So we’ve “saved” the building, so it won’t fall down around our ears and in 1998, had no idea what the heck we were going to do with the upstairs part. We thought about making it a professional offices space, sort of like the one on the old Bob Newhart show.
But one night, we couldn’t sleep and were sitting on our front porch and talking about the almost acre of yard we take care of and the $30K paint job that the house we live in (an 1888 Victorian) would need oh, probably every 7 years, plus all of the major upkeep an old, huge and wooden house needs….and we both decided, “Wow! Let’s live in the hotel!”
Like most of our really good ideas, it is REALLY expensive. In fact, if we had realized HOW expensive it was going to be, we would have…oh, I don’t know. Had six more kids.
The hotel originally had (I think) 15 rooms. It had always been a hotel, so it had been zoned residential.
The city tried to slap a school tax on us, too…but it had been zoned for FIFTEEN families for 150 years and we were turning it into a single family dweeling, so THAt saved us $18K.
All we had to do was move some walls to turn it into a three bedroom/2 bath apartment, with the lobby serving as the formal living room (for our really nice antiques). One of the hotel rooms is our dining room, with room for a BIG table and crystal and china hutches and then two rooms were turned into a library.
Let me show you:
Wow, huh? 14 feet tall and 18 feet wide. On just two walls; one wall is all windows and the other wall has a fireplace, as yet, not quite planned. It has the firebox and a hearth but we have no real idea what it REALLY is going to look like.
Most of this project is that way, since we sort of have to rely on finding something someone else is throwing out. Like the lower cabinets of those bookcases? A tear out from a hardware store.
That gorgeous floor (and it will get it’s totally own post, because it really is fabuloso)…a tear down.
It was in a 150 year old school and it was going to be too expensive to rebuild it to code, so we tore it down for salvage
We saved the flooring, the slate chalk boards, the molding, the windows and doors and dragged it upstairs. When we sold the original Mexican clay roof tiles, it paid for all of our demolition costs.
Mike planed the floor boards and set it into quilt patterns because, God knows, the wood itself was so beautiful that we just couldn’t let it be installed in straight lines. There is the Courthouse Steps in the kitchen, Flying Geese in the front hallway and Journey into Egypt in the dining room. No stain, this beautiful color is just the satin polyurethane. And it is so beautiful that I think we are going to leave our shoes in the elevator. (Yes! It has an elevator!! And an elevator anteroom!! OH, I am a bigshot).