40th Anniversary Giveaway: Winning Essay - Restoration & Design for the Vintage House | Old House Online

40th Anniversary Giveaway: Winning Essay

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Our house is a historic 1895 Victorian whose second owner was Utah's first congressman. We purchased the home from the recently deceased matriarch of a family who raised three children in this house since the 1940s. They loved the home, but it is original, down to its gravity furnace. The house even has a cistern in the attic!

1895 Victorian house

The family turned away several cash buyers when they learned what they wanted to do with the home. They were looking for someone like us, a modest family who would lovingly restore the home over time, and appreciate what it is. We had been looking for a home like this for seven years, but would only be able to afford a diamond in the rough. Believe me, it is rough: squirrels in the attic, bathroom that looks like it’s out of post-World War II Europe!

I immediately subscribed to OHJ, and it’s been helpful not only in terms of resources, but knowing there are like minds out there. We aren’t alone! The first thing we spent money on was the electrical, but there are very few fixtures left with the home...and it is dark. Bulbs in sockets adorn our home for now, unless we win.

Victorian dining room

–Kari Dunn
Salt Lake City, Utah

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