Friday, April 14, 2006

Tornado Tales

Let me start off by saying that we're all OK as is the rest of my family in Iowa City, and that our neighborhood had no damage. Other places were not so lucky. As a Friends of Historic Preservation Board Member I set off this morning to document damage. We had three local historic districts suffer significant damage: College Hill, College Street, and Woodlawn. Additionally St. Patrick's church built in 1872 lost its roof, steeple and rosette window from its front facade.

Adding insult to injury, Friends has been working to save an 1880's italianate home from demolition by helping the owner and prospective buyer get together, and worked to help ensure city permits would be attained in a timely matter. There was a public hearing scheduled on this last night and right about the time the meeting ended the tornado took off the porch, roof and a good chunk of the second floor. Now we will work to unhappily salvage from there for other's future use.

Here are photos I took this morning: Other than St. Pat's and the Italianate all the pictures are from a one block area on Iowa Ave.

St. Pat's

Italianate on Clinton St.

Iowa Avenue

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"...And all the Trimmmings!" (Well Almost)

Pete and I have trimmed all the upstairs windows, except for the backband which I need to strip stain and varnish to complete. Here’s what we did:

We started by measuring the stools (the piece that lays horizontally at the bottom of the window and provides the “lip” that the window closes down behind) for the cut outs needed to fit into each window:

After these were fit I stained and varnished them along with all the 1 x4 stock that we would use as trim. When this was all ready we first placed the stool and nailed it in, and then fit the apron below it

Then we fit the trim on the sides and nailed in place, and then we placed the top piece. The final piece was the trim to go between the two windows

After finishing the window in the sitting room we did each of the bedroom windows:

When it warms up I'll get the storms and screens done and put one storm on a window and pull out the double hungs to clean and stain/varnish them. That should take all summer!

Lumber Brand Loyalty

One of things I’m most proud of in our work on second floor is that I’m using salvaged materials wherever possible. When I haven’t been able to get salvaged material for trim I’ve gone to Hawkeye Lumber here in Iowa City which has great wood. The spindles for our stairs are from there. Unfortunately they will be going out of business next month after 90+ years in the same location. When we had to pull some of our subfloor last summer to run plumbing etc. Many of the board were signed by Hawkeye. Therefore I was quite happy happy when stripping boards for our window trim to find another signed by Hawkeye among my salvaged wood:

This piece ended up as the apron for window in the sitting room. An apron is the piece of trim that goes at the bottom of the window. Here is that same board from above

Other pieces of my salvaged trim came from a school in Tipton, Iowa, which is about 30 miles east of Iowa City. Some of those boards are signed too:

This one is harder to read but it says “Fanning Const. Co. Tipton Ia”

I will have to get some 1x6 this week from Hawkeye to finish my baseboard, I plan to have the guys at Hawkeye sign it on the back.