Vanquishing the Vile Vinyl Veneer

Winter, as many know here in upstate New York know, quickly accelerates into Summer, and so, our plans for uncovering the original siding from beneath its plastic exterior briskly came to reality. As I may or may not have mentioned Kit and I are members of the Young Urban Preservationists who are a group of 20 to early 40 somethings who celebrate our region’s rich history through a diverse offering of events which we plan and execute ourselves. One of our fellow YUP’s and cofounder of the group itself, Caitlin Meives who works at the Landmark Society, finally got her way and convinced me to make an event out of tearing off the vinyl siding.

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Winter Weather Work

This past February while warm and balmy elsewhere in the country, was the coldest on record for Rochester. In addition to this we were denied our typical mid-season thaw, so I did not see my grass from early January until only a week ago. However, being relegated to inside did not keep us from working on the house (there are always things to do).

The ongoing saga of stripping the kitchen cabinetry continues with one pair of upper cabinet doors left to be done. We finally settled on restoring the cabinetry to a painted finish with a stained oak counter, however the original paint color of “canary yellow” will not be used. We have also been having an ongoing debate Continue reading

History Part 1 – In the Beginning

For centuries the eastern lands of the verdant Genesee River valley were home to the Seneca people. A member of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Seneca’s were noted for their fierceness and bravery during battle as well as being accomplished farmers. Several small villages were located through out the territory including some at the river’s edge. The Casconchiagon “River of Many Falls” provided rich lands on which to farm as well as powerful scenery. The Senecas traded with the few intrepid Europeans who had ventured inland from the coasts during the 17th and early 18th centuries…some of whom ventured into the valley of Casconchiagon. Soon after Captain M. Pouchot of the French Army at Fort Niagara briefly visited the valley in 1759, a lithograph print was published in 1766 of the “Great Little Seneca Falls” (now the High Falls of the Genesee River) by Thomas Davies a British Army Officer and surveyor.

"A View of the Casconchiagon or Great Seneca Falls" by Thomas Davies - via Wikimedia Commons

“A View of the Casconchiagon or Great Seneca Falls” by Thomas Davies – via Wikimedia Commons

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The Year in Recap

Now that the Holidays have subsided I have had some time to sit, reflect, and compose some words to update you all on what has been happening and to review how far we’ve come.

It has been one year since I first saw my special little house in person…January 12, 2014 to be exact. It actually took Rome and I a few weeks to get the showing arranged, as the seller had delisted the house after it struggled to sell, but after several phone calls and rescheduled meetings, we got in. Looking back at some records, I had actually begun researching the house’s history right around New Years, so I guess I have known her for little over a year now.

After months of various set backs on both the seller’s and my side, I closed with keys in hand on May 9, 2014. The summer and fall were a blur of activity with painting walls and ceilings in the majority of the rooms (still have the master bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen left), landscaping, freaking out over and then repairing water damage, refinishing the hardwood floors, dumpster diving (picking up off the curb) for furniture, rewiring and cleaning light fixtures, and then moving in. Throughout all this activity I started to get to know my neighbors much better Continue reading