Thursday, 13 December 2007
House i did up once:
Good God, Chicago - If you leave me now.
Dont go fishing on Youtube or it could happen to you.
Let it be a lesson to you all.
Its the house immediately to the right of the house in the centre of the picture with the reddish coloured flat roof.It was a cafe on the ground floor with 2 floors above.It was built in 1834 and was a third or fourth rate townhouse built as part of the brunswick square development nextdoor.Later on it was turned into a shop premises with various inhabitant trading from there like a Watchmaker and Tailor amongst others.It was a disaster area and virtually uninhabitable.I did this project with a friend.We removed the shopfront and reinstated the ground floor elevation to how it looked when it was built and also excavated the front basement well to create a small outside area with steps leading down to the front door to the basement.I did a clever thing with the front steps by doing them in what is known as a kitewind as a space saving idea.Also there was a problem with planning because building control insisted that we should insert a steel beam below an already existing wooden supporting beam that was a foot square and in perfectly sound condition.So i thought this was wrong and to insert a steel beam would throw out the proportions of the ground floor window.We won out in the end and didnt insert a steel beam.A lot of the outside work to the front facade was done by the truly wonderful Neil England of Englands Ornamental Plastering Ltd plasterer extaordinaire.Apparently the council use this house as reference and an example as to how to turn a commercial premises back into residential use as a single dwelling and not flats.
I tried to buy the house next door with my dad.Thats the house in the centre with the flat roof.It was a newsagents called the Toffee Tin for years and a guy who was an absolute pain ran it.I didnt have much tme for him as he was a bit anally retentive in the social sense of it in that way that only the english know how to do.Sort of uptight and a bit awkward as if they find social interaction painful or difficult.He was always complaining about the banging.I tried to keep it to a minimum and only during working hours.I cant do work without banging.He would call round and bang on the door but sometimes i would just ignore him.his mum was this really unpleasent Mary whitehouse type.Almost identical.One of those Lower Middle types who are desperate to climb the social ladder so they are all snotty and prim and proper with affectations in their speech and mannerisms that try to mimic someone who is upper class yet somehow they get it all wrong.
Anyway he did a runner from the shop leaving large debts behind so it closed down.Then it sat empty deteriorating for a year and a half then the owner of the premises died.The house was in probate so an offer for the house was made to the owner.We came *that* close to buying it when someone else in their family started to a dispute about who got what from the owners estate so the house was stuck in a legal dispute for 3 years and couldnt be sold.All the while it was deteriorating and sitting empty.There was an outbreak of Dry Rot that was a problem to us.Also a problem with damp as well.I used to climb over the wall and go inside the house and look around as there was an open window.It had an extra floor that was added later on and a fantastic view of the sea from the flat roof.
Anyway it was eventually sold when the house prices had started to go through the roof and it sold for 315,000.We wouldnt pay that much so didnt bother.It was only worth half of that at the most as it was in an absolute shit state and in far worse condition than next door.Also the house was at the point of collapse when it sold as the rear wall of the house was at the point of collapse caused by an overflow pipe that leaked water constantly .
Then the Meg and Paris moved in ............Jesus......
There was just something weird about them.The odd couple.He was a Jewish Lawyer who was definately a bit crooked.He was was actually an ex lawyer who had obviously been up to no good and banned from the profession and i think he did a runner form the states to escape something.
Bored with talking about them so this ends.
We were fed up with car drivers using the road as a rat run to turn off the seafront and speeding up the road at 100mph that we talked to the council about this problem and they actually listened and made the street one way only.
Posted by Peter Wolf at 16:02