Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Old Kentucky Home

For the first time since opening our company Eric and I made arrangements to take Memorial Weekend off. This time of year we are very busy and try to complete as much work as possible. This year we chose to put family first.

Most of Eric’s extended family lives in Ashland, Kentucky. We travel down there several times a year to spend the holidays and other important events with them. Every year, in the Spring, several members of the family get together and head over to West Virginia to tend the cemeteries and put new flowers on the graves. This year we went to help. While there was a lot of work involved it was also a lot fun to learn about the family history and go to the old cemeteries. We even went to the Hatfield cemetery to take care of two graves there.

When the weather and time permit (not all that often) we will take some sort of detour on our way home. Look at houses, drive a more scenic route, stop at a couple of antique stores, or even just stop to eat a quite meal together. That Sunday Eric decided to detour through a town that is reported to have some spectacular older homes. And did it ever. Unfortunately, many of them were in at least some disrepair. One home in particular caught our attention.

This house is on a regular street in an old town. It’s not especially visible from the road due to the trees in the front yard. Eric was driving and we decided to go back and stop so that we could walk by it on the sidewalk and get a better view. As we stood looking at the house, we noticed many similarities to the Horner House. While there were no boarded windows, it is obviously not being lived in and needs a significant amount of work. The grass is being cut, but that looks like all about the only recent maintenance.

We took a few pictures while we were there and looked in a couple of the windows. It looks like someone just up and left one day, at least a decade or more ago. I got excited thinking that maybe the current owner would be willing to part with a few of the items in the house. Not the things that make it a great house, like fireplace mantels and hardware, but maybe a few of the pieces of furniture.

Unfortunately, when we returned home and began to look into the ownership of the home, it became apparent that this is not very likely. The home is owned by a family that is very prominent in that town. I know that everyone is struggling right now and most people would consider it a “waste” of money to put it into refurbishing a mansion, but to me it’s very sad that they are letting such a beauty molder away.

Here are a few pictures that show some of the current decay:

 This picture shows the side door to the house. There is a transom above the door that is blocked up. The screen door no longer shuts properly and stands open as a testament to the neglect of the property.

 This picture was taken though a window. As you can see there is either a problem with leaking or moisture as the plaster is cracking and the paint is peeling.

 This picture is a bit dark, but it reminds me greatly of the Horner House. Just as with our aging beauty the front corner where two different elevations come together is one of the first places the gutters begin to leak. Then the moss grows on the brick and the mortar gets damaged. On this home it has already been repointed some time ago and is in need of it again.

 This is a close up (as best as my phone camera could do) of the roof. You can see where they have repaired with shingles. I am not sure what the center section is, and the rest of the roof is slate.

 This last photo shows a damaged section of the box gutter and part of a third story window. There are two pigeons sitting on the gutter. What can't be seen from this photo is that these pigeons are currently living in the house. They were flying in and out through the opening in the gutter. The attic of this place must be a real mess.

It always breaks my heart to see an old house neglected. This three story beauty is seriously in need of love and attention. I hope that its current owners find it in their hearts to get it some help soon.

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