Thursday, December 30, 2004


It dawned on me that I kind of jumped into this new blog without giving much of an introduction. For those that visit my website and don’t know me, here goes. For 11+ years I lived in a 1928 condo and all was well. It was cute as a bug. However, it grew small over the years. It also was finished. Everything was original. There was no restoration to do. None. All I could do was repaint every few years. The neighborhood had also turned “trendy” and I was increasingly unhappy with the snottiness factor. So, one day I decided to move.

I found a 1924 bungalow on the other end of the city. Oddly, it was the same color and paint combination as my condo. It still had the original kitchen. It had oak & maple floors. It had been pretty much left alone. But, happily there was still work to be done. I went to look at the house with my realtor, called my dad to come over immediately (he’s a structural engineer) to give me an assessment. Before the end of the afternoon an offer was with the seller. Yeah, it was mine!

I moved in the end of Oct. that year. I woke up the first morning upstairs with a terrible sore throat and eyes swollen shut from allergies and asthma. Icouldn’t move from bed except to call my mom and tell her I was in bad shape. Turns out the upstairs had not been weatherized in any way. Thus, the cold. And two hairy dogs had left their calling card in each and every vent of the gravity heating system, carpet, walls, etc. Thus, the over-the-top allergy reaction.

My retired mom & dad appeared at my front door with Swiffers, cleaning supplies, 3M window weatherproofing plastic and a HEPA vacuum cleaner and spent the day helping me not regret my decision. I called my out-of-town allergist and begged him to write me a new prescription for all of the drugs I hadn’t taken in years. I remember laying in bed that night thinking about the colossal mistake I had made.

Then the projects started J The first project was a thorough vent cleaning (who knew it would be so hard to find someone that would work on a gravity furnace). I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed, fascinated or disgusted when the cleaning guy gagged a little and then admitted to me that he had never seen vents that dirty (except the time a family had hamsters that got loose). My next project was the front door (pictures on the website) and my stained floors (story & pictures on the website).

Whew, there you have it. Its been two years and the projects continue……


Recovering Analog Dinosaur said...

Wow, you're making me homesick all over again. I just got over it after coming back to work a film project last summer but now I'm feeling those old feelings again.
Oh well, I get another Minneapolis fix this summer when I return to finish the film.
Hey, do you know anything about Orr guitars?

StuccoHouse said...

Jeffery - I suppose I could really make you homesick if I started posting about all of the Mpls. haunts. Don't know anything about Orr guitars other than the boys in my high school class used to rave. It that who your film is about?

Ty Sassaman said...

I'm new to Mpls, but just bought a great little house in Longfellow. I'm about to purchase a 1952 Kalamazoo Stove Co. gas stove, but I don't know where to get parts for vintage stuff like this...any directions locally?

This is a great blog, by the way, thanks!

StuccoHouse said...

Ty - I'm not aware of any place locally that deals with vintage stoves (parts or service). That said, you might hit the "vintage stove" label on the left sidebar of this blog and it will pull up all of my stove posts...if you check out the comments, you will find a bunch of resources listed there. I'll eventually move them over to my new Tappan Talk page, but for now you'll have to do a bit of hunting. Best of luck in your new house...and with your new stove!

I'll start you off with this site:

Monica said...

Jim and I were able to spend a week tearing out old carpet, cleaning, stripping, painting, before we moved into our 1908 Stuccolow.


Anonymous said...


What's the name and phone number of the old heating guy who looked at your octopus furnace. Mine has a couple of holes in it and maybe a crack in the plate, but I want to hang onto it. Jo

StuccoHouse said...

Anonymous - I think you are going to have trouble finding someone that will repair an octopus furnace. I can still find places familiar enough with gravity to certify mine is working, but I think repairing them will be a whole different challenge. Most places will tell you on the phone if they have someone that will check out gravity furnaces, or not.

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