Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fireplace Tiles

During the last couple weeks of January, things really started to roll again on the Horner House. I have been working on finding a new contractor for the house and we have found that the delay in our initial plan is changing the overall order in which things need to be completed. First it was a few little things, then a few more, until it has become a waterfall of other things that need to be decided, researched, and done. While trying to juggle all of these details, we hit another bump on the road.

Back in early February, I began battling the same autoimmune issue that knocked me out back in August. It has progressed much more rapidly than last time and I am already feeling much better. We are hoping for me to back to functional by the end of the month. This time it has really only knocked me off schedule by a few weeks, for which we are all very grateful. 

Now for the fun things that have been happening! Eric was finally able to gingerly pick his way over to the fireplace in the front parlor. Between the fallen plaster, holes in the floor, weak floor joists, miscellaneous trash in the room and the lack of light due to the boarded-up front windows, it is a risky area to traverse. But it was worth the trip.

The parlor fireplace still has ceramic tiles on it! And they look nothing like the tiles in the upstairs bedrooms. Eric was able to remove one and bring it home:

Front of the tile
Back of the tile
The letters on the back side of the tile U S E T W may stand for the United Stated Encaustic Tile Works, but we do not know that for sure. The bluish cast is from the flashlight being used to highlight the raised letters.

In each Preservation Brief provided by the DNR there are resources listed. In the Tile brief one of the places listed is the Tile Heritage Foundation. This is a wonderful resource on old tiles. We contacted them and all they have asked of us is a couple of pictures and some basic information, and they will try to determine the age and manufacturer of our tiles! They also know what companies can make reproduction tiles if additional or replacement tiles are needed. Needless to say, we have emailed them these pictures and are waiting impatiently to hear what they have to say!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vintage Irvington

Bill Gulde writes a blog called Vintage Irvington that has a lot of really wonderful content on it. Back on November 24th  he posted a blog called: Film Clip of Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery and the Nearby Horner House c.1933.

This clip has a few seconds of the Horner House shown in the background! We have watched it so many times it’s a good thing it’s in digital form; otherwise it would be worn out already… Here is the link to the Vintage Irvington blog!

And on a personal note, I likely find this even more fascinating because my father was an independent neighborhood grocer when I was  growing up. In fact, my brothers & I worked for him while in high school. We got to know nearly everyone in the neighborhood. Wonder what the folks at Dorn's Grocery would be able to tell us about the folks living in the Horner House...


2/6 Addendum

This is a picture of my father, mother, brother & me in front of daddy's first neighborhood store which was newly opened. This was the summer of 1954 on the near southside of Indy near Shelby & Minnesota Streets. Unfortunately, the building was demolished years ago.