Then and now

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by vitanola, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,152
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    653E49BB-A777-4281-988D-B2218E457018.jpeg 476AE50C-740A-4E52-ABB1-1245542F1B4C.jpeg A1AD2BC6-7820-43DB-B1D9-C04481A2A13A.jpeg 1C97DBF3-BBC0-4CB5-BD70-9D759E7E1A8F.jpeg 1E6A069A-739C-4BC7-8387-3A763888D79E.jpeg 35DBAF8D-E9D8-43F6-848F-E727F3FFCDF1.jpeg DB1A12DD-C764-420F-994C-4E188281123E.jpeg The SPNEA has a remarkable archive of interior shots which are available on their website. I found it interesting to compare some of these with images available on Zillow and Trulia. It either shows haw far that we have come, or it confirms that Max Nordau was right.

    35!Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA, the home of Arthur S. Little, the architect who began the Colonial Revival, pictured at about the time of the Great War:
     
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  2. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,152
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    6DB11965-B10D-4667-A799-6085B2E5087A.jpeg 16BF2B0D-BE5B-48BC-8996-ADAEAC7CC6B9.jpeg 559B9A13-3290-47DB-84CB-096E7B0B63EA.jpeg 6D970292-AC33-445D-A123-E6F6E713D82D.jpeg 6410B666-49A4-4C9A-8B6C-BF9419D08944.jpeg 16093D94-E1F5-45AD-B6AF-C47BB928D065.jpeg 7C9DC9EF-394B-4777-9E1A-F286E2B81CC7.jpeg
     
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  3. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,152
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    6BD4241F-97E1-4340-86FC-8CD6C3D85A5B.jpeg B4D0B718-FBDD-45E4-8C6C-811F591DFE9D.jpeg 47C2FE55-F3A8-4ABD-95CA-7C2D0AFDC4EB.jpeg 20F3AEFB-B7A8-40DE-B862-25F3DAB1F96F.jpeg 1D6B4363-CB80-4491-8B95-3DCBA0514498.jpeg F7E8A633-B167-44D1-ACDA-BD30FEEFA1E9.jpeg EF10C997-1044-43B9-B0D1-29D5C7AD520B.jpeg 9CE2B404-53B4-47BB-8BE3-9303674B0CAE.jpeg An apartment in that house as it appeared last year, when it was for sale for fourteen million dollars. The interior was by a prominent designer. I believe that it was featured in AD. This is the way that the Masters of our Universe prefer to live. I see but one explanation: Degeneration.
     
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  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    What is it with the white, white, white? I understand for a cheap rental unit it's easiest for landlords to deal with, but why do "designers" and their acolytes find it so appealing? Don't any of these people own cats? Or spill drinks?

    I couldn't stand to live in a white, white, white environment. It'd make me feel like a lab specimen.
     
  5. TimeWarpWife

    TimeWarpWife One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    In My House
    What I'm not understanding, in addition to all the white, is the institutional gray that's so prevalent in the homes for sale in our area. I'd feel like I was living in a prison with all that dull gray surrounding me. The worst color I've seen to date was when my brother-in-law's ex painted their kitchen in what I could only describe as blood red, although I think she was going for barn red, which was popular at the time. Every time I entered the kitchen all I could think of was it resembled what I imagined the inside of a slaughter house to look like. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  6. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,988
    Location:
    New York City
    Since we are not comparing room by room, it's hard to go detail by detail, but what I find disappointing is that so many of the original architectural details (that would cost a crazy amount to do today) - like the beamed ceilings, fireplace mantles, intricate (and heavy) doors, "scrolly" things on the wall and the extensive molding - have been striped out or (maybe) covered up.
     
  7. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,249
    Location:
    New Forest
    The first house that my wife and I bought was a Victorian terrace, it was the fad of the day to remove or cover those intricate details that you described. We loved them, we even managed to source early electricals like light switches to keep it as original as possible. It was originally gas lit, but someone at some stage had sympathetically replaced the gas mantle with a similar looking electric light bulb. So good was it that unless you knew that the property was built before mains electricity you would think that the feature was original.

    We moved on after three years, the property alas became vandalised on the alter of modernity. But it was no longer our house, and if you saw the new owners choice of paint colour you would give thanks that you didn't live next door.

    Speaking of vandals, they don't come bigger that corporate vandals. These photos are not of a house but of a railway terminus, what Hitler's bombs failed to do the local authority achieved spectacularly.

    The Euston Arch, a neo classical monument to the railway age designed by architect Philip Hardwick and built in 1837, was the original entrance to Euston station, facing onto Drummond Street, London. The Arch was demolished when the station was rebuilt in the 1960's.

    euston1.jpg euston2.jpg Euston3.jpg euston4.jpg euston5.jpg Euston6.jpg euston7.jpg euston8.jpg
     
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  8. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,988
    Location:
    New York City
    It seems train stations are particularly vulnerable to architectural vandals as, possibly, the most notable one in the US was the tearing down of the "old" Penn Station in NYC for the "modern" one.

    Old Penn:
    pennstationmain.jpg
    BLOCKSweb1-articleLarge.jpg

    New Penn:
    Penn_Station_NYC_main_entrance.jpg image-9.jpg

    Several years ago, we bought a coop in a 1928 apartment building and, like you did with your Victorian, tried to keep, reclaim, restore, etc. as many original/period architectural details as possible. I posted a lot of pics on FL at the time.
     
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  9. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,249
    Location:
    New Forest
    How can you justify taking the wrecking ball to that architectural masterpiece? A while back I saw, on TV, a documentary type of program about great public buildings around the world that town planners have destroyed. Pennsylvania Station, the McKim, Mead and White masterpiece that was demolished and replaced by the execrable Penn Station. A classic of Beaux-Arts design and one of the architectural jewels of the city, didn't it's destruction lead to the start of the architectural preservation movement in America? Of the two buildings, before and after, architecture critic Vince Scully noted: “One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat.”

    I have tried to find some details of that TV program, I remember a snippet about Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, I looked that up on Wiki, it moved to Los Angeles, seriously? When the founding fathers left our shores for the new world, they must have had a mercenery stowaway or two with destructive genes that they subsequently passed on. Didn't you lose a building that the famous Frank Lloyd Wright designed? I wish I could remember that TV program.
     
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    An entire generation of concrete, brick and steel baseball parks was torn down between the late 1950s and the early 2000s, because they were "no longer economically viable" for one reason or another. Of the generation of major-league ballparks built in America between 1909 and 1923, only two survive.

    Some of these parks were homely things -- Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Comiskey Park in Chicago were beautiful on the inside, but looked, like Fenway Park still does today, like dumpy brick warehouses on the outside. The Polo Grounds in New York had no distinctive exterior features at all. And Braves Field in Boston had a weird Spanish Mission exterior that had about as much to do with the New England architectual tradition as a bag of tacos. But some of them truly were things of beauty. Ebbets Field had a graceful arching exterior that brought a certain grandeur to an otherwise working-class neighborhood. Yankee Stadium was like the Fort Knox of Baseball. And the most elegant park of all was Shibe Park in Philadelphia -- which looked like the palace of a Renaissance cardinal instead of the home of the A's.

    CWB790.jpg

    It was abandoned in 1970 and left to rot, set on fire by vandals, left to rot some more, and was finally torn down in 1976. That's how we tend to treat our "architectural treasures" when they outlive their commercial usefulness.
     
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  11. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

    Messages:
    12,988
    Location:
    New York City
    You are correct, Penn had to die to save hundreds of other buildings as New Yorkers collectively asked themselves, right after Penn was killed, "God, what have we done?" That cri de coeur birthed what would eventually become the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

    Lizzie isn't wrong, but the challenge becomes - who pays? We can all agree, "that building should be saved," but that still doesn't answer the question, who pays?

    As always, there are competing interests for budgets. To wit, if we - the City or State (or Federal via grants) Gov't - spend more on historical building preservation, then we have less budget money for education, pre-school breakfast programs, healthcare, the homeless, the police, subsidized housing, tax cuts, the veterans, infrastructure and on and on. You can say, let's just increase taxes, but still, that new tax money could go to education, pre-school breakfast programs...instead of (what some say) is the "less-important effort of just saving old buildings that have outlived their usefulness."

    There are many historically protected (by the Landmarks Preservation Commission) buildings in NYC - the gov't won't allow them torn down and, if renovated, they must be restored and not altered (which is very expensive and doesn't allow for much repurposing) - that are abandoned and falling into disrepair as the city can't afford to keep them up and the private sector won't take them on as they won't turn a profit owing the the Landmark restrictions.
     
  12. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,249
    Location:
    New Forest
    Finance is always an issue, but it's not a problem that can't be solved as long as there's some serious joined up thinking. The City of Bath, it gets its name from the famous Roman baths in the town, once had two magnificent stations, they lost one when a third of our network was closed in the 1960's. Far from closing the second station, it was known as Bath Green, and simply ripping it down, it was restored. A supermarket rents part of the structure to provide additional car parking space, the ticket office and entrance hall became a bistro and the concourse became a traders street market. It's quite impressive too.

    bath green1.jpg bath green3.jpg bath green.jpg bath green2.jpg bath green4.jpg
     
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