Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

Love the History, but Hate the Mystery

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I have a few posts in the hopper showcasing some weekend projects we took on, but today’s post isn’t about that.  I’m AM all about teasers though so here’s a sneak peak at what we’ve been up to.

We created some new $16 artwork for the master bedroom…


And hung curtains in the great room (sadly, not a $16 project).


Full details are forthcoming, but first…

Today I’m working on something really exciting.  I have tracked down the daughter of our home’s builder and architect and am contacting her hoping to get some details on our home.  She actually grew up in a home only a couple doors down from ours, and inherited all her father’s holdings when he passed just over a decade ago, so hopefully she’ll have some answers for us.

On my list of questions:

1) The bomb shelter out back.  It’s on a separate deed and her father owned it until he died.  We’ve asked all the neighbors and the sellers but all anyone can tell us is that the neighborhood kids used to play down there.  We have so many questions: Was it ever set up for use?  Was anything functioning (the generators, electrical wiring, the well pump, toilets, showers, fresh air intakes) when she sold it to our home’s previous owners in 2000?  How much did it sell for?  Were there ever mattresses for those 24 bunk beds? And perhaps most importantly, is there some sort of diesel tank buried in our back yard that we should know about?


2) Architectural plans.  If there are drawings for our home stashed somewhere I would LOVE to have them.  Very few modifications have been done in the home as far as we can tell, but the ones we can spot have us baffled.  For example, when we removed the wallpaper in the kitchenette we revealed a chase housing plumbing for the laundry running from the kitchen sink.  We suspect this is not original for two reasons:  one, the wall dividing the laundry from the kitchen is only a temporary partition comprised of paneling and some screws, and two, underneath the wallpaper the chase was unpainted, raw wood.

See the chase (the bump out) along the floor to the left in this moving day photo?


Since the rest of the kitchen had been painted pink prior to being wallpapered one would assume, if original, this chase would have been painted to match.  Or at the very least it would have been primed and sealed and not left in its raw wood state.  So our question then is, where was the laundry prior to its current location?  The garage?  The opposite wall?  We haven’t found any other hookups so they must have been drywalled over.

Also, if this room wasn’t originally a laundry what was it?  We suspect the addition of the half bath may have been part of this renovation as well since it has newer fixtures (why only upgrade this dinky half bathroom and not the full ones down the hall?).  When we saw that our neighbor’s house across the street with a similar floor plan doesn’t have a half bath here our initial impressions were somewhat confirmed.  Other homes in our area have an in-law suite on this end of the house so I’d be curious to see if it was originally a 4th bedroom.

Why do we care?  Well, for one, we have discussed moving the laundry down the road, but rerouting the plumbing is a big expense.  If there are hookups already in place somewhere else in the home, they might work for us and they would definitely save us some cash.  But also, not knowing is driving me crazy.  I love the history but hate the mystery of older homes!

So here’s to hoping we can find some answers. Wish us luck!


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

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