Demolition: Why Demo?

As many of you know, I enjoy restoring vintage handbags as Sacs Magnifiques. Many people ask me why I disassemble the bag, straps, hardware etc before starting. I always show them the disgusting “gunk” that I find under the hardware that would otherwise stay there even after the bag is restored. We’ve taken the same philosophy towards this house… make sure nothing disgusting or dangerous has been covered up before we start the restoration process. Why polish a turd (love that saying). 

With that…here’s some things that we’ve discovered that reinforce the importance of not making assumptions that things were done correctly. This house has had many additions, remodels, etc. The historical value of the house lies in both the main original 1890s house as well as the Lott Hospital addition done in the 20’s. The Lott Hospital has sentimental value to many in this area. We are sensitive to that however, we want to make sure that the house is not only liveable, but also safe for our family. There have been so many additions and renovations that have been done that that we are going to have to do major demolition to those areas before proceeding. We want to maintain the feel of the original house and later hospital while also making sure that the house is built to the standards of the rock solid 1890s portion. This house will be in our family for many years and hopefully many generations. We want to make sure that it’s done correctly to last another 100+ years!

These are not pretty and luckily involve a minute percentage of the house as a whole…but sometimes…you gotta share the ugly!

Cut joists and uncapped iron pipes


Mold and floating rooms without support.
This is a VERY heavy cast iron pipe that was cut and left hanging
without support within the floating room seen above. Definitely a safety issue!
The original back wall (load bearing) was simply cut off to build the hospital addition
Another view of the cut wall seen within floor joists of the addition
Cut headers to allow for wiring. This is seen a lot in the addition and
of course there is sagging that has to be corrected.
Mold. This is the original butlers pantry that was later converted to a full bath.
Grand Staircase removed and closet added. Remaining stairs were left in the coat closet.
Not a structural issue. 
Most of the flooring is hardwood covered in asbestos and is
being abated. (the asbestos that is)
Asbestos piping in the addition that will be replaced.
Asbestos siding was added with the Lott addition and will need to be redone.
You can see the original clapboard in the circle.
Coal Shoot. Asbestos siding covering the original clapboard.
Hoops anyone? Watch your knees :) Pillars under the goal and no steps to the door.
Chimney added in the 1900s. Needs work. 
Ice damming where addition meets the original house.
Asbestos sheet vinyl over hardwood…gone!
Nothing screams historically significant like green carpet and paneling!
Add asbestos ceiling tiles to the paneling and green carpet and you have a stunning visual treat!