New Life, Old House

While in Pittsburgh this past weekend, I was able to tour a beautiful old house in one of my favorite neighborhoods and see the process of reinvention.

Sitting on a large lot in a mature neighborhood, the house clearly has good bones but was beginning to look a little tired. The roof is currently covered in flat clay tiles, but during the renovation slate tiles will be used (you can see the roofing work on the left hand wing).

The houses in the neighborhood all are stately but their presence belies their relatively small footprint. They may be mansions but they're not mcmansion size: rather they are human scale.

The brickwork was amazing. A watertable lies under the first floor and the windows have brick casing. This window goes into the beautiful paneled library below.

Who doesn't want a room like this in their house? It's no surprise it is the only room to go through the renovation untouched.

Double doors lead you from the entry hall into the room.

This jib, or hidden, door leads back to the butler's pantry and kitchens.

The old doors found through out the house are beautiful painted wood, raised-panel doors with a very elegant design that I haven't come across very often in my work or studies.

Many old houses don't have the insulation required for modern mechanical units so the walls throughout the house are being built-in (see the 2x4 wall construction mounted on the old plaster walls). I loved finding remnants of original wallpaper throughout the house.

This old iron light fixture was found on the ceiling of the screen porch on the back.

In the screen porch you see all of the elements coming together; beautiful old wooden screen doors, interesting wood windows, beautiful brickwork and terracotta clay tiles. In this age of the tear-down and rebuild, it is refreshing to see someone working with what they have.

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