“A building does not have to be an important work of architecture to become a first-rate landmark. Landmarks are not created by architects. They are fashioned by those who encounter them after they are built. The essential feature of a landmark is not its design, but the place it holds in a city’s memory.” Herbert Muschamp
We live in a home that was built about 200 years ago. One of the families lived in this house for nearly 100 years. That was from 1840s to the 1940s-a time of significant changes. When I first walked into the house, I could sense hundreds of souls. I felt a good feeling from the house. I felt it was a ‘helping house’.
I told myself that I must be mistaken. Even with the age of the house and the multiple owners, there surely wouldn’t have been that many souls. Yet, as we have worked on restoring the house, we have discovered hints that the house might have been a station along the Underground Railroad. That could explain the number of souls passing through and certainly the ‘helpful’ sense the house held.
In January of this year, I did not know about the Daily Blog. I have only recently discovered this delightful site. My prediction in January was that we would be working on this house. The original clay baked brick house had to be gutted, pulled up and pushed in. Somewhere along the line a wooden addition was added. It had rotted to a point of dis-repair. We had to have it demolished with a goal to rebuild the addition. This week, after a year of thoughtful planning and city historic planning commission meetings, we broke ground for the new addition. The year is turning out as I had expected, and hoped.
We love living in this house. It is in a constant state of restoration. A little like a life. Every day we encounter new decisions: what to keep, what to change, what to throw out. Just like in life. As I grow, I am constantly deciding what to keep, what to change and what to throw out. Not just material things, but in my thoughts and behaviors.
“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.” Hugh Prather