her as such. Brown is a lousy color for anything.
     

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