Another Question – That dratted hangey thing

Posted by on Dec 8, 2011 in Foyer/Halls, History | 14 comments

There’s been a certain decorative element that has bothered me since we bought the house. However, as I mentioned before, I might be the only one who harbors such a pointed sentiment of dislike. Others have agreed that it doesn’t really seem to fit the house but some people like it.
It’s the strange moroccan/’70’s semi-bead curtain that hangs in the doorway from the foyer into the little mailroom/anteroom and into the second parlor. It obstructs the view of the gorgeous little light fixture in that small central anteroom and basically I think looks like crap.

Foyer - Hanging Piece "Before"

Last night when we were tentatively pulling and prodding the wainscoting we got up on a ladder and took the damn thing off – it was just a few screws:

Taking it down

Here it is with it off:

Then we noticed something:

Yes, that says Patent Sep 15, 1885. Shit.
Could this much maligned piece of carved wood with odd beads hanging a bit too low for tall people actually be original to the house? Was that archway made for it, were they cast together? Did Moise add a dash of exoticism to his designs when he built the house?

We are now faced with another dilemma speaking to the root of the question: What do we owe the house and its historic nature? Do we own this house and everything in it? Or do we allow ourselves to be cast as custodians for a home created by Moise Waldhorn 120 years ago and perhaps merely caretaking it for our children or the next owner?

But if we go down that path, it’s a slippery slope until we start putting period wallpaper on the ceiling and doilies over our water jugs and we are suddenly living in someone’s grandmother’s house.

On the flipside, I feel we do owe the house at least some thought before we change things that are original, because most of those changes cannot be undone. We won’t be painting the detailed wood mantles white. They’ve survived this long without being painted and that’s rare. We don’t want to be cast as the assholes who come in and do X when it’s gone 120 years without X.

So do we put this thing back up because it’s original? Or do we take it down and ask the plasterers to fill in the notch that it sat in? We need to decide (like the wainscoting) rather quickly since the plasterers will be starting any day now. Or do we put just the top arch back up and leave the stupid dangly things off?

Either way, I don’t think I want the dangly things back, even if they are original…Despite his exquisite taste in most things, it’s very possible that Moise and I simply differ on some aspects of design.

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Upstairs Bathroom – Before

Posted by on Dec 7, 2011 in Before Pictures, Foyer/Halls | Comments Off on Upstairs Bathroom – Before

Hall Bath "Before

Half bath fixtures "Before"

This is the only room that doesn’t need any paint for some reason. It’s also the only room that is decorated with a gothic themed mirror and crazy hands coming out of the wall holding sconces. Most recently we have been entertaining the possibility of installing a fireman’s pole from the rather large closet down into the bar below. Not really but it would be so cool.

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Back stairs – Before

Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 in Before Pictures, Foyer/Halls | Comments Off on Back stairs – Before

Back Stairs "Before"

Not too much to do back here … yet. But carrying a queen mattress up these stairs was nearly the end of me.

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Foyer – Before

Posted by on Dec 3, 2011 in Before Pictures, Foyer/Halls | Comments Off on Foyer – Before

Foyer - Stairs "Before"

Foyer’s “Before” – This is still my favorite room of the house

Foyer View Down - "Before"








Foyer’s view looking down to the door – We need to fix the hundred year old lock on this door which is turning out to be more complex than you might think.

Foyer Mantle - "Before"







Foyer’s mantle – We started referring to the beautiful hand-painted tile work on this mantle that depicts two women picnicking (I think) as “The sad ladies”. I think they are sad because they’re tired of listening to us argue about what color to paint the foyer.

Foyer stairs - "Before"





Another gorgeous view of the stairs with the fantastic statue light.

Foyer - Hanging Piece "Before"









I’m not sure what this and while it’s an interesting piece I don’t feel it goes with the house. Though from the increasing number of guest surveys I may be the only one who feels this way… regardless, I am determined this not be in the “After” picture.

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