Before & After ~ these photos are courtesy of Adena Tray, who is restoring this wonderful 1924 Sears Alhambra kit house in Pittsburg, PA. They illustrate well what is possible with a thoughtful and careful approach to restoring character-defining elements that have been lost from a historic house.
The original catalog image shown here documented the appearance of the missing elements that gave the house its distinctive Mission style character. Minus the ornamental parapets on the porch and dormer, it appeared to be a Craftsman style house. It is a great example of how just one or two elements can define the style of a house.
Having the illustration of the house in its original form made it possible to accurately replicate the missing elements. Without documentation, it would have been more challenging to determine what had been changed on the house and what might be done to make the altered dormer less awkward and more compatible.
Designing appropriate replacements for missing elements is covered in Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners. The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book has been enthusiastically embraced by old house lovers across the country. It is available in bookstores nationwide and through online retailers.
Signed copies are available directly from the author in the shop on this page, click here: https://yourhistorichouse.com/.
Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.
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