Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It all started 85 years ago. I got involved 10 months ago.

When you fall in love with an old house that hasn't been completely re-done, with scraps of history and damage and hidden tidbits all over, you realize that you are not THE owner of the house, you're more like it's newest steward. And once you fall in love with a historic building, the 7th floor of the Downtown Dallas Library, the little known Texas History Floor, becomes thrilling. From microfilm of the old phone books (which used to say not only who lived where but their wife's name, their job, and their ethnicity) to the enormous original hand written building permit books that you can flip through with your own hands. So the story of me and my house actually starts on July 30th 1925 when a permit was granted for a "6 rm brick veneer cottage 2 apt." A corner lot was split in half to build two 2 story duplexes, an apartment on each floor, which makes sense because it's quite near to the Bishop Arts District, a vibrant block of shops built in 1903 that was the main stop on a major trolley line. Check out this pic of the Original 1925 Building permit book. I scoured old phone books until my house showed up in 1926 then looked page by page through this old book with my sister until we found my house, because of course it's in order by date, not street address. Mine's somewhere in the middle of the page.
Almost exactly 84 years later, on July 20th 2009, I used my entire nest egg from a car accident I was in as a child to make the down payment and got the keys to the house. (A house is way better than plastic surgery for a giant scar, wouldn't you agree?)
It's been lived in by countless people. - I even inherited tenants when I bought it - and ignored by absentee landlords for who knows how long, at least 10 years. I fell in love with the house for it's potential but hardly saw it before I owned it. It was such a mess with the tenants stuff when I toured it, and my first Realtor tried to convince me to back away quickly. I couldn't stop thinking about it though. I just knew it was right. After looking at houses in the area for almost a year, my intuition, vision, and the facts all pointed to BUY. I wanted a historic place with a great location and good bones... and got it.

and it was a MESS.

1 comment:

  1. Oh it was certainly a crazy mess and we certainly all thought you were crazy. It's lookin good now though!