|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.
The original front doors to the house were found in the basement. Classicist architect Frank Garretson has designed drawings for returning them to their proper place in the house, consulting with old photos to make sure we will be restoring them just as they were.
Many of the doors still have skeleton keys labeled in Mr. Rudd's careful penmanship.
The secret to a great painting job is in the prep. Jason and Charlie have spent days scraping down woodwork, removing literally a ton of lead paint.
South-facing windows in the den have had to be taken apart and sashes repaired. The house was unsettled here and there were gaps below the sills. "You could see right out below the windows," Ellen says. She and Rob speculate that perhaps a limb of the tulip tree fell and hit the back of the house, breaking windows and unsettling this part of the house a long time ago. The sash fixes and replacement hardware were about 100 years old.
The original front doors have been stored in the basement since the renovation of 1915, when the double doors were removed in favor of a more "modern" look. Here's how the double doors looked seven years prior, when Malcolm Day Rudd and his family posed for this picture. We mean to restore the doors to their original place of honor. More portraits of the family and the house in its glory can be found here, thanks to the generosity of Malcolm's grandson, Charles Keil.
This door in the tower bedroom was originally found in the breakfast (former laundry) room. Rob added a new surround to enlarge it so that it would fit perfectly in the existing frame.
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.
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.