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Fancy, fancy chimney.

Fancy, fancy chimney.

One thing that continued to surprise and sober us throughout our demolition project was the house’s utter lack of any ornamental construction or trimming. Everything was utilitarian, down to the squared-off shaker trim. With the exception of the several wallpapers we found, the building seems never to have had any whimsical detail added, ever. Our assumption is that it has always been lived in by poor people from the day it was built.

In fact, in the old porch (new dining room), most of the sheathing comprising the exterior of the house (under the siding) appears to be mismatched boards of just about every description: bead-board, painted planks, etc., leading me to believe that the actual building materials may have been scavenged to some degree.

But lo and behold, I did find a little glimpse of character when I went up on the roof today: a single line of brick rims the top of the chimney. Who knows, maybe the brickwork isn’t ornamental but also utilitarian. The ridge for the chimney sweep to cling to with his toes?

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