I’m anxious to be able to post pictures here, but until the router is fixed it’ll be text only. Hopefully no one minds a little suspense.
We got to introduce the house to a contractor for the first time. The owner of a local masonry company came by with one of his employees. It went quite well. They are preparing a bid for us, and hopefully we’ll be as impressed with it as they were with the house.
The employee who tagged along with his boss was obviously captivated by the house. He walked around the house in silence for a few minutes and then told us it would be an honor and a true pleasure to be able to work on a building like this. And about 20 minutes later he asked if we would consider selling it! Um, sorry! Charles finds it quite hilarious that the property is not even in our name and we’ve already had two offers from people to buy it!
One of the more interesting parts for me came when I noticed the contractor busily studying the house’s front porch. This porch is obviously not original, appearing to me like a 1930’s or 1940’s replacement of an earlier porch. This contractor was staring at the porch floor so I asked him if there was a problem there. "No," he said, "this is just really amazing." Charles and I hadn’t noticed before, but the entire porch floor is one solid slab of sandstone. The contractor said solid pieces of sandstone that large are extremely rare. He said it has to be very early, and that if we were willing to part with it we could get quite a bit of money for it. I assured him it would be staying exactly where it is!
Beyond the obvious this is also interesting because it tells me that the original porch was built on the same footprint as the current porch. You can see on the front of the house that the earlier porch roof joined the house horizontally about a foot higher than the peak of the current porch roof. It is not a very large porch, so these two facts put together with some Greek Revival or Federalist details should give a pretty accurate idea what the original porch looked like. Rebuilding the porch is not on our list of things to do any time soon, but we’ll tuck these little grains of knowledge away for the someday file.