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Posts Tagged ‘before’

In 1924, the Portland Assessors Department took photos of every residential property in the city. Alongside the photos there were notes taken of many details of the dwellings. I went to City Hall today to look up the record for 58 Turner Street and it revealed some unexpected info and this amazing photograph!

Two Cats in the Yard c. 1924.

Two Cats in the Yard c. 1924.

Equally amazing to us are the giant bay window (long gone, but whose footprint still defines the living room wall) and the huge shed dormer on the roof! Did someone live up there? As to what other interesting details we found:

1. The property had two addresses: one for each front door. The door in the picture with the ornate overhang (to the left) [Ed note: Does anyone know the architectural term for this?] was #58 and the other door (now smack in the middle of the kitchen/dining room) was #60 Turner street. Given that each side had a stairway to the second floor, we are now officially assuming that this was a duplex or apartment house of some kind.

2. When we first saw the house, we knew there must have been a third window upstairs, to the left of Sadie’s two windows. During demo, we found evidence of one, but here it is, clearly pictured (above the #60 door)!

3. The house had shutters! And the guess we made with our window lights (2-over-1) was pretty close! In this picture the house has 2-over-2 glass. (Glad we didn’t go with 6-over-1 or 6-over-6).

4. Again, the theory that we might have a foot or two of land rears its head. If you look at this sketch on the back of the page, you see a tiny strip of land on the side of the house:

See that strip on the right-hand side? Do we or do we not have more land?!

See that strip on the right-hand side? Do we or do we not have more land?!

4. The house was assessed at $1,330, and listed as being in “Fair” condition, even at only 50 years old.

5. The owner in 1924 was Nicholas Peterson (my first name), the census taker’s name was Johnson (my last name) and the date of survey was April 15th (my sister’s birthday). Another owner at one time had the last name of Blaisdell (the street I grew up on in Minneapolis).

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To get you acquainted with our new house, here’s a little video tour. The links below will take you to a separate web page, and from there, the videos take a minute or two to fully load before they start playing. Please be patient, and you’ll be rewarded with the most scintillating footage you’ve seen since you watched that cat playing piano on YouTube.

These are more or less sequential in the order of how you would move through the house.

First, the living room.

Next, the “other room,” formerly a dining room, we think, but one we will probably use as a movie/TV room (if we ever get a TV).

After that, you enter the kitchen.

From there, you can use a tiny little staircase behind the kitchen sink and head upstairs, but because that stairway was filled with large rolled-up and duct-taped pieces of carpet that I was in the process of extracting, the videographer had to thread back through the living room to get upstairs. Here you will see me dressed in my finest. (And most flattering, I might add.)

Our bedroom will be really cool when we add French doors leading out to the deck.

Sadie’s room will be the first one we fully renovate.

In our dreams, the attic will become a music studio, or guest bedroom, or massive play space for Sadie.

And that’s about it! We’d show you the yard, but there isn’t one. Just the Trotts’ backyard. They say good fences make good neighbors, but we don’t even have a fence, or a stone wall, just the back side of the house, and a few Trott tires leaning up against it.

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