Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Before & After #5: 179 Hampton Road

This is only the fifth time I have done a “Before and After” and most of the time I haven’t really been a fan of the outcome. But this time I am showing you an example of a ‘Before & After’ that, in my opinion has had a positive outcome. Not perfect, but positive nonetheless.

Located on the northeast corner of Wooley Street and Hampton Road, this eclectic Colonial style home was built circa 1910 and is a two story three bay home with symmetrical composition and center entry. The windows on the front are almost exactly as they used to be, except that the double hung windows used to have a 9 over 1 divided light pattern (which I found charming) and they now have a 6 over 1 pattern. I am so glad the new owners chose to keep the arched 3rd story dormer windows and main entry porch with elliptical arch supported by paired slender columns (even though the sidelights to the

entry door were replaced with wood panels) as I find both very attractive and essential to the street façade’s appearance. However, the center window on the 2nd story, both on the front and back, was made shorter. I understand the desire to raise its sill above levels of predictable snow accumulation, but wish they could have remained a little longer so as to remain more proportionally in-line with the windows on either side and not to draw attention to themselves. I also wish the arched windows on the side elevations hadn’t been removed and replaced with ordinary double-hung windows.

There were four coniferous trees in the front yard that were removed, which is a shame but sometimes necessary due to the dangerous proximity of the trees’ roots to the house’s foundation, and sometimes due to the poor health of the trees. And I find it the choice of the color for the asphalt roofing curious; now it coordinates well with the natural color of the shingle siding. Do they plan to stain the shingles? If not, they will weather to a brown or grey, depending on how they are treated, whereas the asphalt
roofing will stay tan.

Overall the property has had a nice “sprucing-up” and has added some commodities that are desirable to home-buyers today, such as a pool, an outdoor deck, replacing the garage with a pool house, and the maximization of a third floor. It’s unfortunate that some of the charm of the former detailing (original or not) was compromised along the way, but great that the property has a bright future, instead of looking a little abandoned, as it had previously.

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