Morris Carey knows every wall stud, period-specific fixture and framing of an early 20th-century bungalow he and his brother James have been renovating of late, all the way down to its initial wobbly foundation of cement blocks on topsoil, now bolstered with 49 concrete piers.
The Second Street home in downtown Brentwood reminds him of his teenage years in a Pittsburg house, repairing the 1904-era window ropes, wallpaper and plank flooring.
“All of the components are almost identical,” says the Brentwood resident. “Coming to this home and restoring it is a step back in time. It’s brought back a lot of history and memories for me.”
Fond memories of time spent raising their daughter in the formerly 1,177-square-foot residence, longtime in disrepair, offered a catalyst for Mike and Robin McClellan to go ahead and bring it back to its historically accurate charm, with visions of spending front-porch rocking-chair moments, “watching things go by,” he says.
“This is their forever home,” says Carey’s wife, Carol, who oversaw much of the interior design.
The McClellans bought the home in 1982 from family who had inherited it from former Mayor George Wedgewood. They lived there for several years before relocating for work for two decades, returning to Brentwood a few years ago.
“We have a lot of history with this town,” McClellan says. “We wanted to do our part to revitalize the downtown.”
Mayor Bob Taylor has “driven by a zillion times,” enthused as he has watched the project progress.
“The nostalgia of Brentwood lies within that downtown area. To me, if we can beautify and distinguish the old Brentwood, it solidifies the old and the new,” he says, with hopes others will follow suit. “I believe one good begets another good.”
The home, while outwardly resembling the popular kit-constructed, catalog designs of its time, had a more “handyman” layout, Carey says, citing the use of 9-foot tall, 10-inch-wide redwood fence boards used for framing, affixed with wallpaper, floor and ceiling, and 8-inch cardboard material installed during the initial remodel during the 1920s.
It was reportedly among the roughly 600 bungalows that heralded from the nearby coal and copper mining communities in the early 1900s.
“Termites and time took its toll,” says McClellan, a member of the local Pastimes Family Car Club, who anticipates using the property’s expanded garage to tinker with his vintage vehicle.
“From an appearance point of view, it’s going to look like it did originally,” adds James Carey, noting the reuse of existing elements, such as wooden, raised panel doors and glass knobs, and the use of modern, durable materials to adhere to being energy efficient, along with building and fire codes.
“Every aspect of the infrastructure is new,” he says.
“Our job was to get rid of the rot and bring strength and support to what already existed,” adds Morris Carey. “We’re trying to maintain the architectural integrity of the house.”
Published at Mon, 19 Jun 2017 23:52:51 +0000