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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Spring Walk

Each year in February, Les at A Tidewater Gardener  challenges bloggers to a Winter Walk-Off.  I had so much fun taking a walk in my neighborhood and posting about it here that I decided to walk in a different direction from my house and take pictures of some of the fun houses in the neighborhood.
 

There is a nice variety of  styles of  older homes in this part of town. 




I'm not an absolute purist or anything but I think the house on the left, once a mirror image of the one on the right, now looks quite odd. 

Much as I love modern homes, why would one buy an historic home in an area of historic homes and do this to it?  Don't get me wrong, the look is fabulous, the plant choices, perfect for the style and color of the house and the jut out glass seating area on the right divine.  Why not just build a new house?



Mediterranean influences


I'm particularly fond of this Queen Anne Victorian with an interior as stunningly restored as the exterior.
 
 
This is the same house from the side.  I cut the old wavy glass for the upper true divided lights and did some puttying of the stained glass that was restored at the shop where I work. 

If you are a moviegoer,  does this house look familliar to you?

Here's another clue...
It's the house and greenhouse used in the 1992  movie "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle."
 
Lastly, here's the Rust house, one of Tacoma's grandest homes. It was built of Wilkeson Sandstone, has a green glazed terra cotta roof and was designed to resemble the  John A. McCall Mansion in Monmouth County, New Jersy.





 
 


 
 
I've quite a few more images from this warm spring walk but I'll save some for another post when we can once again walk  the cobblestone streets of Tacoma together.

27 comments:

  1. So many amazing homes!!! A famous one, yes, I saw The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, so scary! And that last house...too gorgeous for words.

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    1. There are many beautiful old homes in Tacoma. Glad you came walking with me!

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  2. Wow, I had no idea Tacoma had such beautiful homes. Thanks for the walking tour!

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    1. Tacoma isn't as horrible as it sounds and real estate prices are so much lower here than in Seattle which is only 45 minutes away.

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  3. Such a grand slice of Tacoma history there.

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    1. There's lots more interesting historical architecture to explore here!

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  4. Gorgeous houses...I'm so jealous!

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    1. I hear that Portland has some gorgeous older neighborhoods. I've been to the Pittock Mansion and it's pretty grand! One of these days, I'll spend more time in P town but usually I'm there either on a plant or glass mission and don't explore very much.

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  5. What an elegant neighborhood. I agree about the inappropriate remodel. Were the neighbors up in arms? R maintains that building new is more economical AND easier than remodeling.Too bad those folks didn't get the memo.

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    1. Well, here's the deal. I live up the hill about three blocks from the area where these pictures were taken. We live in a designated historic preservataion area which is great because it helps save some great old houses that weren't already torn down to build duplexes, apartment buildings, etc. We can barely change a lightbulb in our houses without having a plan approved by the historic preservtion board. The older homes up here are lovey but most of the truly grand mansions are down the hill but because the folks who live in them have always been among the wealthier in town, they've fought having any sort of historical overlay placed on their neighborhood so that they can do anything they want with their property.

      The whole town was up in arms a few years ago when a grand old mansion (had been on both garden and historic home tours) was purchased because it had beautiful views. The new owner allowed his teenage children to go inside with spray paint and sledge hammers to destroy whatever they wanted before the actual demolition took place. None of the beautiful period woodwork was salvaged, nor was the fabulous period greenhouse. No historic overlay so no approval of the buildin permit was necessary. In the grand home's place now sits a rather unremarkable new house. Sad really. Shortly after this, the fellow moved his large business (started long ago here) & jobs to Seattle. I don't know if he even lives in Tacoma now.

      This isn't new. In the 1920's, a Weyerhauser purchased a huge wooden victorian mansion and demolished it to build an equally grand brick mansion which more recently has been home to a seminary. On the other hand, everything is temporary; historical neighborhoods only a little less ephemeral than our gardens, so why get upset. For whom an for what purpose are we preserving?

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  6. Your right about the two houses that started as twins. The one with the enlarged upper story is kind of ugly now.

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    1. Old house journal used to call additions like this remuddling.

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  7. Interesting how with such great architecture, plants are not necessary...but how much better the architecture is with plantings!

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    1. One of my favorite things about walking through older neighborhoods is the "urban forest" created by the huge old trees planted in parking strips and in gardens shotly after the homes were built. The streets become green tunnels and it's difficult for me to drive very far witout having to park and gaze at the trees.

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  8. Love the walk about! The Hand That Rocks The Cradle house is amazing! I'm going to stick my neck out and say that I love the modern ish take on that character home (although I'm easily swayed by palm trees and cordylines. But I can see myself sitting in that little jut out glass section.

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    1. I too love the modern take on that home. It's done beautifully and the plant choices are impeccable. My point was, why do this to an historic home as opposed to simply buying a vacant piece of property and building a contemporary house. You should be able to do what you wish with your home but I was just wondering. You've probably heard about the controversy in Vancouver where folks are buying property in lovely older neighborhoods. Houses that used to be set back from the street with gardens and trees out front are being torn down so that McMansions can be built right to the edge of the property line.

      Oh well, change is the nature of all things.

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  9. There are lots of older neighborhoods in Portland with impressive old houses, unfortunately sometimes with moldy basements. I think the houses next to the Zoo are about the most elegant I have seen perhaps comparable to some of yours. It's interesting that Tacoma has so many wonderful historic houses. Thanks for showing some.

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    1. Most towns that have been around for a while have great old homes that are fun to explore. Moldy basements can be fun! Who needs to breathe freely and feel healthy - quite overrated;) Next time I'm in Portland, I'll have to go explore the houses near the zoo!

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  10. Those are some very impressive houses! I love the Mediterranean-inspired one, especially with that sun-room/glassed-in porch or whatever it is to the left.

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    1. Because many of our western cities and towns were founded in the mid to late 1800's there are fewer colonial style homes here than in the east and more flamboyant Victorian era homes.

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  11. Now, I'm wanting to take a walk inside these homes and around the grounds! You have some gorgeous homes in your neighborhood!

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    1. Each May, there is an organized tour of historic homes. The event usually focuses on a certain neighborhood & folks open their homes, have docents available,etc. The event sometimes includes church buildings, fraternal organization halls,etc. It's a good time and a chance to see some great interiors!

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  12. I love old homes and you live around some amazing ones. Thanks so much for sharing!!! I love that those oldies have been taken care of like they should be. Unlike some of the homes in my hometown that I will be blogging about today!!! :) Have a great Sunday and thanks again for sharing!!!!

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    1. It's sad to se older homes that are no longer cared for but all things come to an end eventually which makes us appreciate what we still have today!

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  13. Very impressive! some beautiful architecture there. I wouldn't want to pay the property taxes on those big ones. LOL

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    1. Me either Deanne! Nice to see you again! Hope you are healthy and enjoying the nursery and your garden!

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  14. Thank you for the linkage! I have been behind in my blogging and have chosen this morning to catch up. We are dog sitting and he can't be left unattended, so it's indoor activities until my son can take over.

    These houses (and the buildings in Port Townsend) look more like beautifully crafted pastries than structures.

    After a slow troll through your nursery visit posts I just want to say: I hope you know how fortunate you and your other area gardeners are to have such well-stocked and diverse nurseries. There are many parts of this country where such places are only a dream.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.