Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cornwall Homes - A Much Needed Restoration

Today's post is a simple one about one of the beautiful historic homes on Sydney Street that's currently under renovations (restoration).

The home is one of many beautiful Victorians on this street downtown, and while most are in very good shape, others are not. This was one of them. Several years ago, it used to be a very light yellow. I think it switched hands, and the new owner had it repainted in a nice light seafoam green (blue-green) with slightly darker shutters in the same tone. Since then, it hadn't had much maintenance done on it, and the condition of the woodwork was really starting to suffer.

Here are two images from Google Street Maps from August 2012. You can clearly see how depressing the house looked: shutters falling apart, peeling paint, and entire boards along the bottom rotting away. Also notice the fascia boards along the roof line.

Pretty sad. I especially like the upper window with the curved walls. As far as I know, it's the only house in Cornwall with this particular detail. We also don't have that many homes with decorative shingle work left (maybe a dozen?)

I was overjoyed to see that this summer, a lot of major work on the exterior/siding was being done. I have wanted to go by and take photos for a few weeks, but I didn't happen to be in that area until this evening, since I made the very slight detour to go snap some photos. The lighting wasn't ideal, but I'll be taking some nicer ones once the reno is done.

I love the decorative roof peaks/decorations. Also note the stained glass in the upper windows.

I've always found it unusual that this home had no front porch. I wonder if it did have one at one point or not.

Original windows, too. I really liked the small details on the sides under the upper sashes. They have a bit of a stop block with a decorative bottom edge, and they give the impression of a recessed panel on each side (hard to see clearly in the photos).

I can't wait to see what they do with the painting. Single colour, multicoloured, or the same as it is currently (which looked fine). Either way, I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on this one.


  1. I can't wait to see what happens with it. I hope they keep the windows!

    In our town, it's always exciting when someone repairs and restores the older homes instead of doing a teardown and putting up a narrow McMonstrosity.

    1. Or covering everything with white, vinyl siding. (shudder) Kudos to the new owners.

    2. Well, sadly Cornwall isn't well known for saving its history, so it's always nice to see when people do try. Sydney street is one of the nicest streets left in town because most of the owners have beautifully maintained historic homes (and the house values on this street reflect that).

      FWIW, I don't think they'll be changing the windows. They look like they're in pretty good shape.

  2. That place is really wonderful. So much great texture and interest. It's amazing what a band of shingles will do to a place. If you picture it without this detail the home is still very nice, but far less interesting.