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Old House Journal

Old House Journal May 2020

The Original Restoration Magazine for people who are passionate about old houses to repair, rehabilitate, update, and decorate their homes; covering all classic American architectural styles,—from the earliest Colonial-era buildings to grand Victorians of every variety to Arts & Crafts bungalows and mid-century ranches.

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United States
Active Interest Media
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8 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
preservation, one at a time

Every May, with the National Trust leading the way, preservation groups, historical societies, and related businesses celebrate our country’s diverse and unique heritage with National Preservation Month. At a national level, the hoopla is often reserved for civic projects, for Main Street revitalization, for Congressional help with tax relief. Individual homeowners deserve a huge chunk of credit, however: It is the long-term, ongoing, privately financed rescue of millions of houses over many, many decades that preserves buildings, neighborhoods, and towns. Since its first issue in 1973, OHJ’s coverage of DIY conservation and repair, historical design, and period-inspired interiors has fostered a steady but unrelenting praise of old houses—as embodied energy, as a tangible record of the past, and as an opportunity to live with history and maintain the local sense of…

1 min.
side notes

STATE OF MIND Slow to change, breath-taking, Maine attracts and then shapes artists, including Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, the Wyeths, and William Wegman. From this truth comes an intriguing concept for a very satisfying book: to chronicle 26 Maine artists over 200 years by looking at the art and also at the surroundings that produced it—including their homes and studios. The photographer writes: “Because I have often done work as a photographer in historic preservation, going to old houses belonging to artists from the past felt very familiar. I have a system. I go into a house and sit down and wait till the place speaks to me and I hear those voices from the past. I can see what eyes had seen sometimes a hundred years ago, sometimes…

2 min.
20th-century furniture

1. MODERN CLASSIC In 1929, Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona chair for the King and Queen of Spain, the companion stool for their attendants. By Knoll, the stool comes in nine different leathers. In Kilim red, $2,946. Lead time is seven weeks. Design Within Reach, (800) 944-2233, dwr.com 2. CLUB DECOR The Tulip channel-back club chair recalls the comfortable seating found in Twenties and Thirties men’s clubs. Studded with decorative nail-head trim, the chair features sumptuous padded arms, seat, and three-channel back. Made and priced to order. Hancock & Moore, (828) 495-8235, hancockandmore.com 3. MCM EASY Compose a sectional perfectly in scale for a Mid-century Modern house with modular seating from Simplicity Sofas. Units are designed for hard-to-furnish homes with door openings or stairs as narrow as 15 inches. Solid oak construction, $649…

1 min.

1. TWO-TONE & NICKEL The model 1855 all-electric, four-element, smooth-top range in bisque and black is lavished with nickel trim on door frames, front legs, and skirt. Controls are hidden in the upper cabinet. Find a work surface and convection oven, too: $7,795. Elmira Stove Works, (800) 295-8498, elmirastoveworks.com 2. RETRO ICEBOX Ideal for getaway cottages and other petite spaces, the 24" Retro-style refrigerator comes in a dozen colors, and also with motifs from Mickey Mouse to the Union Jack. Very quiet (38 dB), the fridge measures 60 ¼" tall x 30 ¼" deep x 232/3" wide: $1,999 to $2,499. SMEG, (888) 763-4782, smegusa.com 3. PROFESSIONAL RETROFIT No room for a “standard” 36" range? The 30" Professional Series gas range has non-digital (analog) controls, four sealed burners, iron grates, and a convection oven. Stainless steel…

1 min.
the streamline era

GO ONLINE TO VOTE! READERS’ PICK FACEBOOK.COM/OLDHOUSEJOURNAL PITTSFIELD, MA /$739,900 The 1943 limestone exterior is restrained French Provincial, but inside we find a Moderne sensibility, with shallow-arch passageways between formal rooms, and horizontal, five-light French doors. There’s original tile, a limestone fireplace, and hardwood floors. HARTFORD, MI /$249,000 This concrete-block Art Moderne villa was designed in 1936 by Chicago architect Charles P. Rosson. With a dramatic double staircase, the interior retains original trim, a bold tile fireplace, slate and tile floors, three baths with original tile, and a laundry chute. PORTLAND, OR /$1,045,000 Reading Tudor Revival on the skintled-brick and stucco exterior, this 1931 house is full of Art Moderne touches, including deep, sculpted cove mouldings, unusual ogee arches, a bathroom with a tub niche, and a wrought-iron stair railing. MIAMI BEACH, FL 1934 /$825,000 This condo unit is…

3 min.
a case for preservation

For decades, this 850-square-foot house had been a poorly maintained rental property in a National Register neighborhood in Lawrence, Kansas. It had been on the market for an unreasonably long time, despite its coveted location near the historic downtown. When we first toured the house, it was the weak link on a block of distinguished homes. In the mid-20th century, the original porches had been removed and the house covered with asbestos shingles. Inside, holes had been brutally blasted through walls to add services. To make it easier for renters to share the house, a second arm was added to the existing staircase at the landing midway to the upper floor. The historic flooring was covered with carpet and vinyl and the walls with cheap wood paneling. Our house had been deemed…