When we moved to the house in 1971 it had a shed kitchen addition on the back and a hipped roof porch on the front. This hipped roof porch lacked a lot to be desired as far as looks and complimenting the architecture of the house.
In addition to the hipped roof style of this porch it had a plain concrete floor, crumbling concrete steps, wood columns on brick pedestals and asphalt shingles. You can see this porch in the old photos below at which time it was still in use. This porch may have been mismatched to the house but it was appreciated and held a lot of great memories for me. We used it for many years as it stood. I remember keeping our bikes and outdoor toys stored on this porch. It was a dry place to hang out and wait out the storms.
The tree to the right of the house in the above right photo is the very maple tree that I posted about in the previous blog entry. It fell in the storms that passed through the valley recently. The link below will take you to this blog post.
It was rumored that a large millstone under the concrete floor of the porch. Those that spoke of it remembered an old millstone used as a front stoop. The gentleman that built the porch could not remember if it was left in place or not.
A good many years ago we did finally remove this porch but have yet to uncover a millstone where it stood. I am not yet sure what I am going to put in its place at the front door here, although I do have some ideas. Below are some photos after the porch was removed and is much how it looks today.
There was not much worth salvaging from this porch. The brick in the columns were nothing special, not real attractive really. These columns and the concrete were broken up and used to fill some sink holes on the farm. My father did however save the old bead board ceiling from this porch. It has been sitting in his barn ever since and was getting somewhat in his way. I decided to put it back to use on the house that it came from and I had the very wall that needed some covering. The kitchen side of the wall that divided the kitchen from the library.
I gathered it all up and treated it all as if it contained lead in the paint. Although I was sure it more than likely contained lead I did perform a lead test on it from a kit I purchased on Amazon. I guess there is always that slight chance it would be lead free and I was hoping for that as I awaited the results. Kind of like a teenager with a grand plan for the future waiting on a pregnancy test and hoping that it is not positive…
It came back positive.
I power washed it all which removed a lot of the old paint and years of grime. I damp sanded it all outside and got it down to the paint that still held strong. It came out real nice and had the look I was hoping for. I used a respiratory mask and had a shop vac set up on my saw as I cut the bead board up for the installation on the wall.
The photos below show the old bead board on the upper wall from the kitchen side. I left the original window in place that you see as the largest opening next to the stone wall. It is roughly the same size as the original upper windows in the stone house that you can also see below.
This wall is framed with 2×6’s that are 24″ on center. I opened up every other one in this wall between the library and the kitchen both to let light in to the library and to look down into the kitchen from the library. This created three two foot wide openings in the wall.
The opening furthest from the stone wall opens onto a “reading loft” that you can see under the stained glass window in the photos above. This reading loft came at the request of my daughter and is the size of a twin bed. The plan is to put a twin sized futon mattress in this loft so one could crawl in and veg out with a good book. The two openings in the center will have sliding windows that can be shut to reduce noise coming up to the library. These windows were found stored in the basement of the house we have in town. Neat old windows and the perfect size.
The photos below are of the same wall taken from the library side.
I plan to go in to more detail about the reading loft in future posts to this blog. I also hope to go back to earlier construction that was going on when I was a young boy and not long after we moved in. Thankfully my parents took a ton of pictures of all this work. I did scan a couple of the house when it still had the old shed kitchen (see below). You can see the newer 1970’s addition behind the shed kitchen in the photo below right. This is also where the new kitchen expansion is now. The photo below left was taken before the 1970’s addition was built.
The black wall above the shed kitchen in the above photo on the right is now the interior wall between the library and new kitchen expansion. Both the windows you see above the shed kitchen roof, one on the 1970’s addition and one on the stone part, are now the interior openings that look down into the new kitchen.
Seeing these old pictures remind me of a story that involves the window in the old shed kitchen, a very large Doberman Pinscher and the UPS delivery guy. Sounds like a future blog entry to me…