Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gotta work on the kitchen

Now, we liked the existing kitchen. Although, as you can see by the photos, there was damage to the structure. At some point in it's life, there was water infiltration into the kitchen area, so rot and mold took over:
If we didn't have to live in the house, maybe we would have been able to fix and recover this kitchen, but knowing that mold was literally just around the corner, we decided to take the structure apart and install a new kitchen. When we later removed the "hardwood" vinyl strips, we found out the kitchen was not completely original to the house and had been modified; the nail holes in the concrete for support of the original structure had been filled and covered with the vinyl flooring.

Adding to that decision was the fact that a tall dividing structure enclosed the kitchen area from the space around the front of the house - the front living and dining "rooms". We figured this transition should flow better to allow use of the kitchen while in contact with guests:The picture above shows two of the 3 different existing flooring types: parquet, carpet and "hardwood" vinyl.

First steps...

To bring a lot more light into the house, we started by removing the layers upon layers of window film that previous owners had installed in the front and side windows:
Beautiful ceiling fan, wasn't it?.... the accumulated dust actually is visible in the picture. Aaaaaanyway, armed with razors and a lot of patience, we removed the multiple sheets of film from the windows:

The state...

When we walked through the door, we were amazed of how neglected the home had been. Below are some pictures to give an idea how much:I can honestly say that the rickety cast iron fence dividing the pool area from the front yard was the first to go... believe me, it was a pleasure!Notice the multiple layers of film in windows, stained carpet, ceiling fans instead of the original pendant globes, dirty walls, dirty windows, dirty everything...

Monday, January 1, 2007

Discovering the rich MCM craftsman heritage in Fresno

Below is detailed picture of the John Bennett adobe sculpture mounted on the house facade. Apparently Bennett, a student of Stan Bitters (a very accomplished local ceramic artist) at the Hans Sumpf Company, lived in this house for some time.

By the way, here's a great Flickr photoset of Stan Bitters work for Duncan Ceramics.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A first look at the recovery project...

After months of driving around and searching for a home to buy, a soaring roof-line caught my eye. This 1958 custom home, one of several built in small pockets of 3-4 found in different areas of Fresno, is located in a 50-yr old suburban neighborhood near Fresno State University
According to reports from neighbors, these homes (mostly dating from 1957-59) were built by Jerry Freeman. I suspect that based on some details used in their construction that these were designed by Fresno Architect Robert W. Stevens.