Sunday, December 16, 2012

Benches and Bedrooms

In the front room of the Cheney Cottage, there had originally been three built-in benches.  One bench survived - the one at the bottom of the stairs, tucked into the space between the stairwell and the half-walls into the living room.  Our assumption is that, when the University turned the house from a residence to office space, they removed the other two benches in order to create more floor space.

But the benches were an important feature of the house, in addition to all the redwood trim and paneling that we have stripped.  The largest bench, in the front window, filled the space underneath the 5 casement windows.  All that was left were the end pieces, still mounted on the wall, painted white.  The other was tucked in the space under the stairs.

All that remained of the bench under the windows (with lots of conduit)

Tom Pedemonte has been working his magic at the Cheney Cottage, and he has almost completed work on the two benches.   The new benches are beautiful, and look like they have always been there.

The same view, paint stripped, bench rebuilt

Lots of storage under the new bench seat

The little bench under the stairs

Upstairs, lots of work has been happening, and the three bedrooms are pretty much finished. We still have ti install the radiators, but the painting, carpeting, and curtains are all done.

The rooms were not in such bad shape when we got the house.

The bedroom over the dining room, before the move

But the process of cutting and moving the house, not to mention sitting out in the field for a year, took its toll.  All the floors were badly damaged, the plaster was really a mess.  We had to pull most of the trim off the walls in order to move the second floor.   The place was a wreck:

The same view, getting ready to cut the second floor free of the first

Now we have finished the three bedrooms.  The plaster has been repaired, the floors carpeted, and wiring redone. We also removed the institutional knobs that had been installed, and went back to knobs and escutcheons that are more in keeping with the house.  We even removed the paint from all the brass hinges, making the doors swing much more easily.  So the much abused bedroom has come back and now looks like a bedroom once again:

The same view, today

The other side of the same room

The bedroom over the kitchen

It's going to be a busy couple weeks, but we still hope to finish everything by January 1st.  Then we can turn our full attention to the Delaney House.

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