Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Titus House in lights

It still looks fabulous from the outside... inside is slowly coming around.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Golly gee, shucks, shelterrific!

OK, so... Since the heat is abating (slowly I will add) and I am starting to get itching to make more progress on the house and therefore houseblog. When I started up writing the previous post and looked at how many folks may have stopped by and become completely disappointed by the sheer lack of updating!

So, imagine my surprise when I saw that there was this place that had sent over quite a few folks and when I went to see what the link was, I found this.

For one, she mentioned progress... and I still don't see it, but wow, thanks, we sure appreciate that you think our house is adorable (we sure do)! But the site is fabulous... and I sure don't feel worthy but am just delighted for it... so thank you Angela M.!!!! We feel like we won a prize just because of your mention!!!


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ghosts in the attic or the attic window (front)

I am so sorry for not having posted anything... I went on a summer hiatus when kaptain kaos disappeared and left me with stairs I hate, they tilt forwards and taking a baby down them is a nightmare... yeah, not much nice to say... but aside from horrendous heat, nothing much has happened on the house, it is too damn hot to even think about it. However, I am now forced to... A month or so back we had a ferocious storm, which we, in our typical befuddledness, are slooooooowly adressing the damage it cause to house and home... we had a nightmare leak where the addition is, of course not a stitch of water in any of the storms since...
we had five trees down, three we could save... no power for a day and I was sick sick sick through the whole freaking ordeal to boot.
Wait, there is more to the damage report...
the basement - full of water... and this is a desert so there is not any of those drain thingies you see in basements in other parts of the US so I had a mini flood... which was related partly to condensation and partly to one filthy sump pump (think one inch of sludge in the bottom).. plus a clogged tubing to the outside... thankfully that has been taken care of and I just have to mop the rampant condensation that drips off of the central air unit...
But wait, there is more..

the attic - yeah... see the picture, there used to be a four paned window there, but it got knocked out in one of the storms. We got an estimate yesterday on fixing it and the one in the back with lost a frame and we are looking at a $2000 bill... [insert expletive here].

I am not sure what we should do, that is a lot of money for two windows... we are looking for carpenters the seek out other bids but they are often turning us down when they hear the request of attic window on an old house.

It is so bad, I am thinking of taking a carpentry course or 100...

In spite of this headache, I do love the house.

Oh and on the positive side of old house hell, or maybe not... there is a rock band interested in taking a picture of them on our front porch for their new album... though we have granted permission, we have not heard back from them.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Titus House In The Press

What a surprise to see our home on the front page of the Scottsdale Tribune today. It is gratifying to see that the City of Scottsdale is so interested in Historic Preservation that this topic made it to the front page.

Article courtesy of the Scottsdale Tribune:

Local News

DESIGNATED: The Titus House on Hayden Road is on the Scottsdale list of historic buildings.

Paul O'Neill Tribune

Homes not old, just historic
By Shanna Hogan, Tribune

April 29, 2006
Some may describe Scottsdale’s 1950s neighborhoods as old, worn or weathered. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission views them as windows to the past.

Last year, the commission designated its first two historic neighborhoods, Village Grove and Town and Country Scottsdale. This year the commission hopes to do the same for at least two more.

“We’re looking at neighborhoods built in the 1950s,” said Don Meserve, Scottsdale’s preservation planner. “Production homebuilders were just learning their trade in the post-World War II period — some of these 1950s neighborhoods really represent that.”

Scottsdale Estates 4, from Virginia Avenue to Oak Street west of 74th Street, and Sherwood Heights, between 56th and 60th streets north of Oak, are among the neighborhoods under consideration. The ones chosen could receive their designation by the end of the year.

Using historic designation, the city is able to protect and preserve the area’s character.

“It’s really considered a partnership between the city and the residents in these neighborhoods,” Meserve said.

Jesse and Cecile Rosalez are 15-year residents of Village Grove, a 255-house subdivision at the southwest corner of 68th and Oak streets. They said they sought out the neighborhood because of its classic character.

“All the houses are different here,” Cecile Rosalez said. “These are solid, sturdy homes. You feel like they’ll last longer.”

The houses are Californiastyle ranch homes built by Allied Construction in 1957.

The only visible change to the neighborhood since its historic designation is small plaques above street signs. It is nice to be recognized as a unique neighborhood, the couple said.

“These neighborhoods are significant examples of why Scottsdale is around,” said Debbie Abele, Scottsdale historic preservation officer. “The postwar period of growth in Scottsdale was one of its most important periods. It attracted people from all over the United States.”

To be eligible for historic designation, a neighborhood must be about 50 years old. The commission also looks at architectural style, the significance of the buildings’ time period and how the integrity of the neighborhood has endured.

Historic designation gives neighborhoods some protection from demolition and significant alterations. Residents can still make changes such as additions, although preservation guidelines are provided.

To help enforce those guidelines, Scottsdale recently enacted incentives for property owners through a rehabilitation program.

The program allows the commission to match 50 percent of expenses for exterior renovation up to $10,000, if the renovation helps preserve the character of the homes.

“Scottsdale has some excellent examples of the range of building that occurred,” Abele said. “Some of the most innovative builders and developers were working here in Scottsdale that ended up shaping the way neighborhoods were built across America.”
Contact Shanna Hogan by telephone at (480) 970-2339.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Where I continue to regale the world with more photos of hidden stairs under the back addition.

OK, my In-laws have returned home and we can get back to working on the house, if Kaptain KAOS is still around. In an effort to bring myself back among the living at least in houseblog land I am bringing this to the story of casa titus.
This is a picture opposite the stairs leading to the kitchen, they are at the back entrance and next to the stormcellar/servants entrance. Again, you can see the window behind them, or at least the trellis someone stuck there for some reason... I am fond of the bottom step as it is rather pretty.
I still don't know if this would be original to the house, I still have not unpacked the box with the historical data we have which includes some photos from back in the day... I think it was all wood though, which would make sense as this looks plastered.

camera phone 006, originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Warming up..

143 days with out a drop of water here abouts...
not a good thing, wells in the North 40 parts of the state have run dry or are very close... water is a precious commodity and when it rains it is celebrated!
It is chilly, dropped to a low of 38 I heard... that is freaky cold here.

So I was looking to see if I could burn a fire today and our county air quality organization said yes, but added this tid-bit:

Fireplace and/or woodstove use is permitted in a non-restricted burn period, but don't use them if you don't need to. Woodburning produces fine particulate matter that can be harmful to our lungs and also carbon monoxide and other toxins that can harm our health.


Wow, keeping warm will kill you!


Saturday, March 04, 2006

But minty green?

I have run into some evidence of interesting color choices by previous owners... the dark chocolate dining room, the deep burgundy bathrooms, the dark green kitchen... and then I ventured outside and...


While the house was red brick, I believe that this was the color of the eaves... that green color... I think it may have even been the window frame color too... I have found it in some strange places...

interesting color choice.

camera phone 009, originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.

The photo is blurry because the house is tall and I could only get a blurry shot, this my dears is the best of the bunch, so far!


Sunday, February 26, 2006

My pretend root cellar

Under another side of the addition I find things like this...
I imagine it to be a root cellar...
But that may just be my wishes that life were like "life on the farm" as in the Wizard of Oz...

But that is just my imaginings because I am pretty certain it is the service entrance to the basement as I can see stairs that would be directly under the addition from the basement that lead in this direction.

the root cellar?, originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.

In the historical documents we have that relate to the house, it is said that there was a Chinese chef/cook at the house, he cooked outdoors (which must have been really dusty) and would bring the meals to the basement kitchen, most likely through this entrance.

I have a dream of redoing the addition so that the stairs that are there can be incorporated and that would provide us with another entrance to the basement... I am not sure how this could be done, but should we ever win the lottery I am sure there could be a way to do this.

Our addition is at the back of the house, and holds our office area. The laundry room is there and a little porch that looks to our neighbors backyards and some lovely mountains in the distance. This is a time when I am so glad that we have laws limiting the height of buildings here... I can still see things in a distance, the wide expanse of our gorgeous sunsets...

I do have a love hate relationship with this house. I love it so dearly, It is precious and feels right, but fixing it is just not easy and full of delays that are not in my control.

But, now that I think on it, I think this house is teaching me something valuable... let go, enjoy the process.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

secret stairs

I found these stairs while looking through a hole under the addition of our house... these lead up to the original kitchen door to the outside and while they have been there for a while, from before the addition, I don't think they are original...

secret stairs 1, originally uploaded by Blair.

why don't I think they are original?

if you look behind them you will see a window arch (yes the basement has/d drop windows).

Someday I will go down and take pictures of the basement so you can see how big they were, they even opened it seems, but a pool, and the air-conditioner unit and the water heater all have seemed to force them to be closed up over the years.

OH, Kaptain Kaos seems to have been able to salvage a window that looked pretty bad too! Kudos to Kaos.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

The hook

Here are the things that are all around the house that I realized were for holding the porch to the house. They are located at porch foot level and also at porch roof level.
I have no idea if they are original to the house but I thought they were cool.

the house hooks, originally uploaded by Blair Necessities.

I took a bunch of pictures of other things and am working on the tales of them. When I finish unpacking sometime next year (if I am lucky) I will find a copy of what the house looked like way back when it was built.

I have to say that this process is taking a very long time. We are still working on the living room, and I just can't believe it is taking this long. I love this house and I am so glad that it is ours and that I can take care of it. I just wish I had a sense of accomplishment with it, I want to have a living room with out a view of the mud dobbers and bare window panes... but that is just me wanting to see it done and being able to decorate it to its glory!

On a side note, my aunt, the artist, had a fundraising exhibition at her gallery for a local historical society. When they found out that we owned this house they were thrilled. We might get an article in the newspaper about the house. We also found out that it seems that the city restoration grants have a proviso of passing ownership on to the city... sad isn't it... However, the rules may have changed. But if they haven't I sure won't be sending in an application. Does anyone know of other ways we can find grants for this restoration/renovation?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive

Well, Jordana asked, so here are two pictures I asked Chris to take since I get home at dusk or after dark now-a-days.
This is the window, while I still have to get a picture of the hardware It does show just how cool it is to have them.

Here is the pool fence so we are now a kid safe house.

This weekend I will work on geting pictures of the hardware for the sashes and weird little thingies that cause me to think a wrap around porch was an architectural intention when it was built.
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A quick update and questions answered

OK SO here I am resuming back into the world of house blogging and keeping everthing on track as far as where we are at.
But first, I must address some questions that I have left unanswered for far too long...
first one:
Anonymous said...
Love your crown molding. Do you mind telling us what product and technique you used? Thanks.
Well, to be honest Captain Kaos (aka Dave Wilcox) did the painting. We did choose the colors. SO we went with Ralph Lauren paints. The molding is using tehir new metallic line with their itty bitty roller. It is lovely and Kaos deserve some major Kudos for doing it, because, after all, we have 13 foot ceilings.

the do-dad - the one on the fireplace. We still don't know what it is, even after a chimney sweep came. Whatever itis it is obvious that that is not the original mantle so it was most likely part of a heating system.

OK, I did not find any more questions....

So, what did we find out.... I know you are waiting with baited breath

Our sash windows are double sash meaning that the back pane comes down. So why would the house have this you may be wondering... well, it gets a little hot here so it operates on the same idea as a transom window. There is even lovely eastlake hardware for them.

I discovered that the house may have been intended to have wrap around porch. I had seen these little projections above and below the windows and then realized that the same projection do dads were holding up the porch.

We had our pool fence installed and it is gorgeous, we had to make it a bit special because we did not want to attach the fence to the house.

Not sure what else to say...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pre update

We had some exciting finds over the holidays and I plan on spending part of this holiday weekend putting up a post. Forgive my long absence, I just had to break away for the holidays, the house had become overwhelming.