Friday, April 27, 2007

This Old Extreme Makeover House

We got up yesterday and started tackling those projects! The first thing on our agenda was to replace the coil on the mower before the grass gets taller than we are. We got the flywheel off with the help of Jerry's gear puller (and without the help of Jerry, who really wanted to come and do it himself - neener) and got the new coil put on. There were cooked wires on the old one, which gave us hope that we'd finally found the right part to replace, so we hooked everything up, but the motor back together, crossed our fingers and fired it up.

A cloud of smoke came billowing out of the engine ... exactly like the cloud of smoke that came billowing out the last time it almost started ... and after re-dismantling it we saw that the new coil was cooked in exactly the same way as the old one. AHA! We're onto something! What we're onto is still a little mysterious, but we know now that it's another layer of electro-mechanics deeper than the coil ... so that's something.

We drove into town to order another coil, and hopefully by the time it arrives we'll have done some more research into the 1967 Tecumseh mower engine and we can avoid blowing it up. Either that, or we'll let Jerry come and fix it. It feels like defeat, but not as much defeat as paying the John Deere people to fix it OR being consumed by the grass ... and Jerry will let us help! : )

Since we were in town in the middle of a week day, which we rarely are, we stopped in at the antiques and collectibles store, where we stumbled across the perfect loveseat for our little house! It was newly reupholstered, comfy as hell, fit in the pickup truck and our budget, and it looks rustic and homey with our wood paneling behind it and Melon Kiwi sleeping on it. It's everything a loveseat should be!

After all that excitement, we decided it was time to go fishing! We picked up some nightcrawlers, packed some beers in the cooler, gathered up the fishin' pole, tackle box, folding chairs and reading material and headed out to the State Pond to see if Ev could catch us some dinner.

She barely got her line wet when the cold wind whipped up and it started to rain.
Oh well ... it was an excuse to go driving around taking pictures of stuff. The first thing I wanted to take pictures of is this great old building by the State Pond. It was built in the 1920's and used to be the county waterworks.

It's been abandoned for years and there's not a pane of glass left in it, but I just fell in love with this place the first time I saw it. Maybe I've seen too much HGTV, but I have a secret yen to live in a converted commercial building, and this is the one. Today we got bonus lucky and found a couple of doors open, so we got to prowl around inside.

In the exterior shot, you can see the huge two-story windows on the front and sides, and between those front windows (under the boards) there are glass and wood double doors (seen here from the inside).

I'm not sure what I'd use this loft area for, but I'm thinking it would be a great place for a huge kitchen overlooking the living area with the twenty foot walls of glass.

This interior shot is also from the tiled deck of the main building, which holds a whole lot of steel pipes, the big festering water tank you can barely see in the shot above, and a lot of birds. That floor is six-inch-square red clay tiles that are almost all in perfect condition, and the walls are all painted brick and in great shape.

In the bedroom area at the back of the building there's a handy freigh elevator for when we move the furniture in.

There are two water storage tanks in the yard, one of which we could convert into a swimming pool once we got the weird blades and rotors and aerators out of them, and theres a great metal stairway, deck and catwalk for conversion into a pool deck.

It also has it's own storm cellar / bomb shelter / wine and fruit cellar!
I thought I was probably the only person in Southern Illinois weird enough to think this would make a great house, but apparently I'm not. Ev says people have approached the county water department before and tried to buy it, but they aren't selling.

Well ... maybe they weren't selling the last however many times someone asked ... but maybe they'd reconsider if just one more person put in an offer ... hmmm???

Anyone want to buy (and remove and haul off) a few tons of scrap iron and steel pipes?


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