Monday, July 27, 2009

Exposed Brick Wall

This is the area in the apartment where there used to be a fireplace. Unfortunately the fireplace had no chimney and was totally fake despite being made of real brick and fire brick. There was nothing but an outlet at the back to plug in one of those rotating faux fire numbers. We thought it pretty silly and decided the old floors didn't need an extra 1000 lbs of masonry on them. After Barry bashed out the old brick, we scrubbed and wire brushed the surface of the wall and the result is quite lovely. The bricks themselves are being salvaged by our friend Tanja for a walk way up to her front door.

The Temporary Office

Setting up shop on the floor of the apartment seems to be the only way to go.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Allow me one last arty shot for the day. This is a portrait of the squiggly mountain of wires we pulled out of the drop ceiling. It's completely useless but at least it made a nice picture.

100 Sheets of Cruddy Old Compressed Sawdust Board Later

Slowly and steadily we peeled up the layers of lino and press baord off of the floor on the second story. Unfortunately the old wood that was revealed was not in nearly as good condition as what we found in the cafe space. But we are willing to work with it even if its a bit funky. We may try and do some creative patching with various materials and hopefully arrive at something really different. 

Gorgeous And DONE!!

The new and improved front room!! And most importantly it's the first really finished room.

What Do You Do With a Horrible Ugly Bathroom?

Any suggestions?

All That Was Left and Now No More

They tore down the remains of the mill the other day. This picture was taken the morning after the fire. Word on the street and in the local paper says it was most definitely a torch job. So sad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Crappy Little Room

One of the three bedrooms is rather small and crappy. There is no window and at the moment it has tan linoleum flooring and a 1960's office drop ceiling, both of which are completely covered in a layer of dust and grime. In an attempt to spruce it up in the cheapest way possible and make it liveable, we stripped out all of the homosote tiles in the hanging ceiling system and went nuts with some red spray paint. We also decided to paint the heater and the closet doors the same color and lay down some realy nice discount carpet from our local Mardens store. The coup de gras is that we are replacing the drop-in panels with ones made of oak ply that we cut ourselves and clear coated. The final touch will be that several of the panels will be replaced with plexi to allow some light into the room through the ceiling. 

Friday, July 17, 2009


Here is a before and after and after of the front room. The first picture is from our intiial viewing of the building, then there is a photo of the wall after the paper was removed, and finally a few with a new coat of primer and paint on everything. Its amazing how much the space has opened up and the windows have dissolved into the sky. Just by getting rid of the green trim and the heavy border that was bringing the whole place down.  We chose a pretty traditional combination of whites for the apartment. The flat finish wall color is called Polar Bear which I think is neat, while the trim is a glossy paint with a slightly caffinated tinge to it, its called Swiss Coffee. YUM

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Its almost entirely GONE!! There was terrible kelly green paint on all of the trim and wainscoating all throughout the apartment... Not for long

Dowsing the Hot Embers on the Roof of the Ellard

During the Cowan Mill fire we had to chase hot embers off our roof. Even though the inferno was several blocks away we could feel the spray from fire hoses and the building was full of the acrid smoke. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mourning the Loss of Great Architecture

Tragically the Cowan Mill went up in serious smoke and flames today. The mill, built in 1850 commanded a post just below the Great Falls in Lewiston. The skyline of the city is further marred by this apparent act of arson. Just two weeks ago I photograhed the mill from this exact spot, you can see the photo in a previous blog entry,