Old House Restoration Reading for an Almost Winter Evening

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

We often talk about old houses, and the labor of love involved in restoring them on this forum. I came across a few interesting websites and newspaper articles recently, and I thought I would share them.

The first in an article about an old stone house in New York, which was built in 1775. The gentleman who purchased it had been looking for an old stone house to restore, and he fell in love with this one. He is in the process of restoring it, and hopes to do as much of the restoration using “green” construction methods as possible. I’m envious, I would love to have an old stone house. Everytime I see one, and there are quite a few in my area, I slow down and wish on the way by.

I happened upon a home restoration website, and it may be the best personal website concerning an old house restoration I have ever been on. Its pretty amazing, the site shows the history of the house, which was built in 1875, going back to the land purchase. They have managed to find a lady who lived in the home in the 1920’s, and have pictures of the home from back then. The website is full of detailed pictures of the restoration process in each room, including before and after pictures. I will have to say that I was very impressed, it’s a beautiful house, and they are doing a great job of restoring it. New Jersey has a bad reputation, but I have been in many great small towns and villages in New Jersey with many beautiful old houses.

This article is about another old house in New York which belongs to a young family. They felt they had outgrown the 109 year old farmhouse, but they got involved with an architect who has an appreciation of old houses, and their historical significance. He advised them that due to many contractors looking for work right now, they could probably restore and increase the size of their old house for a very reasonable cost. They are going to stay in the old farmhouse, and are getting ready to start on the renovation and addition. I hope they post some pictures of the finished project.

Living on the East Coast most of my life, I sometimes forget that there are historic old houses on the West Coast. A historic preservation organization has a website detailing the restoration of an old house in San Jose, California which they purchased. It was built in the 1880’s, and it’s interesting to compare the difference in style to the old house built about the same time in New Jersey.