Help Adding Back Character to Modest Queen Anne Farmhouse Hy

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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Help Adding Back Character to Modest Queen Anne Farmhouse Hy

Postby congay on Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:40 am

Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster (I feel like I’m on talk radio).
I recently purchased a 1905 Victorian mutt and I'm trying to determine how to add back some of its original character. The property has changed owners countless times and was converted into a two family at some point. I have no idea where to start or how to honor the home in improvements that don't further bastardize whatever this home originally was. I’ve purchased every Victorian home book available and am pouring through the details but without a set direction or style to honor, I’m not sure where to start. I’m living in the 2nd unit (2nd floor) with the intention of converting it back to a single family. I also inherited a 3rd floor construction project the previous owner was in the middle of doing when he unexpectedly passed away. I probably won't touch the third floor for awhile until I get a good sense of what I want to do with it.
I pulled back the vinyl siding on the second floor porch and found painted octagon butt shingles. Most rooms (that aren't covered with asbestos vinyl tile) have narrow oak planks with modest interlocking border except one hallway with wide plank flooring, and one room in the first unit has parquet floors.
It's located in an oceanside town north of Boston with many Queen Anne victorians and victorian farmhouses surrounding it. The two-story porch and “tower” are throwing me off (and why is the pitch roof cutting into the tower?) a bit as I've never seen another in the neighborhood to have symmetrical front and back porches w/ a random tower.
Any guidance or best guess would be helpful.
Thanks in advance! I should buy everyone on this forum dinner. I've learned so much.
Attached are some exterior photos but here's a flickr album of all the internal madness. I included the mostly accurate blueprints because the pictures aren't really in an order.
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