May I Present… the “Boarding House”

With a tenant securely in “Old School”, we were able to turn our eyes to taking care of what we have affectionately named the “Boarding House.”  This house sits right next to ours, and since we moved in three years ago, has been a source of heartache.


This house was built in 1919, 20 years after ours.  It makes me wonder if it replaced a smaller dwelling, or if it was the first house built on the lot.  It was constructed as a single family home, but quickly became lodging for borders.  Based on the presence of 6 electrical meters, it remained a boarding house, with all 4 bedrooms upstairs rented out, sharing a bathroom, until the  not-so-distant past.  Currently, it is has 4, 1 bedroom apartments.

Back to my achy heart.   It had not been loved in decades.


I would look at it daily and yearn to own it and take care of it.  I could see what a beautiful house it once was, and that it could easily be again.

When it came on the market in late summer, it was the last thing we needed- adding another house to take care of to our plate.  But in my mind, it was already mine.  It needed me to take care of it, to make sure that it was lovingly restored, not torn down, or made to look like some sort of cardboard box.



Inside, it was a bit underwhelming.  But there were windows!  And cool trim!  And old door knobs!

The photo above showed a vacant and relatively clean apartment.  The one below shows one of the dirty ones, after we took everything out.


This was the worst one- lots of tobacco residue and grime.  We hired it professionally cleaned.  We plan to paint all surfaces with oil-based KILZ before painting.




Double Yikes

So there was a lot of ugly in this place, but there was also… this staircase.


And there were these floors hiding underneath the layers of carpet and old linoleumimg_1731

And the basement was full of cool stuff!img_5995img_6004img_6005


Anyone know what this is???



We are going to use this inside the foyer as a place for tenants to deposit their rent.  I am assuming it was the original mailbox.


So, we took a deep breath and dug in.  And just like that, it started to look beautiful again.




3 thoughts on “May I Present… the “Boarding House”

  1. C. Esther De Wolde says:

    Just stumbled onto your blog via Old Circa Houses…..can’t wait to read ’em all to catch up but in the meantime whatever happened to the FREE old Iowa farm house you posted? I’m looking for my next project AND my daughters attend college in NW Iowa of which one is getting married and will be living there for as long as her fiancee has his way:-)

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