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Saturday, August 29, 2015

OLD HOUSE IN SMALL TOWN KENTUCKY



My thoughts often wander back to Kentucky where I lived for six years before moving to Oregon. One category of thoughts was the historic architecture in the rural areas and small towns. Old rural architecture has been one of my strong interests since I was young. The house above resided on the main road of a small town I often rode through. Its exterior appeared to be original to when it was built  -- probably about the late 1800s. I especially liked its gingerbread trim on its front porch along with its old metal roof. 

Before I left I found out some bad news about this old lady of a house. It was going to be torn down -- probably.  I moved before a decision was made. I didn't want to know that this home, full of over a hundred years of cultural ways, would be removed from the town's main street. 

So I moved and never inquired what the decision was. I wanted to remember it like it stood so old and elegant in its worn sort of way.

To me -- change is not always for the best.

25 comments:

  1. I'm sure those details we admire, the fretwork and gingerbread, were standard mill stock for Sears Roebuck; nevertheless, they speak volumes to the pride of design and ownership.

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    1. Joanne -- Yes, the fretwork was probably made by mill hands during the era when they were so readily applied to porches, gables, and other parts of the exterior. Now I have seen such decorative pieces in antiques shops for quite high pieces. thanks -- barbara

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  2. I also have always been drawn to the beautiful gingerbread trim on some old homes...reminding me that craftsmanship was being cherished at the time, and that the owners/builders were people who put the effort forth to have that decoration applied to their homes. If it was just keeping up with the Jones' at the time, by this century we see how so few of these homes have been kept in good repair. Yes, it's sad to see them demolished.

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    1. Barbara -- When I lived in Michigan a friend and I would go old house gazing in small towns. There are some lovely homes still being kept up quite well in the boonies. I really like your home that you feature with flowers around your front porch. I would guess it is a bungalow from the early 1900s. Is it? thanks -- barbara

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  3. I have a very conservative outlook when it comes to architectural change/neighborhood change (not political change). It's a shame to lose such beautiful treasures, built with character. I dread when an older residence goes up for sale in our area, lest some developer buy it to build a million-dollar, eye-sore monstrosity. I 'm happy when I see places that need a little work bought by people who appreciate it and want to make it their home.

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    1. Rose -- I too dislike seeing a historic home go up for sale especially when it is then rezoned for commercial use. Larger cities seem to be prone to razing history homes and replacing them with something that does not fit the culture of the neighborhood. In cities when a block or two of old houses are rezoned as mixed use they eventually end up razing all the old homes for commercial use. Thanks -- nice to hear from you -- barbara

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  4. I hate to see old things disappearing too, though to some extent it's inevitable. I'm also becoming more interested in more recent buildings; it's fascinating to me how a row of identical houses built in, say, the 1950s, evolve over time and become very different from each other, reflecting the taste of their occupants.

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    1. John -- Good point. The 40's and 50's neighborhoods that I am aware of were products of the suburban era of tract housing. All very much alike. Yet, if one menders through some of those neighborhoods today one will see personalized homes very different from their original tract housing feeling. thanks -- barbara

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  5. I think it would be worth saving just for that elegant trim above the porch -- I hope someone was at least sensitive enough to save that part of it.

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    1. June -- Fretwork or gingerbread is very desirable with antique dealers and collectors. I imagine if it were known that the house was doomed for demolition there would be antiquers inquiring about the fretwork. I doubt if it would be part of the scrap heap. thanks -- barbara

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  6. If there is discretionary money a community can hang on to its historic sites. If there is no money things will be torn down.

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    1. Tabor -- Yes, I agree that discretionary money can help save historic sites. But the many historic homes in private hands are open to being rezoned or scraped. "Scraped" meaning when a buyer of the home buys the house for its neighborhood location and after the sale bulldozes the house to build a modern house on the lot. Scraping has become quite common. thanks -- barbara

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  7. I agree. It's shameful to force someone to move, especially if they've lived in the house for a very long time. And lovely old homes should be preserved. New is not always improved.

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    1. Tammy -- Like your words, "new is not always improved." I always love to see old homes that are loved with nice paint colors, a flourishing landscape. maybe an old service building and some old statuary. thanks -- barbara

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  8. Change really is not always for the best. Unfortunate, but people here think that new is better than preserving the old buildings.

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    1. Michelle -- Your home epitomizes what a great value an old farm house is to the land, your family, and your community. Without it your community would be all the poorer. thanks -- barbara

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  9. It looks like it has seen better days, but not beyond restoration. Maybe some people don't care for history

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    1. visualnorway -- I do believe,, like you, that this house still has life in it and could be resurrected to its past glory. thanks -- barbara

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  10. Thank you Barbara for you kind words and for your beautiful photography.

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    1. Carole Anne Carr -- look forward to seeing your new changes. thanks -- barbara

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  11. I, too, hope it was not torn down. You see so many old homesteads that are left to decay and then are eventually torn down or fall down from neglect. I love the trim work on the old houses, they are so beautiful. It would be nice if they would let people go in and save 'parts' of it to be reused. That way it could continue to live on.

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    1. Janet -- It seemed to be an ongoing process of allowing our historic treasures to decay or be torn down. I know that it is expensive to keep an old house in good condition. Perhaps that contributes to the neglect of these lovely old homes.thanks -- barbara

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  12. Exactly...to which we might add "if it ain't broke don't fix it......

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    1. troutbirder -- Oh I like that old saying. Sometimes we don't need to fix it and the house weathers the storm on its own. thanks -- barbara

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  13. We do live in a throw away society...

    Change is a mixed phenomenon. It is inevitable, it is refreshing but also it is terribly sad. It comes in many different forms, doesn't it? I'm sorry to hear of your loss in relation to this lovely house.

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