Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Attic

As a child in the 60’s, I had the opportunity to help a neighbor clean out her attic. It held 40 to 50 years worth of odds & ends, including old crumbling newspapers. We were fascinated with everything we found even though there was nothing of real value. Ever since, one of my fantasies is to buy an old house with an attic stuffed full of interesting old bits and pieces. I can envision the hours of fun sorting through the hodge-podge of items looking for interesting pictures and tidbits. The first 2 floors of Toad Hall held the promise that it could be the attic of my dreams.

I was really excited the day that Amanda & Eric met with Bob to explore the condition of the attic. Amanda had explicit instructions to call me as soon as they knew what was up there. After her call, I must admit to being a bit disappointed at what they found but at least the condition in the attic was much better than expected.

The attic is entered using a ladder to climb through an access hole ceiling of the 2nd floor hallway. The attic held a number of surprises. The first being damage from an old fire that was very evident. We had read about a fire in the 1932 Indianapolis Star article but hadn’t seen any evidence of it on the other 2 floors.

Charring is evident on the front wall and the beams. At the top left you can see the area where the char has been removed.

The attic is mostly one large room with some added bracing for the roof. It has never had any finishing work done to add living space up there. There wasn’t really much in the way of “finds” in the attic as shown in the picture below.

Note the ladder to the left protruding up through the access door.

The roof beams are approximately 7 ½ feet high, giving lots of room for finishing in the future. Bob is approximately 6 feet tall. In the picture below, at first glance it appears that Bob is barely clearing the beams. This is an optical illusion; there is plenty of head room up there. Sitting just in front of Bob is our one true treasure found in the attic. It is a fully intact corbel from the exterior of the house. There are several of them up there and we believe these are the originals.

Corbel just off of Bob’s foot.

There is also a somewhat separate tower room as seen in the picture below.

And looking upward in the tower room, you can see where the 4th floor was located prior to its removal.

So although there wasn’t a treasure trove hidden away in the attic, it’s in fairly good shape. The roof is only leaking in a couple of places. And it isn’t filled with bats or rodents which, come to think of it, is rather surprising, given the condition of the rest of the house.

Oh, well. I guess I can always hope to find some amazing, salvageable items in the West Wing when we start digging out the cellar. Now to sort out all the items in the first 2 floors….

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