|Bringing Back Holleywood||
Remember the original doors from 1853 found in the basement? We're now hanging them. Rob built a temporary breezeway out of plywood to protect them from elements until Jason the painter can get to them.
According to history of the house provided by the seller, John Holley Rudd, the last major renovation took place in 1915 when his grandfather Charles Edward Rudd inherited the house from his mother Maria Holley Rudd. Charles Rudd engaged architect Gerard Fountain to do a restoration that included a new roof, enlarging second floor bedrooms, updating plumbing, adding electricity and complete cleaning and repainting of interior woodwork on the first two floors. The year is marked on tub and stairwell. We'll add 2012 on the next step. And imagine renovators in 2112 following suit.
rooms under wraps
Rooms on the first floor are scraped and prepped and plasticized and papered to ready them for plastering starting tomorrow.
Holleywood's third floor is almost ready for habitation! Walls and ceilings have been repaired and plastered, trim has been painted (Lance matched the original gray) and floors have been hand-scraped and tung-oiled to bring out the beauty of 159 year old wood. Hard to believe these are the same water-stained, peeling rooms that were so off-putting a year ago.
reviving top floors
Instead of repainting wood floors on the third floor, the crew has scraped (hand-scraped in some places) and tung-oiled them, leaving in original marks and fades and indents which gives old wood its personality. The boards were still "curing" this weekend, but Rob supplied doctor's booties so that we could view the transformation.
Jason the painter removes painted hinges from doors to strip and clean them, restoring them to their original beauty. If purchased new, "antiqued" door hinges could cost up to $100 apiece. And they wouldn't be nearly as solid and heavy as these crafted in 1853.
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.