Something like this happened to me last week, as I was surfing Pinterest looking for Gothic Revival house images. Whenever possible I visit the original page from which an image was pinned, instead of repinning directly from the Pinterest image. On one of those pages, I saw a reference to this book:
Carpenter Gothic, 19th-Century Ornamented Houses of New England (1978)
Carpenter Gothic. That's the original style of our house. It was built in 1848 by a couple who had moved here from Connecticut, introducing the Gothic style to this area for the first time. In the case of our house, it's Carpenter and Gothic were removed in the 1960s.) A book about Gothic houses in New England got me really excited!
Earliest image of our house that I have seen, from 1933, when the place was already 85 years old.
I'm completely unable to resist the temptation of books, especially garden and architecture books. All it took was a few clicks, a credit card number, and the book in question was on its way to me. (I love shopping for used books online. This one was $4.10 from a dealer on Abe Books, with free shipping, and it arrived in four days.)
As I sat down to read my new treasure on the evening of the day that it arrived, I was struck by to a sentence in the Foreward written by Charles Moore.
We live ourselves in an exciting time, when the past is coming again to be seen, not as a dead hand on our own creativity, but as an exhilarating source and stimulus, a connection that gives us strength and an enhanced freedom to make buildings that speak in many tongues, heresiarchs, and gigglers, to excite people of many moods and attitudes and concerns, to make concrete and stimulate our dreams.
This one sentence, a really LONG sentence, puts words to my attitude about the way that I try to handle the restoration and renovation of this place of ours ... to not be a slave to a particular style or time, to allow it to evolve while respecting its origins, and to give it a story and a voice in the present.
All of this began because I was looking for images on Pinterest to help with the last few little details in the design of the new gingerbread trim for our front porch ... which is completely different than any of the other designs that I have put forth to you in past posts. I love what we have come up with, but I won't show it to you until we have a final version of the design that's been approved by the county Architectural Review Board ... don't want to jinx it, I hope you understand.