Thursday, October 25, 2012

Long Time No Post

It's not easy to run a law firm, tend to a blossoming family, restore a 5,500+ sqft mansion and update a blog. Therefore, Brian has relinquished the blogging responsibility (at least temporarily) to me.

Where to begin? It has been nearly 5 months since the blog has been updated! Really since the birth of his daughter, Annika.

During that time there has been lots and lots of progress! So where to start?? Let's skip to the most recent project Brian and his crew have been working on.

Driveway Steps

(If you look closely, you can see the remnants of what used to be steps leading up to the house.) 

 If you happened to drive by the house Tuesday, you may have seen these cement-dust-covered men putting in the steps next to the driveway on 9th street.

Yes, I too was impressed that you can cut cement and limestone with a saw! I don't know what I was expecting.. a chisel and hammer?

These stones look familiar to you?

Some of the steps are being cut from the limestone that used to be the steps at the corner of State St and 9th St. No, we did not purposefully demolish these steps. Their destruction was the result of an unfortunate car accident. No one was injured. 

Brian plans to take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts and finish this project. If you go by the house this afternoon, you will most likely see him.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On-ward and Up-ward!

Hello everyone!

Well, I have continued to work on the exterior of the house, specifically the east side porch and foundation. After removing and replacing the foundation walls of the front porch, we continued to remove and replace the lime stone slabs that encompass the underlying supports for the porch columns. Although 4 of the columns had been previously replace, noone bothered checking to see if the brick/stone structures underneath were sound. Hey...guess what...they weren't! What a suprise...something new to fix! Yay!

I also discovered that the upper support beam for the east side of the porch ceiling/roof was completely rotted...going all the way back where it attaches to the house. So...I spent my memorial day weekend rebuilding and replacing the support structure and all of the trim work. I think it looks pretty good, if I don't say so myself.  I am now finishing up the repairs/replacement to some porch soffet and fascia. Always getting a little closer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Everything starts with a good foundation!

Good morning, all! Well...I have been focusing my latest attention on the foundation of the house. I have a couple of masons who have been hard at work tuck-pointing the joints between the bricks around the garage, repairning the foundation around the basement windows on the 9th street side, and the most recent work has been on the east side of the house. The east side of the big wrap-around porch had sunk about 2 to 3 inches due to age and an over abundance of rain water from faulty guttering/downspouts. The porch's retaining walls were sagging and crumbling so I completely removed them. There was only dirt and brick/rock underneath, so I dug some of it out, reinforced it with treated 4x4 beams, rebuilt the walls with cinderblock and morter, and then refilled the voids with pea gravel. We got two walls done this weekend and once they are completely set, I will then jack up the porch roof about 3 inches, remove the back column, and rebuild the support structure underneath. Once we get all of this done, I will install a new column and base which will support the roof. Now I just need to find out who can rebuild a greek column for me. Here are some pics from some of the work.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Hi Everyone.

I know. I know. I have been doing a terrible job keeping the blog updated. Sorry. I keep forgetting to bring my camera over to the house to take pics of the new work. Also...I have trying to sell/get rid of all of the stuff that was left in the house. So guess what?


10AM TO 3PM.





For more info, email me via the blog or contact Jan at First Class Clutter (412-4720). Once I have this stuff out of my house, I will get back to updating the blog on a consistant basis. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ESTATE SALE!!!!!!!!!!   ESTATE SALE!!!!!!!!   ESTATE SALE!!!!!!!!!


WHEN: SATURDAY, MAY 12TH FROM 10 am to 3 pm.

For more info: call Jan at 412-4720 or email me at via this blog site.

We held an invite only sale last Saturday for collectors and pickers and we had a great turn-out. The only problem is....I have sooo much stuff that you cannot even tell that I sold anything! There is simply too much stuff to list everything separately but here is a list of just a few of the items:

Old fishing lures, rods, reels, tackle.

* rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, tie-clips, cuff links, belt buckles, etc. 
* gold, silver, turquoise, onyx, diamonds, rubies, etc.

Asian Art:
* bronze-work, paintings, stencils, wood-work, statutes, sculptures, tapestries

Japanese Textiles:
* scarfs, handkerchiefs, ties, table runners, tapestries, kimonos, etc.

Old phonographs, hundreds of old records

Vintage magazines
* LIFE, Saturday Evening Post, McCall's, House and Garden, Home and Garden, Connoisseur, American  Soldier, Hunting and Fishing, House Beautiful, National Geographic, and so many others that I have never even heard of!

Vintage Newspapers about General MacArthur, WWII, Assassination of JFK, Nixon, etc.

Vintage Books, first editions, Atlases, vintage road maps, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and hundreds of other books.

Japanese Literature:
* books, papers, Christmas cards, posters, maps, miscellaneous documents

* uniforms, hats, swords, boots, tents, cots, belts, pins, buttons, restricted documents, maps, restricted WWII documents, photographs

Vintage photographs and portraits (hundreds!!!!)

Purdue memorabilia:
* pennants, sweaters, invitations, notebooks, commencement books, yearbooks, boxes, photographs, miscellaneous items (no...casey...I did not sell your blanket!)

Japanese crates, teak wood boxes, vintage crates and boxes

Vintage typewriters, cameras, 8mm projectors, binoculars, microscopes, etc.

Vintage suitcases, boxes


Miscellaneous documents, some very old

Pottery, picture frames, dinner ware, glass ware, silver ware, figurines, lights, plates, lamps, etc.

And there is so much more that I am not going to list because my brain is getting tired of listing this stuff. So...if you want to see what the house looks like (the downstairs at least) and you are interested in some of the stuff listed above (and believe me...there is more. For example...I have a glass walking cane. Totally cool.), then come see me on May 12th from 10am to 3pm.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Updates but no camera!

Hi Everybody! I cannot find my camera so I am sorry that I don't have new photos to show you of the work in progress. I will attach some old pics of areas that we are working on, tho. We have gutted all three bathrooms and I am in the process of drawing the layout of each. New plumbing will be going into each room. We have to replace the soil pipe (poop shoot) so I have decided to move one of the toilets. I have saved as much tile as I could in hopes of re-using or selling. We continue to patch and repair walls and ceilings.

I spent the weekend removing all of the west side basement windows (actually the lower sash), installing new treated lumber for the window sill, and preparing the window frame for cinder block. The block will eventually be covered by dirt. The old window wells are alligned with brick but have filled in over the years and I now have trees growing into my foundation. What a pain in the ass trying to cut all of this out without damaging the foundation any further! Its all done and am awaiting my mason (John Blair) to help me with the cinder block and mortar.

                                                MASTER BATHROOM

                                       GUEST BATHROOM

                                                    SECOND/KIDS BATHROOM

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I forgot to tell you...

Jan Wright...who owns FIRST CLASS CLUTTER which is located on Main Street in downtown hosting an INVITE-ONLY open house at the Ayers Mansion on Saturday, April 28th. In order to attend, please contact Jan at 765-412-4720. She may have a few questions for you (such as what are you looking for?) and you may have some questions for her (such as what does he have?). This is my attempt to sell some of the items that were left in the house. The category of items for sale is too numerous to list so please call Jan. We will also be serving wine and cheese but the primary purpose of the open house is to SELL some stuff. So...bring your money!

Please note that although I am listing this as an open house...not all of the house will be open for viewing and the primary location of the sale will be on the first floor. If I find you loitering in any areas that you are not supposed to be in...I will shoot you and bury you in my basement where noone will ever find you. Remember...this is an invite-only gig so you need to call Jan and get on the list or I will not let you in...unless you pay me lots of money as an "entrance fee" but we will just call it a donation to some obscure charity!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Update for the Old House on the Hill.

Good evening, everyone. No pics this time because I am sending this from home and the pics are on my camera in my truck and I am just too lazy right now to go get it and download. The plumbing is almost done but there always seems to be something else that needs replaced or sealed or re-attached. It just seems to never really end. Someday. As for the electrical, that seems to be moving a bit slower but I am hopeful my boy JAY JUDD will be able to get over to the house and run some more lines. The guys finished the drywall ceiling in the master bedroom today and we started on the master bathroom. I am attempting to remove the tile from the walls because it is very cool and unique and I am quite sure that they don't make this kind of tile and/or pattern anymore. I have been proceeding steadily on the east side of the house replacing the soffet, guttering, and fascia. A lot of the wood was rotted from water and I have been attempting to replicate the unique trim but it has been a bit difficult since the measurements are different nowadays versus 100 plus years ago. Go figure. But nonetheless, it looks pretty good...if I say so myself.

Will try to download some pics this weekend. Cheers!

Monday, April 2, 2012

One tree door up!

Thank you to all of the volunteers in helping me cut down the monster tree next to the house. Oh..wait...there weren't any...except for Michael. Thanks to Michael A....we made quick work of the tree in two days. Also...thank you to the Ebershoffs and Lafayette Tent And Awning who loaned me there mobile lift so that I could get some of this work done in quick fashion. Any time you guys want me to borrow your lift....I would be happy to! Here are some before and after pics of the tree...and now stump! The pic of the front of the house shows the tree to the left...right next to the house.

As for the window to door action, if looking at the first pic showing the front of the house, I knocked out the left window which is the dressing room off of the master bedroom and overlooking the roof of the front/side porch. The purpose of installing a door is to utilize the very large roof as a patio off of the master bedroom. Joan Ayers told me that they used to crawl out of the window and sunbathe on the I thought I would just make it easy and put in a door. I eventually will replace the railing that used to be up there and install a ceramic tile floor. To make sure that the roof would support the weight, we removed some covering to find that the entire porch roof is made up of very solid black walnut 2 X 8s extending from the interior house walls to the edge of the porch. This will add a lot of extra room to an already large house!