Tale of Two Towers

"The house is a money-maker. I get it. A few fixes and she could shine again." - Tina Kaasman
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"The house is a money-maker. I get it. A few fixes and she could shine again." - Tina Kaasman
(Photo credit: Rebecca Brown)

(Photo credit: Rebecca Brown)

These Victorian Queen Anne houses with corner towers are exactly a block apart. Both of them have been converted into multiple apartments, a fact of life in many cities. One came through without botched surgeries. Why do so many conversions lead to catastrophe, architecturally speaking?

Virtually every decision made for the green house was ill advised. Windows were replaced with ruinous results, porches enclosed shoebox-style. The new side-by-side entry doors on the primary façade bear no relation to the building’s scale or original design intention. And then there’s the spearmint color, lest anyone miss this sad fate for an old queen.

Do honor original massing and hierarchy. (Photo credit: Rebecca Brown)

Do honor original massing and hierarchy. (Photo credit: Rebecca Brown)

Here the façade retains the elegance of a tower balanced by the tall, symmetrical entry. Could not a second unit’s door be located through the porte-cochere?