Even something as simple as a hinge can be glorious in a Victorian-era house!

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    Happy 120th Birthday to my house! A high-basement transitional Queen Anne Cottage, it was built in 1893 by an unknown architect, at a cost of $2,500 (approximately $63,000 in today's money). The original floor plan was a one-bedroom/one-bathroom house with an open formal parlor off the entry hall, a large double living room, dining room, kitchen, and service porch. There was also a servants' kitchen in the basement (complete with dumbwaiter), along with what may have been living quarters for the help. The house had gas for lamps, which was later converted to electricity. Shortly after it was built, the first resident moved in. His name was Herman Heinsohn, a bookkeeper who commuted to San Francisco (most likely by ferry) for work. He lived in the house for almost twenty years. During that time, he may have gotten married and had children, because in 1909 the attic was converted into a second story, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, in the Craftsman style of the early 1900s. Also added upstairs were several closets and secret storage areas. The layout of the house is still the same, and most of the original details still exist, as seen in these photos. A few bad remodeling decisions were made over the years: the scullery got a 1950s make-over, the original bathroom has ugly 1980s fixtures, acoustic tile was installed on the dining room and entry ceilings in the 1960s, and the Lincrusta wallpaper was painted over, along with the redwood woodwork. Thankfully, those things can be undone! Because our landlord is a jerk, we do not have the use of the garage or massive basement (we were only given access to the former servants' kitchen for storage, which is rather small), so there is a lot of wasted space that we are paying for but not allowed to use. However, I love the house very much, and cherish the many beautiful parts that remain and are still useful to this day. And I am eternally thankful that the many people who have lived in the house had the good sense to leave most of it alone!

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