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Old 02-17-2009, 07:02 AM   #11
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Back to your original post, with respect to lack of air conditioning; you may be aware that some folks of modest means used to have a summer kitchen in the basement. A lotta rich folks housed their summer kitchens in separate detached buildings and the super rich (FDR types) had summer homes in places like northern Maine/Canada eg Campobello.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:43 AM   #12
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I grew up in a home that was over 100 yrs old (way back then!), and I loved it. My dad was very handy, and he put in new wiring and insulation, built kitchen cabinets and such. But while an old house has a lot of charm and personality, there are things you have to learn to live with, like clanging radiators and cracks that keep reappearing in the ceiling.
Kinda like us older women...if you can look past the crow's feet and varicose veins, we can be quite charming.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:04 PM   #13
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The building we are in is circa 1850. There are two downfalls to the kitchen. Three actually if you count the windows. There are only two electrical outlets in the kitchen, one for the fridge, one over the counter. None on any of the other walls. The water is another problem. the cold water pressure is non existent. If I have to fill a stock pot with cold water, I use the bathroom sink. If anyone in the house, upstairs or down takes a shower, does laundry, anything, no water trickles out any tap. The windows are so old, they rattle with the slightest breeze. Most of the walls are all cement. I need to get special nails to hang anything.

The good? The wndows are huge, I love them. The ceilings are high, the rooms are large. I've learned to adapt. Not that I don't curse once in a while.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:23 PM   #14
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Hello. I am surprised to see how many live in older houses. I live in two houses, one is an old cotton plantation (1850) deep in the country and the other on the outside of a small town (1853). Neither one had a kitchen in the house originally, as they were detached because of the fire hazard. The distance was not considered much of a problem as both had ample servants at that time. The kitchen was moved into the raised basement of the plantation in the 40's, and the original kitchen was used in the house near town until the late 1970's when it was abandoned and the kitchen moved into the old dining room wing.

As I am a great respecter and lover of period architecture, nothing has been done to either kitchen for convenience sake. Things are placed in respect for original windows or doors, fireplaces, etc. And yes, I have fireplaces in both of my kitchens. (I even have a fireplace in the bathroom at the plantation.)

It is quirky to be sure, but inasmuch as I have lived in them pretty much my whole life, it doesnt seem that unusual to me. The trade-off is that both houses are almost totally original, I have huge windows, period moldings and beautiful fireplace mantels, wonderful large rooms with great proportions and 13 ft ceilings in the house near town and 15 Ft in the country.

To me it is a fine trade-off, and certainly none of my friends has a kitchen with anywhere near as much atmosphere as either. I do have to be careful how many appliances I turn on at once as the wiring is still not heavy-duty in the kitchen area, although that is on the "Master Plan."

Another upside (not often needed, however) is that about once every 3-4 years when we have a terrible power outage in the middle of winter, and once during Hurricane Katrina, I have no problem cooking. The last big winter storm we were out for 8 days, and during Katrina it was 13 days. I just used the fireplace and it was no big deal.

Usually if I have some city folks coming I will make a fire in the kitchen fireplace just for the atmosphere for them, although I dont do that all that all the time for myself. A kitchen in an old house is different, but I just accept is as part of a total package, and see it as a better-than-fair trade-off.
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:07 PM   #15
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Your houses sound wonderful! Unfortunately, the current owner, or someone before him, chose to paint all the baseboards, window mouldings, doors, on both floors a very dark blue. If I live to be 100, I couldn't strip it all by myself. I'm sure your kitchen ( and the rest of the house) have great atmosphere, and it seems like you really enjoy it.
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:02 AM   #16
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I love old houses. I would like to see pictures. I live in a small apartment.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:22 AM   #17
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My house was built in 1872, and my kitchen was once a separate building, connected to the main house by a covered walkway. The walkway area was enclosed and now houses a bathroom/laundryroom and my computer nook.

I was lucky--someone else rehabbed the kitchen about 20 years ago, so I have a relatively modern kitchen with nice oak cabinets. I don't have enough electrical outlets, of course, or a phone jack. And because the original kitchen was built without a crawlspace or cellar, the plumbing is under the floor, and only accessible by cutting holes.
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