Thursday, October 13, 2011

GIANT SIGH


"In the mid 1960s, the city of Westbrook, Maine had listed this house as one of the next houses to be condemned and demolished. My folks bought it for very little money, mostly the back-taxes owed to the city. By the time we moved in, our entire neighborhood were already terrified of the place, adults included. The place was seriously creepy. It had no insulation, broken pipes everywhere, thousands of bats residing in the3rd floor attic, scary bad wiring and it had weathered to a dull slate-gray color and hadn't seen a speck of paint in well over 40 years."

by flickr user SurrendrDorothy
. There's more info.

I would have done anything to have had that experience as a child. I love moldering old houses. I am kind of annoyed by restoration, in fact, though I realize it's often necessary. Things (and people - other story) should show their age. It's what makes them interesting.

The museum I intern with is an 1895 Victorian dollhouse. It is a perfect showpiece, fully restored and staged in high Victorian frilliness. When the city bought it in 1970, it was a dirty disaster of a rooming house filled with drug addicts, hippies and fleas. There are tons of poster sized photos from before the renovation, and I can't get enough of them. I wish the museum would try to get in contact with people who lived there before they all die off. I need some first person accounts. The house is pretty magnificent, but I feel blah about all the glossy grandeur. It looks a little fake.

Victorian Houses tumblr.



My museum in the 30s or 40s. Peeling paint & screened upper porch.

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