|Bringing Back Holleywood
Remember when Bill happened upon remnants of original ceiling and wall treatments in a closet? Similar discovery this week. While taking out bottom drawers of 1860 bookcase in the living room, Jason uncovered hand blocked wallpaper that must have been applied in 1853, before cases were built.
Almost completely intact Wall Street Journal of September 20, 1957 was found in the chimney rampart in the attic. Most alarming article:
"A small atomic bomb was fired in a chamber 800 ft under a desert mesa in Nevada as scientists measured its violence to help unlock the earth's secrets. The shock was recorded about 1000 miles away; experts had hoped it would be felt around the world."
Driving up this weekend, we were happily surprised by a holiday gift from Rob and Ellen: bluebird houses in the field.
Three layers of brick were removed to fit this wood burning stove inside fireplace in the den. The mantle is glass painted on the inside, from the Beaux Arts era. One of the bricks removed must have been the top brick on a stack shipped by train to Governor Holley.
One of the most emailed articles from today's New York Times is titled "Avoiding the Misery of Remodeling by Choosing the Right Contractor." Countless times, Donald and I have felt lucky to be working with Anderson Consulting, a local husband-wife team who specializes in old houses. That they are indubitably right for Holleywood was reaffirmed yesterday when subcontractor Bill discovered that the ceiling in a living room closet bore remnants of original Italianate handpainting. Less savvy workers might have admired it momentarily before continuing with the task of preparing the walls and thus it would have been lost forever. Bill, on the other hand, knew what he'd found and soon everyone was gathered, taking turns with the flashlight, marvelling at the discovery, giddy with ideas for preservation.
The architect measures an outside door to a pantry that was once part of the kitchen.
Restoration Holleywood officially begins. The contractor, architect, decorator and I have our first meeting. We're wildly enthusiastic about the house, each passionate about preserving its historic integrity.
We make two thrilling discoveries:
1. Beneath acoustic ceiling tiles in the kitchen is painted wainscotting.
2. Hidden behind kitchen cabinetry is a door to a small pantry that's been closed off since the seller's parents redecorated in the 1970s. The decorator is particularly enthralled with the blue of the original paint, which still lingers. In the photo, the architect measures the outside door to the pantry. The door was put in when new cabinetry closed off kitchen access, which we mean to restore.
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.