Monday, January 23, 2006

A Quick Before & After

It’s amazing how a project seems to just grind to a halt when it comes time to paint. I also had to wait for wood filler to set, so it seems to be taking even longer to do this door. After I get the second coat of paint on I then have to do the other side. It could be Friday before I get this thing hung.

Here are the before and after pics of the filling job. Obviously it needs a second coat of paint.

Speaking of doors, I found another Eastlake door today – in my attic of all places! I was just about to start painting today when my cat came in the room and was getting in the way and generally making a nuisance of himself. I stamped my food and yelled a few times but that only seemed to encourage him. The next thing you know I’m chasing him upstairs in to the attic.

As you come up the stairs there is a small section of the floor that is over the open stairwell. It is difficult to access because there are no rails around the opening on the attic floor. Four years ago when I cleaned the attic out the only thing that was in that spot, or so I thought, was a pair of 15-light, oak French Doors. They are nice doors and judging from the hardware I would say they are from the 1920s or 30s. Anyway, I never did anything with them and they’ve been in the same spot ever since.

Well, today the cat ran behind the doors and I crawled back there after him and much to my surprise there is a nice Eastlake door behind them, original to the house, no doubt. I probably saw it 4 years ago but just forgot about it. Considering it was put up in the attic I’m willing to bet there is some damage to it, but it can’t be any worse then my other doors.

Another odd thing. Last week I was at a friends house and he had a newly acquired book from 1898. It was a book of interior millwork being offered by a mill outside of Atlanta, GA. As I flipped through it I found some things from my house! I’m like 2500 miles away. On top of that my stuff is made out of redwood, so it was made locally, and not pine like the mill in GA was offering.

I found my Eastlake doors, not too surprising, and my front stairs. The stairs did kind of surprise me. Here is a picture of my front stairs. This is an old picture and that hideous green carpet is gone now. You can click to enlarge.

There should be more to those stairs. Inside each circle there should be a small wooden finial. At the top of the stairs, just out of view, there are a few remaining so I can get duplicates made (its on the list).

I assumed my stairs came out of a pattern book of the time but I don’t think they came out of the 1898 book from GA. So did mills just collect a bunch patterns from other sources and print up books and offer them as their own? I wonder if there were any copyright issues. Obviously, somebody at some time put pen to paper and came up with the design for my stairs. I wonder if there were design houses that came up with designs for millwork and them sold them to different mills? That seems more likely.

This is the 4th instance of my stairs I’ve seen. There is my house, a second house here in Eureka, a house in New Jersey that I saw in Victorian Homes magazine, and now the picture in the 1898 GA millworks book. Very odd.


Anonymous said...

OK Greg, that does it. I was jealous of your cool house before, but those stairs take the cake. Enough already! (grumble, grumble)

Anonymous said...

Greg, your stairs look to be the work of architects Samuel and Joseph Newsom,(at the time) 504 Kearny St, San Francisco. I have been looking through the stuff I have on them and they did alot of drawings to go with houses they designed that look alot like the stuff in your house. I'm not sure but I believe that they designed the Carson Mansion, so that might be a connection to that area.
Kathy from Anacortes

John said...

I seem to remember reading somewhere that copyright violation was rampant in the 19th century. It possible that some of the patterns may have been boot legged.

Greg said...

Needless to say, the stairs were a big selling point when I looked at the house. In fact, I’d say they sealed the deal. Others have speculated that this is a Newsom house. They did do the Carson mansion along with a few other confirmed homes in the city. They had an office here in the 1880s until the early 1890s. I’ve never been able to confirm and architect, though.

Greg said...

And Kathy,

If you have anything that could confirm that this is a Newsom house I would love to see it!