Thursday, December 30, 2010

The First Surprises

Quick post today...
It's been a busy week! Good thing we're off work because Big Orange has been a full-time job in itself lately.

If you haven't seen it already, here's the full walking tour and a good way to wrap your mind around this project:
In other news, (bad) first: 1) we had a less than favorable chimney inspection yesterday, if "caving in" should be taken as bad news. We're not convinced it's as bad as their first report though, and will be looking for alternatives other than a complete tear-down and rebuild (from the rooftop, not the whole thing). In the GOOD NEWS category though, we found the perfect kitchen island to help bring this room together. Huge shout out to Habitat Restore!

Also, talked briefly with a previous owner and learned a few things about the house. It was built in 1890 by a former mayor of Muncie, whose wife was from the prominent Ball family. Evidently at one point it was full of Tiffany glass fixtures and stained glass windows, which were all removed at one point. Hoping to get some original documents and photos from this former owner though!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Another "Before" picture

Merry Christmas, everyone!
I hadn't planned to post again until we're back at the house next Tuesday -- to start taking a series of "Good, Bad and Ugly" pics and videos. But, I came across this on the web and just had to post for everyone...

This photo is from the Anderson Downtown Neighbors Association web site which had the following to say about 824 W. 8th St. in 2005 ...
"This grand home is a sad story of restoration gone wrong. Empty for several years after a partial restoration, the home is for sale. It is a great property worthy of saving."
Just another glance at what we're getting into!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Beginning

Well, now we've gone and done it. Earlier this week, we closed on "Big Orange" ... "Orange Crush" ... "Orangehaus" ... Whatever you want to call it, it's pumpkin-colored and it's massive. And, it's about 120 years old.

For most of the 13 years of our marriage so far, this has been Marlo's dream: to be part of history by owning an old house. One that we can pour our family's love and effort into, and to be a place of Community. I've been the one who has resisted and put up roadblocks. Worried about the looming projects, the endless to-do lists, the need for another whole emergency budget just for home repairs.

But somehow, you know what?... two days into this "project," now I'm excited too. (I would say don't tell Marlo but I think she's already figured it out.)
Lots of pictures and video to come throughout this lifelong journey, but to start with here is a BEFORE and NOW exterior pic: