Green Restoration and Gamble House Revisited

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, Green Renovations, In The News, Old House History

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post concerning green restoration, and the compromises I have sometimes had to make when having to decide between my old house’s character, budget concerns, and being green. There have been times I haven’t been able choose an option that seemed to satisfy all three areas. I recently happened upon two very interesting green restoration articles.

Green Restoration of Old Houses

The first article is actually a video from OldHouseWeb’s friend Matt Grocoff at Greenovation.TV. The video is informative, interesting, and entertaining. It explains how purchasing new green products for an old house restoration is not always the best option. A friend of Matt’s is restoring the basement in his old house, and is thinking of replacing the old maple floors with bamboo. He discovers that refinishing the maple floors may be the greener option.

The second article is from a Fayetteville, North Carolina newspaper, and concerns a lady who is starting a business to provide advice and help for people wanting to do a green restoration. Kim Van Borkulo has a degree in environmental design from the University of Massachusetts, and has been working in home and landscape design her entire career. When she decided to restore her 18th century Fayetteville home, she wanted to do it in an environmentally friendly way, but could only find guidelines for the green construction of new buildings. She did her restoration using Energy Star and LEED guidelines for new homes, but is working to help others desiring to do a green restoration of an old house, and she provides many tips in the article.

Gamble House Demolition Postponed, and Perhaps Cancelled

Another blog post I wrote concerned the historic Gamble House in Cincinnati and its possible demolition. The house was built 180 years ago by a member of the Gamble family, of Proctor and Gamble fame. It is now owned by a conservation group that seems to be intent on having the old house torn down. They were trying to force Cincinnati to speed up the normal time it takes to issue a demo order, but a judge stepped in and sided with the city, so the demo order is going through the normal channels, and taking the usual amount of time. That has allowed enough time for the old house to receive landmark status, which should further delay or permanently stay the demo order. As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, I plan on continuing to follow this story about a preservation/conservation group that is intent on having a historic old house torn down.