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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the 1960s and 70s, I lived about a block away from this house. A widow lady lived there for decades, and when she sold it, someone "fixed it all up."

Why do people buy an old house if they're not interested in its unique charm?

I don't get that.

And according to the neighbors, it was remuddled because he didn't want to bother with an EPDM rubber roof.

Ick.

The house was first offered in the 1927 Homebuilders (plan book) catalog. It's in Portsmouth, VA (where I live).


THe house as it appeared in the 1927 Homebuilders Plan Book.



Close-up of the house. Check out those wrought-iron sconces. THis is what the house in Portsmouth looked like *before* it was all fixed up.



Not a good look.


Comparison of the two images.

 

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Ouch! I literally had a physical pain in my heart viewing the "after" shot. Such beauty trampled on......WHO has these ideas? Do they just have no perception? No soul? Only money and no taste?
 

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Outside of Dallas, they would have just flattened it and put a 3000 sqft box on the lot.

An EPDM roof would have looked better and cost less.
 

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Years ago a couple here in town bought a perfect condition 1940's art-deco home. The tile, the cabinets, everything was perfect. It had been lovingly maintained since it was built.

They called me to tear out the bathrooms and kitchen and modernize them. I wouldn't do it, I told them they were trying to destroy a piece of art that couldn't be recreated.

Some people's children...................

The people who butchered that house probably don't understand themselves what attracted them to the house originally. After buying it, they thought they could fix a perceived problem without understanding what that would do to the design.

The brick-like facade and aluminum siding are just as bad as the pitched roof, they destroy the character of the house. Some people look at trees, ignoring their individual function as part of a forest. Other people look at the forest and ignore the individual trees. A good designer understands the need for having the individual trees properly designed and placed to create an esthetically pleasing forest. Unfortunately, there are a lot of designers who are not good.
 

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Indeed, it's a shame that the original design has disappeared, but it would be interesting to know the whole story. Perhaps years of neglect and decay and incremental changes had left the latest owner a choice between the current thing and a neo-Tuscan monster home, and what's there now was the more considered choice. From 3000 miles away, that looks clean and carefully maintained.
The neighbors have their story, but neighbors are often unreliable narrators when it isn't their money on the line.

Edit: Or maybe the owner was a tasteless butcher. It's hard to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I'd go for "tasteless butcher."

I was inside the house about five years before this happened and it was in pretty good shape. It was a solidly built house and never used as a rental property.

It just pains me to see people trash these old houses.

The unique styling of that house is gone forever.

BTW, I did not get a shot of the garage, but it was built to match the house, and it got "gabled up" as well.

Blech.

And check this one out. It's a Sears kit home ("The Alhambra") in DC.



This house was identified through mortgage records. It was so far gone that the old records were the only way to make a positive ID. Kinda like dental records for humans that no longer resemble humans.





Just as a palate cleanse, here's a NICE Alhambra in Gaffney, SC! Nice color, too!

 

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Post #1 what a nice 2 chamber home, That will fit all thru out the south, Az to Fl, Remudled with botox what a shame. Natural beauty lost!.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Rose, Don't know why but I thought you lived in Norfolk near the Botanical Gardens. What part of Portsmouth is this house located? I know I've seen it before.
I do live right next to the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk, and am actually on Lake Whitehurst. :D

I was born and raised in Portsmouth, and lived there for many of my adult years, so I still tend to think of that as "home". I did kinda misspeak in that first post.

BTW, good memory!!!

The Spanish Revival is on High Street, just before the Churchland Bridge. It's on the right side as you head west on High Street.

Here are a couple more. The smaller Sears Homes seem to be subject to the worst abuse. The Sears "Carlin" was for "better class workers" (and was pitched as industrial housing for factory workers and miners).




Pretty ghastly what they did to this Carlin in central Illinois:



This one is in Wood River, IL. Look, it's a log cabin now!!

 

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Project Superintendent
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Rose, still got your signed book, and still looking. I'll find one of those Sears homes around here someday!
 

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First two pictures in the thread reminds me of my home town Tucson, AZ. Many, many homes like that one.
 

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Rose, the Carlin one with no front windows anymore may possibly the the ugliest house I've ever seen now.

Who decides to cover up all the front windows????:eek:

My guess is rich drug dealers, but that is quite disturbing to look at.

Keep posting Rose, your contributions are appreciated.:thumbsup:
 

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I've been working on a home that was built in 1926. The story was the original owner built it. Exterior is a type of large block/brick. The mold for the brick/block was from Sears. Not sure if whole house is Sears kit. It is a large beautiful house on a river. $$$$$

I will try to get pics.(thought I had some)
 
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