Author Topic: I thought some here would find this interesting.  (Read 741 times)

Offline The original bad bob

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I thought some here would find this interesting.
« on: August 03, 2021, 01:45:50 PM »
For the last few months I have been working off and on in Tombstone AZ on an adobe structure that was built in 1880 that was once the office and residence of a judge named Grey who lived there during the Earp/Cow boy era.

The owners of the residence want to preserve its historic look and restore what little is left that can be positively identified as original to the structure... I have a little knowledge about Victorian era construction methods and materials and as best as I can determine the front interior of the residence was remodeled sometime in the 1940’s to early 1950’s and was used for some type of retail shop or professional office space... I can tell this because the ceiling and interior walls have drywall/ Sheetrock on them, the interior wood doors in this part of the house are of a more modern machine production type with brass plated box store door knobs... The back of the residence however is original 1880’s ... there is a tall lath and plaster ceiling with cornice moulding, interior adobe walls have original lime plaster on them with 3/16” thick coats of old paint on them and the interior doors have transom windows above them and are of the old style 4 panel hand made with surface mount rim lock door hardware with Bennington brown marble swirl door knobs.. The owner wants to restore the front of the residence to match the back while including modern kitchen appliances and bathroom amenities... I’m hoping during the demo of the front of the house I can find some clue or artifacts that might be of interest to fellow old west enthusiasts.

The neatest part about working there is I can hear the reenactment gun fights going on at the OK corral at least 3x per day.. I will update this thread with additional photos as the project progresses.

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2021, 10:55:19 PM »
My Good Bad Bob

that ought to prove to be a challenging but rewarding endevour!

you wrote
The back of the residence however is original 1880’s ... there is a tall lath and plaster ceiling with cornice moulding, interior adobe walls have original lime plaster on them with 3/16” thick coats of old paint on them and the interior doors have transom windows above them and are of the old style 4 panel hand made with surface mount rim lock door hardware with Bennington brown marble swirl door knobs..

That will help set the style!

I would think that stripping the paint off the doors and hardware would help establish the original look (but might leave some gaps).

If you haven't done it, lathe and plaster can be a learning experience but once you have the hang of it it is really rewarding. One can accomplish great decorative things "pulling" the plaster with a template!

thanks for the photos, looking forward to more!

yhs
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Offline The original bad bob

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2021, 10:02:28 AM »
The work I have started there to date is having a dumpster delivered, and working on the old sash windows that are also original to the house... The old sash windows are unusual in that they were built and installed without window weights... I have heard about these but up until now never worked on them.

The owners want me to save and restore these old windows and I have begun the process of taking them apart, repairing rotted wood and retro fitting the window openings with metal sash tension springs so windows can be opened and closed safely

It occurred to me on the drive out there what a remote frontier town Tombstone was in the 1880’s and the challenge it must have been to get basic building materials to that frontier community because even now there isn’t a hardware store in the entire town LOL

Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2021, 11:12:19 AM »
My house, which was built in the 1920's, did not have window weights, also.

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Offline The original bad bob

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2021, 11:33:42 AM »
My house, which was built in the 1920's, did not have window weights, also.

Slim

Slim, I believe the windows in this tombstone home were fabricated on site by carpenters with hand tools... The problem with these windows not have window weights that I am encountering is that over the years people living there put screws , nails, tension clips and other modifications in the window frames to jimmy rig a way to keep them up for ventilation... currently the place only has gas heat.. no air conditioner

The windows are repairable.. just tedious to have to wood epoxy all the structural issues in them .. re glazing is also “fun” :D

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #5 on: Today at 05:58:41 PM »

Offline Dave T

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2021, 12:16:04 PM »
tobb,

Looking forward to your future installments.  Thanks for posting this.  When I lived in Tucson, Tombstone was one of my favorite places to visit.

Dave

Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 01:43:38 PM »
Slim, I believe the windows in this tombstone home were fabricated on site by carpenters with hand tools... The problem with these windows not have window weights that I am encountering is that over the years people living there put screws , nails, tension clips and other modifications in the window frames to jimmy rig a way to keep them up for ventilation... currently the place only has gas heat.. no air conditioner

The windows are repairable.. just tedious to have to wood epoxy all the structural issues in them .. re glazing is also “fun” :D
I used a stick to hold the windows open before I replaced all of them.

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Offline Story

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2021, 11:00:15 AM »
The owner wants to restore the front of the residence to match the back while including modern kitchen appliances and bathroom amenities... 

Just a tangential notion, but I'll assume this means a refrigerator and microwave. 

Could a college-dorm style 'frig be hidden inside of a gutted period icebox and a microwave likewise something like a breadbox with a side swinging (rather than drop down) door?

The appliance efforts would more closely match your remodeling.

PS - I am not particularly imaginative, and this proves precedence
Then came the refrigerator dilemma. When an icebox company failed to deliver, the Foxes found the Liebherr Company, a German appliance maker than offers an integrated refrigerator of reasonable size. Working from Matthew Roman’s sketches (which took cues from a McCray icebox), Brendon Powell built the wooden case and doors at his shop.
https://www.oldhouseonline.com/kitchens-and-baths-articles/reproduction-kitchen-in-an-old-house/

Offline Story

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2021, 11:06:30 AM »
The work I have started there to date is having a dumpster delivered, and working on the old sash windows that are also original to the house... The old sash windows are unusual in that they were built and installed without window weights... I have heard about these but up until now never worked on them.

Before things become too trampled, you might suggest the owners have someone proficient with metal detecting sweep around in the grass by those doors.

A friend of mine would do detecting in a major urban city's old mill neighborhood that was mostly mid-19th century row homes mixed with small individual houses. He had the best luck near doors, around the base of stairs - figured that the guys coming home after a beer or three would dig around in their pockets for the door key - disgorging the coins and all sorts of other stuff he'd find in the process.

Any finds would make for interesting shadowbox displays, hung near the doors where they were discovered.

Offline The original bad bob

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2021, 05:36:34 PM »
 Story, this property has been vacant for at least 20 years.. it is right in the heart of what they call the historic district ... .. The scope of my work keeps increasing on the inside of the house... The lots are rectangular shaped and the yard is quite long and narrow and no one has maintained the yard for quite a while and there are 3’ tall weeds with the worst thorns I have ever seen in my life on them... it definitely needs to be cleaned up before any metal detecting could be done... the inside of this house can best be described as creepy... as in if ghosts really exist I’m probably going to see one.. last time I was there I was talking apart a window and I swore I saw Wyatt Earp walk by the open window... it turns out I did... it was a reinactor Wyatt Earp though.  :D
I’m certain the real Wyatt walked past this place many times and was probably inside the house based on the judge that lived there.
I’m going to be installing new exterior doors there soon as well as taking a few more windows apart to work on restoring them... I’m a little apprehensive about replacing the doors because the exterior walls are real adobe and that is something I have no experience working with if say the door jambs have issues with no or rotted wood backing... remember, this place was built in 1880 before building codes or inspections etc.. etc.... this structure survived the 1881 and 1882 fires and it will be interesting to see what is behind the drywall drop down ceiling that is in the living room or parlor area of the house

I’m sure there was an outhouse at one time in the yard as well as a standing shed that has some interesting artifacts inside ... I will update this with more photos soon.

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #10 on: Today at 05:58:41 PM »

Offline Story

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Re: I thought some here would find this interesting.
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2021, 06:12:46 PM »
Story, this property has been vacant for at least 20 years.. it is right in the heart of what they call the historic district ... .. The scope of my work keeps increasing on the inside of the house... The lots are rectangular shaped and the yard is quite long and narrow and no one has maintained the yard for quite a while and there are 3’ tall weeds with the worst thorns I have ever seen in my life on them... it definitely needs to be cleaned up before any metal detecting could be done... the inside of this house can best be described as creepy... as in if ghosts really exist I’m probably going to see one.. 

I understand completely and don't mean to add distractions to your plate.

Just consider these notions from the Good Idea Fairy that you can pass along to the owners.

Or not.


 

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