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Showing posts from February, 2010

A visit from the experts

Today, we had a visit from one of the leading experts in Dutch vernacular architecture, John R. Stevens author of Dutch Vernacular Architecture in North America 1640-1830 . It was a fascinating voyage of discovery and new mysteries. Mr Stevens confirmed that the house had two jambless fireplaces, one in the kitchen and one in the dining room. In 1740 there were two doors at the back if the house that have since been blocked up (one in the library and one in the dining room, now a window). This original structure would have been divided into two equally sized rooms, with a jambless fireplace in the current dining room. The stairs in this structure would have been between the two doors, an enclosed staircase where the downstairs powder room is planned. In 1765 the new kitchen was added, building another jambless fireplace on the North wall. Since the new kitchen had a jambless fireplace built in it, Mr Stevens believes this was built between 1750 and 1765 ( pre -revo

Up and Down

Sorry for the lack of posts. We have not been up to the house for three weeks. I spent a week over in Long Beach, CA at the TED conference . I met a couple of people there who were interested in stone houses. I got a lot of good advice about potential power sources from ClearEdge Power and some great advice from Catherine Mohn on how geeks build green. The asbestos is gone, as are practically all the walls. We removed the modern hearth that looked like 'crazy paving'. We want to make a simpler, more traditional hearth. This hearth was tragically cut into the wide plank floors in the living room which will require some patching. From the basement you can now look up into the living room (pic above). We have had the structural engineer round to tell us where to put the structural supports in the basement. At the moment there are only temporary "lolly columns" holding the beams up. The plan for the basement is as follows: Probe to find how low the wall f