Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another Glimpse of the Past

I feel silly. I happened onto another old photo of my house, and it was in the most stinking obvious place: the county tax assessor's web site. Why didn't I think to look there? Who knows. But the little clues they've left me have me intrigued. 

On the Doorstep readers have seen this photo, from 1942. Though we don't know the color of the house for certain because of the black and white photography, it looks to be white with black or possibly dark green shutters. Maybe dark red?

On the other end of the timeline, we have this photo that was taken in April 2011, when the sale of the house to me was still pending:

The yard was an overgrown mess, and there was an ugly A/C unit stuck in the upstairs bedroom window. The yard was cleaned up quite a bit this summer and a new dry-stacked retaining wall was installed near the driveway. I need to blog about it! The clump of maiden grass you can just see peeking out from behind on the left hand side of the spruce tree has been removed. The house is still this same fleshy beige color, and the shutters are missing. Major dislike. And homie needs a new roof. Badly. More major dislike.

Now here is the photo of the property from the last time the assessor documented it, in 2000:

White with blue/gray shutters. An aluminum front screen door. The brick patio is still there, but with a wrought iron railing. And look at that tree! I wonder when it was planted, since it doesn't show in the 1942 picture. What looks to be a huge cedar is eating the right side of the facade.

The tree was taken down in the last 5 years, according to neighbors. The traces of its stump and rotting root system is still evident in my front flower beds. The cedar is long gone, and the spruce is much taller. There's been a wood deck smacked on the front of the house, and you can tell from my choice of verb I don't think much of it. I've found the shutters in the garage attic, and I intend to put them back on the house. I don't know what the previous owner may have thought about them, but I think the house looks bald without them, and not true to its Cape Cod personality. Further down the road, it's my intention to tear down that deck and get a brick patio/steps and railing back on the house.

Less important to me, though just as interesting, is the little sliver of view between the tree and my house, where you can just see a slice of the next-door neighbor's garage. If you slide back up to the 2011 photo, not only is the tree gone, but so is the neighbor's garage! It's remarkable to me how much has changed in the appearance of the home just in the last decade.

I'm leaning toward some COLOR for the house this time around, but I haven't settled on exactly what. With me, it's likely to be green!


  1. Wow, it changed a lot between 2000 and 2011. And not for the better, sadly. But I'm sure you'll restore it to all it's former glory. :)

  2. Hi Laura,
    I am your newest follower. I also have a 1939 Caoe Cod home! Looking forward to reading more of your home. Please stop by when you can. I live in Illinois, are you close?

    1. Hi Robin, nice to meet you! I jumped over to visit, and your house is cute as can be. Love the picket fence! I'd rather not reveal my own location exactly on the comment forum, but let's just say my state is a next door neighbor of yours. Thanks so much for checking in!