|Bringing Back Holleywood||
Bill Sigsworth beats the heat in coolness of the basement, working on much needed repairs to windows.
The quality of a restoration shows up best in the basement, where workmanship goes unconcealed.
Today, we meet with the architect and contractor team and walk around Holleywood together for the first time. The meeting we thought would take a couple of hours, turns out to require five. So much house! We start in the basement where we are thrilled to discover original front doors we thought had been lost in the tag sale. They are carefully leaned up against huge cut stones that make up the foundation. "Hand-hewn" says the contractor, pointing out hammer marks on the stones.
Next to the doors, an old granite gravestone. Died. Nov. 1, 1846, George W., Son of Alexander H. and Marcia C. Holley, At 7 Yrs Only seven! But no one is buried in the basement, assures the 1977 profile of the house in the Lakeville Journal. In those days of high infant mortality, the boy came to share a grave with several young relatives so his own gravestone wasn't needed and was stored in the basement. I wonder if using it in a garden would be sacriligous.
While the contractors and architect discuss heating the turret (too impractical), Donald paces the house and counts the rooms: 31. Not including alcoves and landings and storage rooms. It appears that only two of the rooms require renovation: the kitchen needs updating and the master bedroom needs its own bathroom. The rest of the rooms will be cleaned and painted and left otherwise untouched, to preserve the integrity of the house. And also our solvency.
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.