the house

The house had indeed seen better days. It boasted 4500 square feet on two floors, each having a porch. You entered the house proper from steps set into the right side of the lower porch, with the doorway in the center. Past the doors the hallway went straight back to another door, allowing plenty of air to pass through. Two large windows bracketed the doorway on both floors. It housed four families comfortably, or, after the owner did a major renovation, eight families not as comfortably.

Two narrow chimneys, front and back, the front one just behind the single gable, jutted out of the faded green tiled roof. They had the look of long-weathered stone, covered with juts and pits, each brick a different shade from the next. The location of the house, with a parking lot on one side and a public park across the street, didn’t lend it self to many windbreaks, and the wind had fun, taking pieces every here and there.

The wind also had fun with the roof. Every here and there a tile was missing, leaving a patchwork of old and discolored tiles mixed in with bare plywood roof that was severely waterlogged and stained. On the right side, towards the rear, there was a partial collapse, about room-size. Whether the damage occurred from the inside or out was a mystery.

The rest of the house was covered in tan, wooden planks, all four sides of it, with red trim around the windows and doors. As the porches only covered the front of the house, you could get a real sense of the 150’ length of the building. The missing planks and the faded color didn’t take away the idea that at one time this was a strong house. However, a weak foundation caused the south wall to sag in two places. This had the effect of warping the wall as well as a few windows. In one place there was a gaping hole where the planks couldn’t take the stress.

The other windows were open, gaping holes to the bowels of the house, either missing one sash or the other or having broken panes littering the the ground and insides.

The porches were the only part of the house that seemed sound, except for the many boards blocking entry to the door and the windows, huge X’s of 2×4’s staring out into the street from. There was a red slatted awning that was attached between floors. It had a huge dent on the left side as if something big fell on it, which caused it to partially rip away. It did have a rather decorative slatted vent in the gable, but other than that the house was a lost cause.

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