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Age perspective

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Age perspective

Postby macwnj on Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:22 pm

A visitor to my 1951-built home recently commented on how warm and comfortable my "old house" was. I had never thought of it as "old" because most of the houses I've lived in were built around 1900 or earlier. It dawned on me at that moment that all time is relative. I grew up in an Victorian built in 1868, that my parents purchased in 1953. That means it was only 85 years old when they bought it (I think they were only the third owners since the house had been built!). I bought my current home in 2013, making it 62 years old at that time (I am the second owner in this house's existence). I guess there isn't much of an age difference between my parents' purchase and my own after all.
Even though I don't think of it as old, when I replaced the 1970's vintage countertops in the kitchen, I discovered evidence of the original layout and some clues about the original fixtures. I could picture the wide enamel-over-cast-iron sink and drainboard. The same was true in the basement, where there had been a shower head over a spot in the concrete floor equipped with a drain--no enclosure, just faucets and the drain. I think the original bathroom sink and medicine cabinet (with florescent tubes on either side and etching on the mirror) had been relocated to a basement bath built on a platform allowing pipes to be installed underneath--truly a "throne room." The walls are made of sheetrock, but instead of tape and spackling compound there is a skim coat of plaster overall, and there are good hardwood floors throughout. The best characteristic of all is the solid feel of the place. There is no doubt that it was built to last. Because it lacks the specific architectural detail of earlier styles, it is more or less a blank slate. Seems like almost anything goes, color-wise, and my antiques look fine here, as do my more modern pieces as well.
macwnj
 
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Location: Easton, PA

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