Down the block


About 6 months ago I went to an estate sale at this little house on the next block, looked around some and left. The house looked like someone elderly had lived there for many years and it suffered from what they like to call “deferred maintenance.” Soon after that the house went on the market and was sold. There are some photos on Zillow.

As you can see, it’s a victorian covered in stucco.


They left some of the original windows and brackets, but that’s about it. I bring this up because we’re dogsitting for our neighbors and on our walk today I saw that renovations have begun. They appear to have gutted the house down to the studs (it may have needed that), are working on the foundation, and have REMOVED THE STUCCO. And this was hidden underneath.


Did they know all this time that it was under there? More or less intact? No really, have a closer look. CLICK IT!


Jeez. I want that.


5 thoughts on “Down the block”

    1. The 40s-50s-60s were a time of dark and powerful magic! No really, I don’t know. I’m just glad our place is stucco-free.

  1. I love when the siding comes off and shadow marks from the missing mill-work give clues as to what was but only if the homeowner has good intentions with carefully thought out plans to do a carefully done restoration.

    I don’t think this is the case for 924 Taylor Ave.

    If they don’t have good intentions I say they shouldn’t be touching these buildings.

    Anyone who guts an interior like this, anyone who removes Doors, mill-work and moldings is not being careful.

    Anyone who removes the windows and the surrounding window moldings is going too far especially on the front elevation of the house. And I’m not talking about temporally removing the window sash in order to have new window sash milled up that’s not what they are doing in this situation.

    When the original windows are removed and poorly done replacement windows are put in the house will never look right ever again.

    This is over kill. This is not being careful. This is not even tiring to save money by reusing as much of the original as possible.

    This is someone who has never heard of Smith & Co.’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer and “Fill-It” Epoxy Filler a product that can save damage and rotting wood which has been used to bring new life to old houses.

    Putting in a new foundation is understandable but jacking up the house too high and not considering digging out the basement a few feet in an area that foods less then other areas of Alameda is not being careful.

    I also wonder how hack Architects and contractors who have a history of messing up historic buildings keep getting jobs in this town. This duo likes to suckers homeowners into doing things they don’t need to do like total Window replacement and total siding removal of original old growth, clear heart, center cut, close grained, insect resistance, redwood siding because of lead paint. What they don’t know anything about scrapers, chemical paint remover and lead abatement equipment? Then they haul the wood they destroyed to the landfill without any effort to take it to a salvage yard where other homeowner’s would love to use this stuff.

    They love selling and using the replacement siding of Radiata Pine. A crap siding with huge spaces between the growth rings and a brownish light gray paint used on all sides of each board. This primer comes from the “factory” and has special fungicides in it to combat rot, but is known to fail after a few years or if the inexperience hack of a carpenter doesn’t paint the cuts he makes in the wood the siding will fail quicker. This stuff will never beat old growth redwood siding yet these guys and others don’t have any problem removing your good siding to put on crappy siding.

    When the neighbors ask the new homeowner a few questions and found out that they want to chop the house up into mutable units and paint over the found shadow marks because they intend to turn the magnificent historic house into an investment property or a future poorly done flip.

    It makes you wonder why some people come into this town with their disconnected intentions.


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