Walnut Street
Roxbury, MA
This home is a Queen Anne Victorian, restored in 1999. Upon purchase, the home was in deplorable condition because it had been abandoned and boarded up for 7 years. Holes riddled the walls, floors, and ceilings, accompanied by extensive wood rot throughout.
As with any restoration, the greatest challenge is keeping and using what is there and resisting the tempation to rip it out and start new. Having been directly exposed to the elements for 7 years, wood rot, water staining, and buckling floors, walls and ceilings made salvanging anything in this home a trial.
Restoring the house took about 18 months of solid 8-10 hour days. We started first by making the home weather tight again: this required a new roof, replacing damaged siding (which was only 60 percent in place), repointed the foundation, and replacing windows.
All natural woods, fireplaces and mantels were refinished and restored. Completely new hardwood floors were needed in the kitchen, where huge holes had formed that looked into the basement. Water damage over the years led to the necessary restoration of all the horsehair plaster.
The staircase in this home was spectacular. The original 30-inch tall brass lamp that goes on the newel of the staircase was still attached. We refinished it and engraved a shape of a pineapple at the base of it. The stained glass that lights up the entire foyer was replicated from the existing stainglass that is on the front doors of the home.
The building was turned into a legal two-family home and the basement was designed into a 1-bedroom garden-level apartment. We utilized modern technology by using stamped-concrete flooring tied in with ceramic tiles. The original brick support was left exposed and we applied faux-finish to give the apartment a loft feel, open and airy.
This home was featured in the Boston Globe in 1999 as "Home of the Week" in an article entitled "Falling in love with restoration."