|Bringing Back Holleywood||
Jason the painter (who created the signage for Hotchkiss Library in Sharon) replicated the original Holleywood sign for us. Due to fortuitous similarity in surnames, the only change he had to make in the design was three letters.
How glad we were to have taken down the trees that listed over the roof. And to have discovered that snow makes our driveway undriveable, in time to fix the problem before winter.
Landscaping the property unearths large, brick-thick slate slabs that landscaper Larry Burcroff and his assistant Ryan use to create a neat, natural stone walkway from kitchen to driveway.
While I'm upstairs consulting with the painter, Donald's sets up a makeshift office in the large, well-lit room off the kitchen, what will be the breakfast room, formerly used as the laundry. A window has been cut into the west porch-facing wall, for added light and a view of the lake. A vintage slate sink found by Chris Brennan sits propped on the floor until cabinets are built to accommodate it.
Renovation is about being open to changes--and not necessarily the ones you expect. Remember the luxurious bath we planned for the turret? Yes, pipes have been artfully laid beneath floorboards, and in octagon wall for the plumbing. But. We decide that a bath isn't best use of the space. The ensuite master bath will be one that was formerly shared and the charming turret room off the bedroom with Juliet balcony and stunning light will be preserved for reading or dreaming or writing or looking out on the world.
For the first time in Holleywood's history (we think), its vernal ponds persist into leaf-peeping season.
On the third floor, there's the remains of a cistern. According to the History of Holleywood compiled by John (Jay) Rudd, the cistern was added during the 1860 renovation, to augment the supply from the well that was dug as part of the original construction. The cistern collected rainwater and drained, ingeniously, to the kitchen. Thanks to the miracle of modern plumbing, we don't need the cistern, but we've preserved what's left of it and replaced rotted roof beams above it in the room workers refer to as "the cistern chapel."
Rob says on October 1, working crews go into overdrive, intent on finishing outside work before winter. Luckily, they've already got 90% of the roofing replaced. Here, see the contrast. What a difference.
Each metal tile for the roof is cut to measure. Some are quite wide and unwieldly. The panel in this photo is 18 ft. How to maneuver it up to the roof? By using an invention Archimedes found handy: the rope pulley.
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.