For our anniversary, which is today, our 18th if you're wondering, we're not exchanging porcelain or garnets. Instead, we're knee-deep in a new roof, new gutters, new stucco, a new deck, new windows, insulation (because our 1920 house had NONE), and big bills. And somehow, even though we are ostensibly doing exterior renovations, the inside of the house is torn apart in a big way.
|The tar paper shack, minus one bedroom window.|
|And lo, a window was installed, completed with plastic drapes.|
I don't know much about our house, except that was built in 1920, and that it was a kit house from Gordon-Van Tine. We'd known that the house next to ours was a pre-cut Sears kit house, but until we (that is, our contractor, not me, not my husband) took out one of our original windows, we didn't know ours was a kit too.
As you can imagine, I headed straight for the internet. I bought a Dover reprint of some of the Gordon-Van Tine plans, but it didn't include anything like our our house. I found our built-in linen closet on Flickr. But it was the Internet Archive where I got closest, finding a copy of the 1926 Gordon-Van Tine catalog on that delightful electronic attic.
Bingo! The Gordon-Van Tine No. 620 looks a lot like my house, but the plans are a little different.
|"The battered gable ends add a peculiar sense of "homeyness" to this home, which makes it doubly alluring."|
First off, our house is flipped, with the living room to the left of the front door (as you enter). We have a fireplace (and chimney) off the living room, the stairs don't double back into the kitchen, the coat closet on our stairs is where the stairs on the plan split into the kitchen, and we can go all the way around the ground floor. And, what the 620's plans show as a back entry is where our breakfast nook is - the house is on a hill and the first floor in the back of the house is up a story off the ground. Upstairs, we have more closets than the plans show (two in the master bedroom and another off the bathroom). But we do have that linen closet, and we do have the three dormers, and we do have all of those clipped gables, and really, the Unusually Handsome Colonial Cottage is pretty surely the general sketch of the "charming livable home of a design which is in unusually good taste" in which we live.
I love the internet. Oh, and my husband. Happy Anniversary, you!