De­layed Grat­i­fi­ca­tion

Arts and Crafts Homes - - UPFRONT - by Joyce & David Berube

restora­tion work on our house pro­gressed over many years. For the in­side, we’d com­mit­ted our wishes to a draw­ing, pre­pared by a local ar­chi­tect, in 1990. But we weren’t ready to go to work at the time. In 2014, when we both felt “we’re too old to still be us­ing this 1960s kitchen,” we used those dream-house draw­ings to set the path for ren­o­va­tions.

Our pro­gram: Re­place the kitchen and laun­dry room; add a bump-out for ban­quette seat­ing; re­pair the garage foun­da­tion; cre­ate a bridge be­tween house and garage; do cus­tom wood­work for the built-in seats, ta­ble, and trim. This set of ren­o­va­tions took five and a half months. It grew to in­clude a deck, stonework, light­ing, and land­scap­ing.

The land the house stands on was part of the Wil­liam Mor­ris es­tate. (This Mor­ris was a suc­cess­ful pump man­u­fac­turer in our vil­lage.) We know that a large lot was pur­chased in 1885 for $1,000. The first men­tion of a build­ing came in the 1920s, in a will pass­ing the house to a Mor­ris fam­ily mem­ber, “in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture and con­tents.” We think that the house was an em­ployee res­i­dence for Mor­ris’s work­ers. By that time there was a horse sta­ble in the cel­lar; open porches were on the first and sec­ond storeys at the rear. Some­time around 1935, the rear of the house was en­closed. The cel­lar was walled up and the porches en­closed to be­come a first-floor kitchen/pantry.

The Tyler fam­ily pur­chased the prop­erty in 1956 for $8,500. In the early 1960s, up­stairs walls were stripped of plas­ter and lath so that in­su­la­tion and wiring could be in­stalled. Al­though some plas­ter re­mains in the house, 90% of the walls are dry­wall. This redo also pro­duced the kitchen and laun­dry that lasted un­til 2014. Two bed­rooms were con­verted to one large mas­ter.

We ar­rived in 1977, be­com­ing

the lat­est care­tak­ers for $27,000. We knew we wanted to pre­serve sur­viv­ing el­e­ments and the style of the early 20th-cen­tury house, but we strug­gled for years with the “how” and the “why.” Local his­tory and ar­chi­tec­ture seeped into our lives. We learned that Gus­tav Stick­ley lived and worked in Syra­cuse, that Ward Welling­ton Ward built homes here. We came to see that our Amer­i­can Foursquare has el­e­ments of Colo­nial Re­vival and, es­pe­cially, Arts & Crafts de­sign. Al­though we made our liv­ing in in­dus­trial sales and school teach­ing (both of us now re­tired), we have 40 years’ knowl­edge about old houses.

Tran­si­tional, be­fore 1920 Bald­winsville, N.Y. CON­TRAC­TOR Di­mon Con­struc­tion, Man­lius, N.Y. di­mon­con­struc­ DE­SIGN Mod­ern Kitchens of Syra­cuse mod­ CAB­I­NETS ‘Brookhaven’ WoodMode The kitchen area was en­tirely re­done in...

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