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In this episode:
Host Bob Vila takes you on a tour of the newest project on This Old House–a three-story Greek Revival farmhouse in Arlington, MA. Over 26 weeks, Vila and his crew of building craftsmen will transform an 1850s house into an "idea house for the 1980s" that gives viewers and homeowners a "new" (at the time) sense of what a home can be.
Old houses are seldom untouched by the passage of time. Through the years, owners make additions and changes according to need or fashion. Some are for better; some for worse. Such was the case at This Old House’s fourth project, an 1850s Greek Revival-style farmhouse in Arlington, Massachusetts. The surrounding 40-50 acres, once the original farm land, was slowly carved up into 1/4-acre lots until the farm was gone and a tight suburban neighborhood stood in its place. As the neighborhood grew, so did the house, gaining a rear el and an attached garage.
While the main house itself was still solid and serviceable, with its plain, symmetrical front façade and architectural detailing, the building’s rear el was a different story. The large true-divided light windows, plaster cornices and soaring ceilings of the main house gave way to squeaky floors, drop ceilings and knotty pine paneling. Beyond the kitchen, the el had no foundation to speak of; its wood joists rested directly on the ground, where they were prime targets for both rot and insect damage. The wonder was that the el had stayed standing as long as it had; it wouldn’t for much longer.
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Source: Homes and Lifestyle