Another post about plaster

I didn’t take a before picture, but believe me when I tell you that the white areas in the photo above used to be a giant plaster bubble. So I popped it (because that’s the tempting thing to do with all blisters) and removed all the bits of plaster that were no longer attached to […]

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Look up!

Our parlor floor ceiling is a bit of a show-off. It’s not super fancy like some of the stuff you see in Cobble Hill, or Park Slope, but it’s enough to class up the joint. There are harps and other delicate squiggles, some of which are showing signs of aging – cracks and patches and ample evidence […]

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A bad case of the Mondays

(a random newspaper find) Searching old documents online is awfully convenient. Digitized books, directories and newspapers are key in piecing together the history of a building and the people who lived there, and while the technology is pretty good (certainly beats sitting in a basement, sifting through microfiche), it’s far from perfect. The keyword search […]

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Another find from the trash heap

There has been a change in the construction crew at the gut reno project in my neighborhood. (I say this as if there is only one. Sadly, there are many, but that’s fodder for another soapbox). The construction foreman, who was saving me the stuff, is no more. It’s back to chucking everything onto the pile in […]

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What is this thing?

(besides covered in an unholy amount of paint) This mystery bit of hardware is attached to the chair rail in our tiny bathroom. It never occurred to me,  until now, to wonder why there is  chair rail in our 27 square foot bathroom.  Maybe to top off long-gone bead board? The location of the bathroom is […]

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A different kind of personal ad

(this is totally random) I am trying to find clues to confirm that the architect of our house was Henry Hill (the son, as in Amzi Hill and Son – the prolific architects of this part of Brooklyn).  I thought perhaps I could find  sales ads for some other houses by the same developer and look […]

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Tile carnage

While picking through a pile of house parts that were in route to the dumpster, a Brownstone Detective found this: It’s a section of the tile that surrounded a fireplace, with the wall still attached to it. It was covered in silver paint, probably spray paint. I know from the real estate listing  photos that it […]

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9 Billionty Nails (and a quandry)

All the salvage accumulating in our cellar comes infested with nails. Lots and lots of freaking nails. It seems that no job was too small for a 3-inch nail; nor, it seems, were nails in short supply: better secure that little strip of trim with as many (gigantic) nails as humanly possible. So yes, 9 billionty […]

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