Built Circa 1911
Blue Prints Found in Neighbor's Basement
Library, Formerly 1st Floor Bedroom
The story of the library starts with a friend of mine who
obtained some old blond Globe Wernicke maple book shelves.
He got this stuff in 1982 from the derelict Dayton State Mental
Hospital several years after it was shut down.
Globe Wernicke Company, Cincinnati, Ohio
They sat in his back yard for several months being rained
on till I asked him what he was going to do with all of this
wood. He said, I thought jokingly, “Give it to you.” Well, needless
to say, this pile of boards were carried to my basement forgotten
till I moved to another house in 1985 and then again in 1987
when I moved to Cincinnati. There they sat in my parent’s basement
till 1998 when I decided that I had a room appropriate for them
and when I decided to make something out of them. After nearly
a year of work, I dedicated the library to my brother, a lover
of beautiful old fascinating books.
A house is a home to those who live in it. Hopefully, it
provides comfort, security, and a place to comfortably be with
spouse, children, and friends. The home should be someplace
that surrounds the occupants with the memorabilia that describes
these people’s personalities, interests, values, and history.
This house was such a place.
At the time this house was built in 1911, they still gave
structures height. This gives this small house a kind
of grandeur. It was also during this period that taxes were
still being assessed by the number of floors a house had. So
as a consequence, this house appears to only have one floor
from the street.
This house marks the beginning of the arts and crafts movement
in Cincinnati. One can tell this by the mixture of styles, i.e.
Spanish clay tile roof (since removed), the short Greek columns,
and the artsy brackets. The house is made in the light of several
schools of architecture.
To date, I have only found two other houses of this style
in Cincinnati; one several doors from me and one wood frame
house in North College Hill.
During the 1900s, this house was touted as being a modern
home because its many “avant-garde”
features which included electricity, gas/electric lights, contemporary
woodwork, no stained or leaded glass, outside loading icebox,
poured concrete foundation, central gas hot water heater, a
modern bathroom, steel posts and i-beams, and a host of other
firsts. It was an expensive house by the then standards. It
also was known for its low maintenance exterior features which
utilized hardened brick, clay tile shingles that still adorn
the gable and dormers, metal moldings and trim instead of wood.
An architect named C. M. Foster built this house for Henry
C. Burdick, who was said to be a sports writer.
In the early 50s, the Burdick Family still owned the house
when, it was rumored, the husband of Viola Burdick who was professor
of piano at the College of Music, left her for another much
younger woman (one of his students). It was then sold
to an Italian couple. Later the husband died and the wife lived
here for thirty years after that.
Over the years the interior of the house it self was kept
original and in pristine condition. However, during her tenure,
the Italian lady had very little money to spend on repairs except
that she did fall prey to a windows salesman in the 1980s.
So as a consequence, the first floor wooden windows sashes went.
The clay tile roof and metal box gutters continued to deteriorate
to the point that when she sold the house, they were in bad
need of repair. The house was sold to an investor who did nothing
but allow college kids to live there.
Then, I came along. I saw a picture of this house and realized
what it was. After many years of restoration, it is was returned
to its original splendor.
I used my cabinet making skills to build a kitchen. A
Harbor Freight sheet
metal bender allowed me to fabricate the copper range hood.
Original China Cabinet
Whole House Switches
The house has many unusual spaces.
This includes what was my study.
Steam Shower, Master Bath