Preservation Round-up for October

Articles on Preservation of Historic Buildings and Architectures


Architectural Highlights of Old Louisville

In this city, part Old South and part Midwest; we were taken on a tour of Old Louisville, a 45-square-block residential community. We were fascinated that such a large and pristine historic area could have survived. Louisville was developed on 19th-century industrial fortunes. Walking courts remained and fine homes were built where the great Southern Exposition of 1883 had been. But in the 1950s and ’60s, homeowners moved to the suburbs, and the big old houses began to deteriorate. Fortunately, enough farsighted people chose to stick it out. The visit inspired our latest book, Old Louisville….Continue reading

The Art of Adding On to an Old House

Building a sympathetic addition to your old house doesn’t necessarily mean re-creating history, nor does it mean spending more for custom components. Successful additions are all about appropriateness: in size, proportions, materials. An addition should enhance the house and the neighborhood—as well as the resale value of your home….Continue reading

Early 20th-Century Suburban House Styles

In the time between the two great wars, the last vestiges of Victoriana had receded, and the Arts & Crafts movement had waned. A Colonial Revival wave that began in 1876 was now entrenched, but colonial-style houses had competition from nostalgic European styles—Tudor and Cotswold, Spanish and Italian—bolstered by the memories of returning servicemen. In housing booms before and after the Depression, whole tracts went up, and a stucco-faced Mediterranean villa might be just down the street from an academic Georgian, with a builder’s semi-bungalow around the corner…..Continue reading

A Textbook 1920s Tudor in Portland

Houses rarely are this well documented. Sue Carter’s 1923 Tudor started with a push for brick construction in the lumber-rich Pacific Northwest. The owner of Standard Brick & Tile in Portland, Oregon, created a media blitz after he commissioned this “English Cottage” as a model home in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. Thousands of potential buyers came through the house, touted as “The Brick House Beautiful,” while weekly articles in The Oregonian heralded its unique “ideal brick hollow wall” construction….Continue reading

Safer Paint Strippers

At some point, every old-house owner will face the dilemma of how to best remove paint or varnish. Many products can do the job, but the best choice is one that’s both right for your project and safe to work with. Start by asking yourself a few questions: How many layers of paint are you trying to remove? Is the paint lead-based? Is it a vertical surface, or can you put the item on a set of saw horses? Can you move your work outside? The answers will help you find a product that has the chemical makeup, thickness, wait time, and cleanup process you’re looking for….Continue reading