Saturday, January 26, 2008

"THE BOX" Revisited

I wrote about "THE BOX" in my very first blog post, and then I don't think I've ever mentioned it again. I usually keep "THE BOX" at my office at work. It's an old cardboard (when I say old I mean 1920's old) box that says "Abraham Chocolates A.G Abraham Co. Moline" (Illinois) Here is "THE BOX"

Here is "THE BOX" in its original context: the upstairs before we started cleaning it out and finishing the space. I took this picture before I knew what "THE BOX" was. It's underneath the Pabst Beer and Campbells Tomato Juice boxes:

While "THE BOX" is interesting and somewhat unusal its what's INSIDE that is important.

"THE BOX" was the respository of all Bess' material regarding the building of Foxcroft. The box contained:

  1. all the correspondence with the architects/builders 20+
  2. The notebook Bess sent the architect with the floor plan and detailed descriptions of every room, electrical, roof, porch, etc.
  3. The builder's contract
  4. all the correspondence with the realtors 10+
  5. A wall sized plat map of the entire development
  6. Source books and catalogs galore:

  • Original 1926 Gordon Van Tine catalog and "Building Material" supplement with doors, millwork, andirons, etc
  • "28 Better Homes" catalog from Portland Cement Co.
  • "Enjoyable Living Rooms" from Kroehler Furniture Co.
  • Kohler of Kohler Enameled Plumbing Ware 1927.
  • Hardware for Utility and Ornamentation, Sargent 1927
  • "Better Homes at a Lower Cost" Standard Homes Co. Washington D.C. 1926
  • "Bungalowcraft American Lumberman's Special Edition" a HARDBACK book of house plans from the Bungalowcraft Co of Los Angeles
  • "Dustman's Book of Plans and Building Construction" Charles C. Thompson Co.
    Chicago copyright 1910. HARDBACK book of house plans
  • Multiple wallpaper books
  • Sargent door hardware catalog
  • Moe Bridges lighting catalog
  • Armstrong flooring catalogs
  • Fireplace catalog

You get the idea:

It was an incredible find, and one that I still pore over!


Jennifer said...

What an incredible find! I would LOVE to pour over material like that about our house... so neat!

I bet it has been indispensable in redoing the house!

Mike said...

Hey Jennifer,

It was an incredible find, but not for help in re-doing, in the typical sense since, so few things were changed! But by reading the contract and the letters between Bess and the builders we can see why the kitchen has "cornel boards" an early version of sheetrock hung instead of plaster and lathe. It's the little things!


Jayne said...

Wow, what a find! And lucky you, being only the second owner of that beautiful house. No SPOs to complain about!

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Ok, I revise what I said. One in a couple thousand.