This post is basically just going to say that my father is one swell guy. Like really, really swell. Or really spoils me.... probably both?
Restoring this estate has been slightly overwhelming and we are trying to do it one project at a time. But it usually ends up with twenty projects at a time with none of them totally completed. I'm so happy my dad stepped in on this one. Let me tell you how restoring these pillars back to their original look went down.
Let's see how they looked two years ago when we bought the place (on an online auction!):
Dear friends. They were a sorry sight. The old aluminum siding looked super tacky and was starting to come off, and the wood that was being revealed underneath was rotten.
We knew we wanted to save them somehow, and with the help of my boys and the boy I watch after school, they worked away at uncovering what they once were.
How COOL to find little shutters on all four sides!! But oh how sad to see they were in such bad shape and there was much wood rot. Whatever to do now.....
Then I remembered this old black and white photo I had from 1963. Why hadn't I noticed the shutters before when looking at it? I think I was too busy crying over the fact that the beautiful fencing around the roof of the gatehouse was gone!!
The huge round metal tops are bigger than they appear perched on top of those stately posts.
Another great job for the boys - scraping paint so they can get a nice new coat!
Here's where my awesome Dad comes in. I could hardly believe my eyes. He and Mom were just leaving to go back home to Iowa after one of their many visits to see us and as I watched them go I realized he had taken one of the old pillars home with him. WHAT?! I called him quick on the cell. "What art thou doing with that there pillar in your truck?!" "I'm taking it home." Yeah, I can see that! Why? Are you're fixing it and bringing it back??" "I can use it as a template to build new ones. I'm going to replicate the original ones AND I'm going to use materials that will last a good long time!" Oh, Wow. How do you even thank a guy like that??
So here he is, back in Iowa, slaving away over his replicas. He even managed to find the same size shutters.
He brought them back several months later, and Hubby and Dad poured a cement base.
Glad they survived the five hundred mile road trip in Dad's truck! :)
Every time it rained, mud would splash up around the bottom of the pillars, making them super dirty. So Tim and I put black plastic around the base of each of them, lined it with bricks we had on hand and surrounded them with landscaping rocks.
Tim also installed crown molding between the pillar and the metal top to finish it off.
A parting before and after:
If you missed the Gatehouse post, which obviously got a makeover as well, you can view that here:
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