Hardwick Stove Company

•April 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

From preservation in pink

Preservation in Pink

Some of the best things about historic houses are the antique appliances and lighting fixtures and bathroom fixtures… assuming that they operate safely and effectively. Our new (old) abode boasts such features, but right now my fixation is on the kitchen stove.

It is made by the Hardwick Stove Company, but that is all I know. The house dates to the late 1920s. Looking at this picture: the right side has four gas burners, an oven, and a broiler at the bottom. The left side has a large compartment for wood (or coal?) with warming plates on the top. There is a Robertshaw temperature control on the exterior. The entire stove is cast iron. The hood does not go with the stove.

Does anyone know how to find a particular model name or number? I want to date it to the late 1920s/early 1930s, but that’s just a guess. Has…

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Color, texture, pattern and shine – Vol. 1

•September 23, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Any fellow “What Not to Wear” geeks will immediately understand the title of this post.  Stacey and Clinton have a mantra that they incorporate into every episode: in order for an outfit to be successful, you need to incorporate each of those elements.  They don’t all have to play a major role — a hot pink quilted plaid suit with piles of gold jewelry would have all 4 elements, but be overkill.  But having at least a hint of each adds visual interest to what you put together.  As the design half of this operation, I’ve been keeping those same principles in mind as I plan out how our home will look when it’s finished.  It’s a daunting task, especially considering that more than half of the square footage of the house is all open space, but with separate living areas incorporated throughout the flow of that space.  The living…

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Scientology Beliefs (revised)

•August 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a tip: whatever you do, don’t get sucked into Scientology.

Doubtful anyone who reads this would, but just in case…

read on for a synopsis of the cherch’s doctrines as summarized by the former #2 person in this dangerous cult.

reeadSource: Scientology Beliefs (revised)

Preserving a building, enhancing a place

•August 11, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Threatened building

Another classic Atlanta building is on the chipping block!

via Preserving a building, enhancing a place.

I Live in America’s Most Dangerous Suburb

•June 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Tropics of Meta

Downtown East Point

According to Movoto.com, East Point, Georgia is America’s most dangerous suburb. As an eight-year resident of East Point, I received this news with a curious mix of pride and loathing. On the one hand, anyone who lives in a “most dangerous” anywhere must by definition be tough and manly—and I have always wanted to be tough and manly. On the other, I was not aware that I had been living in a suburb—and I have always, always been an impassioned opponent of suburban living.

Of course, no one should really take the Movoto.com article seriously. It is based upon sloppy methodology, faulty assumptions, and questionable conclusions. To paraphrase Dean Yeager from Ghostbusters, “you are poor social scientists, movoto.com.” But the tragedy here is that people actually do take it seriously. The article made major news outlets, and has had over 100,000 facebook views at present. A local Atlanta-area…

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The strength of mortar: an introduction to lime mortar

•April 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Around 1995, while in charge of all woodwork and finishes for a preservation project in Philly, the head of the masonry restoration team left and I was asked to oversee this challenge as well. This is where my interest in masonry conservation started. Since lime mortars, plasters and finishes have been the mainstay of buildings all over the world for thousands of years, it was important that I learn as much about them as possible. It wouldn’t be enough to just read book, I would actually need to learn how to work the materials and understand the underlying physical and chemical processes that mean either success or failure. I won’t limit this blog to discussions of lime mortars, but I think it is an important place to start.

I’m not going to start at the beginning with lime 101. I can can come back to that topic many times and…

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The past wasn’t so long ago: how a WWI-era concrete building surprised us with its connection to the past

•April 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We were recently asked by a developer to look at a large open air shed they are turning into retail space below and offices above. Since the project sought to use historic tax credit funding, they had many preservation entities to satisfy.


The developer wanted to sheath the building in glass, but otherwise leave much of the structure exposed. They needed our help interpreting what is unique and important about the structure. Historic buildings are always trying to tell us a story. While concrete structures are now ubiquitous, what makes this one unique?

photo_9On our first visit, the interior was inaccessible, but we were drawn to the unique colorations on the mostly weathered paint surfaces. When we returned to look at the building again on a nice cloudy day, we could see the beautiful formwork with the wood grain clearly visible even 20 feet up on the ceilings.

This very…

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