Inference and discovery have been a reoccurring theme at the Glenn House. Who knew we would become old house archaeologists? Without the original architectural blueprints of the house, we have relied on clues and discoveries to restore certain pieces. One of those discoveries happened to be on the front porch.
You may have noticed a blog, Instagram or Facebook post using one of my favorite photos. That is the one of the robin’s egg blue side porch door.
Our photographer beautifully captured this side entry door in March of 2017. The photo was taken shortly after we acquired a Type Two Certificate of Appropriateness from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission to remove the vinyl siding. Inman Park is listed as both a national and local Historic District. Thus, homeowners must submit an application before any significant changes can be made to the exterior of a house.
About seven months went by before we removed the door. We knew it would be replaced from the start, as it was not original to the home. When we removed the door, we discovered a cavity that went up into a second floor bedroom. After research, we found that it was originally a box-head window, where the large lower sash slides up into the cavity above. However, the window jamb was missing. We figured that we would rebuild the window jamb that week, but on that Friday, I received a text from our master builder. In the text was a picture of a rather large jamb. I recognized the jamb, as I had seen it in person a few days ago. It came out of a second floor fire escape door which replaced an original two over two window. But then he asked me, “What do you see?” I couldn’t see much.
I went over the next day to take a look in person. The jamb was laid out on the floor in one of the bedrooms, and I walked two full circles around it before getting down on the floor to get a closer look. The next thing I saw was incredible.
There were two original window sash pulleys. We had found the original box-head window jamb. By far, this was one of my favorite discoveries. Over the next few days, we looked it over, analyzed its condition and concluded that most of it would need to be rebuilt. I asked our carpenter what species of wood it was, and he said Douglas Fir. From the start of this project, we have tried our best to use the same or similar building materials. In this case, I knew we should rebuild this window with Douglas Fir.
We restored the window jamb with the use of new Douglas Fir, and installed it in its original location on the front porch. Although I liked the robin’s egg blue door, there is something so special knowing we brought another piece of the house back to life.
This window’s journey is not yet complete. At the end of the month, old wavy glass from a house in Augusta will arrive at Pinch of the Past, an architectural salvage store in Greensboro, Georgia. It’ll then make its way to the Glenn House to be used in this window.
Stay tuned for more discoveries and window restoration!