If you drove by the 1876 Fixer Upper, you wouldn’t notice any changes since we closed on the property in early November. Don’t let that fool you. We’re busy getting our ducks in a row.

Ken met with the City Planner/Preservation Coordinator with Madison, Indiana’s Office of Historic Preservation to determine what steps we needed to follow to remove a wreck of a shed behind the house. He received a Request for Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) sign to post in two windows at the property by December 2nd. This informed the public of a meeting of the Historic District Board of Review on December 17th to hear the request “to demolish an accessory structure.”

Shed_CancrusherPhotos of the shed were included in the application, and after Ken’s presentation of the request and subsequent Q&A by the board members, the request was granted by a vote of four in favor, two opposed. We have a couple of people interested in acquiring the shed (probably for the cool vintage can crusher), so stay tuned for photos on its exodus from Poplar Street.

Site visits and estimates have been completed for electric, plumbing and HVAC. Wait for it….. Yes, we’re replacing it all! “Modern” and “up to code” seemed like the sane way to go. We will need individual plans from each contractor so we can apply for another request for a Certificate of Appropriateness, put a sign in the window, and go before the Historic District Board of Review. This part will take a while…

IMG_1070I’ve spoken with Roger Welch of Welch Millwork & Design about making a new period appropriate front door to replace the existing full glass modern one. Roger’s good to work with, and we are so fortunate to have such experienced and talented craftsmen in Madison. After the holidays we’ll be meeting so he can tour the house, measure the front door and transom, and inspect and give guidance on the doors and transoms on the first and second floor galleries. Once we know what we’d like to do with the doors, we’ll make application again with the Historic District Board of Review and repeat the request for COA process again.

Architect_KenWe met with an architect yesterday about drawing up floor plans for all three floors for the mechanical plans. He took notes, measured every nook and cranny, and promises to have plans to us by the new year.  We also discussed needing other plans with renderings down the road. The ball is rolling! Once floor plans are received, we’ll hand them off to the mechanical contractors.

Yesterday our son and family came down from Fishers for an early Christmas celebration, but before he had the first cookie, he and Ken returned to the fixer upper and completed the removal of the existing kitchen cabinets and old appliances. The countertop has seen better days, but the cabinets are slated for donation to Madison’s Habitat for Humanity Restore.

Highlight of their day was discovering a Lou Gehrig baseball card behind the cabinets. Too bad is was a 2017 issued card and not an “I just won the lottery” card! What made it interesting, however, is that the previous owner (William Sauley) played professional baseball in 1943 for the Louisville Colonels and served as an associate scout of the Orioles in the 1970s. Kinda cool there would still be a bit of baseball history hanging around.

Wallpaper throughout the house will be coming off soon (very soon, I hope.) Don’t forget to check back to see how things progress as we begin 2019 – but don’t worry about forwarding mail for us just yet!


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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.