|Bringing Back Holleywood||
of mice and men
When the cold weather came and the crew moved inside, so did the field mice. The guys have a system for getting rid of them--before leaving for the day, they set old fashioned traps baited with peanut butter. In the morning, they collect the catch and set it out on rails of the dumpster, for the crows. Now crows gather by the dumpster each morning, hoping for a meal. Unfortunately for the crows (but happily for us) the kill counts have diminished considerably.
in the tower
portrait of a craftsman
Bill Sigsworth cuts and planes panels, one by painstaking one, for wainscotting in the laundry room.
We thought by now, we'd explored every nook and cranny, but Rob came upon a decorative treasure in a crawl space above the ceiling at the far end of the center hall. Carefully heaving himself through a pop-out, he found remnants of the Italianate handpainted ceiling discovered in the china closet which was apparently painted over when Governor Holley's new wife called for the house's first renovation in 1860.
it ain't just paint
We loved the palette at Holleywood: warm greens, grays, champagnes. While Chris Brennan excavated the collections of Farrow and Ball, Ben Moore, Donald Kaufman and California Paints for complementary room colors, Lance went to work recreating original shades we wanted to match.
It takes a village to restore a house the size of Holleywood. Most of the crew gathered on-site a couple of days before Christmas for a group portrait taken on the front steps, by GC Ellen Burcroff.
After months of exterior work, Rob and the team are making progress indoors, and I am beginning to think of the house as a home instead of a project. We are doing wooden cabinetry to match the vintage feeling of the slate sink that Chris found. Rob, a master carpenter, will build the cabinets to match this photo from Ellen's archives. He'll build them out of aged wood: 80 yr old fir reclaimed from beams in an old aircraft hangar. "Reclaiming old wood makes for a truly green renovation," says Rob. "Plus, aged wood is more beautiful. It takes 50 years to get fir this color."
Sample of local marble that we're using to make sill for the Mott tub in master bathroom.
can this wall be saved?
Mike Zordan and his brother are third-generation plasterers. If anybody can save this fresco-d wall, they can. Mike agrees to give it a try, to see if he can patch the big cracks but leave small fissures, for character. After they attend to a piece of the wall, we'll take a look and decide what to do.
We're transforming a closet into a bathroom, in the second floor bedroom across from the tower room. (The former owners used it as their master.) To give the boxy bathroom more charm, we're adding wainscotting.
who we are
We are a couple of Upper West Siders from NYC who never set out to buy an old mansion in Connecticut. But the moment we walked through its massive front door, we were smitten. The info on this site is earnestly cobbled from a variety of sources, including the web. Please let us know if we've gotten something wrong, or if there's a story about Holleywood you'd like to share.