and Summer, 2012
In 1975 the owners of
this 1897 architect-designed home planned to sell their rooming house
decided that covering it up with aluminum siding would
help the sale.
Details were sawed off, window frames
were covered, curved lines and skirted features were
One of the most elegant homes on the block was
disguised as a big blue box.
Almost 40 years
later, armed with the architect's original plans,
Douglas and Mildred Unfried, the long-time owners of 67
Kenyon, have taken the plunge to restore the exterior to its
Step: Add blown-in insulation. In this case,
blown-in fiberglass. The insulation company removed a
panel every few yards, then temporarily replaced it. It
took a little over a week.
Dave and his crew at DJM Carpentry started
work to remove the aluminum siding, and in most cases,
the old shingling
and tar paper, leaving the flat boards exposed. Dirt and
debris fell from in between.
In 1897 this shingling was stained on all sides before it was
installed, adding decades it its life.
Rotted wood caused by
lack of airflow, termites and other insect damage was exposed.
Turn-of-the-20th century porches were supported underneath
by a metal pipe stand, shown here. 100 years is about the life of these
pipes which need to be replaced with footings extending
below the frost line.
the entirely house is to be reshingled in red cedar, the
original material. It is more durable than white cedar,
which is left to weather gray on cape-style houses. They
intend to paint the shingles.
north side was completed first.
Window frames that had been sawed off, decorative columns and soffits were restored or
Soffit vents allowing air to flow up along attic rafters and
out the vented roof ridgeline were
added to provide airflow and a bit of natural
Finally, new vapor barriers and cedar shingling were added.
in good condition, like the curved shingles toed into the
third floor diamond-paned windows were saved. The flat,
fluted columns framing the beautiful leaded and stained glass
staircase windows were restored.
The original plans showed
brackets that had been removed, so the shape was 'interpreted'
and brackets restored to their original location at the front
of the house.
the porch baluster detailing made a major difference to the
look of the front of the house.
Doug's a happy owner.
lower portions of the porch were removed for restoration, and
siding removal began on the south side.
view shows all layers of old and new in one shot: the aluminum
siding, the uncovered original stained shingling, the old tar paper
underneath, the flat board sheath underneath the tar paper, the holes
where new insulation was blown-in, and the new vapor barrier
and new cedar shingling.
second-story porch was recently enclosed using new shingles
that were painted blue to match. The enclosure had to be
re-shingled since the depth of the aluminum siding was much
than the original shake siding. What a difference it
left shows how ladders are braced to access the higher areas
of the house, and progress on the south side. Costs are
reduced by maintaining the original siding at points that
would have required custom fitting,
like the line where the bay window meets the south wall.
On the right, front porch structure is being rebuilt. Momma
skunk evacuated her 3 pups when the red cedar decking was in
on the rear of the house. The entire house is scaffolded
to do the job.
front peak and Palladian window are completed. All is
re-shingled except for the front porch.
porch was originally shingled on the bottom with 12 gaps, each
with 3 spindles to let in the breeze.
Even the gothic porch vents were restored. The stair
treads won't be put in place until the house is painted.
the spindles have been taken down to the wood and primed. The
spindles fit into the underside of the balustrade.
Making sure the columns are perfectly vertical is done
initially with a level, but because they are tapered and bowed,
the final adjustment is made by eye. The temporary
bracing can be removed.
to Dave and his crew at DJM Carpentry for a magnificent job.
arrives, and the painting begins. First step: scraping
and burning off the paint on the trim and windows
begins. Once paint is alligatored as this was, all the
paint must be removed since the gaps go all the way down to
We hate to see the
beautiful cedar shingles covered, but a primer must be sprayed
on, since the house will be painted. To do this, every
window and opening is encased in plastic before the paint is
sprayed. Two coats of gray primer, each sanded, and two
coats of base paint, the first sanded, are sprayed on.
Each layer of the sprayed paint is brushed to spread it into
the crevices of the wood. Since almost every part of
this house is either new wood shingle or old trim with paint
removed, a spraying technique can be used.
The Unfrieds previously built a
new garage, carefully copying the
traditional features of old garages in
Here is the color scheme they
The soffits under the eaves,
not visible in this view,
are a dark
It has since been repainted
the new color scheme.
Color scheme #2:
The base has been
changed to an olive, the
window mullions to copper
brown to match the coming
storm windows, The
brown is darker and a
dark royal blue and
eggplant purple have been
added for accents.
A lighter blue (right
The scheme for the
Progress on the details:
The porch details are
now painted. Decisions...
the frame, blue and
eggplant on the
cranberry spindles (then
change to blue), and
gold leaf on the cap
above the arched
window on the 3rd floor!
Painting is complete and
the steps are added.
Details like the storms and landscaping are scheduled for after
a certain very important wedding.
Now onto complete the inside!
Check in later for the completion of the
great event on Kenyon Street... Sal hosted
the hors d'oeuvres. Sue and Mik hosted the dinner,
and Nancy and Mary hosted the dessert. We were about 30 in all.
our House-Name Tags, at Sal's fabulous home.
Sal made all the delicious hors
Sue and Mik's for pot luck.
Mary and Nancy's for dessert. We had Victoria's Rum Cake
(made by Nancy and Mary), Carolyn's Cocoanut Cake to Die For,
a chocolate coffee bomb to celebrate Fi and Heather's upcoming
birthdays, a banana-nut bunt, brownies, cupcakes and
strawberries and cream - yummm!
Kenyon's newest resident: Angel, an adorable 2 month old labra-doodle.
Thank you all - another great
Comes Back to West End
Market is at the corner of Farmington Ave. and Kenyon St.
Photos from Farmington Avenue Wire
March of 2012 the West End regains a general super market at
last - right on the site of the old Cheese and Stuff!
Come take a look - you'll like what you see. Click
here to read The Farmington Ave. Wire's
article about the new market in the neighborhood.
Halloween Storm of
pic by Martha
Power Outage Ever in Connecticut,
But NO General Outage on Kenyon St.
quarters of the state was out of power for up to 12
days. However, not on our block. The line in
Hartford on Farmington Ave. is underground, so we've never
lost power on the whole block here - not in 40
years. One single house lost power, due to a
branch down on the wire to the house.
Most of us lost cable, though from lines downed elsewhere.
pics by Martha
to 6" of wet, sticky, heavy snow was predicted three days
before October 31, 2011 - a time in Connecticut when all the
leaves are still on the trees. This snow stuck to
itself, piling on top of each leaf so that tree limbs bent to
the ground. Eventually, large limbs snapped, and 100
year old trees fell over, roots and all.
pics by Martha
so tall that they pulled down power, phone and cable lines on
nearly every block in the state. Electricity was
knocked out to 3/4 of Connecticut homes and businesses -
almost 800,000 customers. CL&P was pilloried.
It took them up to 12 days for the last of the areas to get
power back on.
We took in friends and their food that would otherwise
spoil. You tried not to drive for a couple of days
because you could start down a street and have to back down
when you discovered a tree was down up ahead. Closed
streets were poorly marked even three days later.
big cost for families here - tree service to remove
limbs and trees blocking areas or threatening to drop.
It cost most of us $1,500 or thereabouts to have trees pruned
Cherry pickers rise as high as
Tree workers who climb to prune are called dendricians.
Many of us waited months to get someone
- crews came down from Maine and Vermont and up from the South
to work for 2 months at a time.
great event on Kenyon Street... Caresse and Breck hosted
the hors d'oeuvres as we welcomed them to the block.
Victoria and Patrick hosted the dinner,
and Randy and Tony hosted the dessert, serving as the
last-minute substitute for Carolyn - afflicted with a whopping
We were over 30 in all.
ever-popular name and house badges are displayed on the fence
for everyone to find.
It was another perfect
day for cocktails outdoors.
The potluck dinner
buffet looks delicious.
first progressive dinner!
Photos by Victoria.
great event on Kenyon Street... Carol, Meg and Maggie hosted
the hors d'oeuvres. Martha and Dave hosted the dinner,
and Toni hosted the dessert. We were 33 in all -
28 for dinner and 30 for dessert.
Carol, Meg and Maggie's, there was the outdoor crowd -
centered on drinks and politics...
And the indoor crowd -
catching up and sampling the delicacies.....
Martha and Dave's, it was a twilight dinner in the yard and on
the deck - perfect weather - despite the predictions of 90
degrees - it was mild and not humid. There
was more conversation first, of course in Martha and Dave's
was good to see some old friends out and about. And a
visiting mom we know.
were two venues for dinner - either out on the upper lawn,
were seated at five round tables...
has it that there might be another pool on the block.
even had a few friends from "off-block", by special
invitation of the hosts.
it was off to Toni's for dessert. Bonnie marked Russell's
birthday with a special pistachio cake, Patty brought a carrot
cake, Toni had the fixins for fresh strawberry short cake and
vanilla ice cream. By the dessert venue, the
photographer was out of steam, so there is just this delicious
orange crunch cake to document the event. Get
great time on Kenyon Street.
Center Market, 2012
Chinese New Year
The Cheese and Stuff
legacy continues with the opening of Capitol Market
in their old space in the West End.
The owners of Ichiban Japanese-Korean Restaurant (the Oh and
Moon families) have opened
a full Asian market across the street.
on Kenyon St. at Farmington Ave.
market features fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh whole
fish (complete with heads and tails, staffed to get you the
perfect cut). This brings much-needed fresh food to the
neighborhood, supplementing our seasonal farmer's market.
The remainder of the market is stocked with Asian foods,
refrigerator and frozen foods.
picked up several unfamiliar packages and discovered a whole
new world of food.
E-Mart is a well-known Korean chain. The staff are ready
to help you with whatever you need.
to the neighborhood, E-Mart!
white snow, cerulean blue sky, blue shadows on a winter's
fine, cozy ice fort!
A winter's sun...
A Blazing Fall
foliage on mature trees is a hallmark of homes over 100
years old. Many of these plantings have been planned to
combine for spectacular color combinations.
go to Vermont for foliage? - the best is to be found on Kenyon
on a lovely view.
won a Knox Parks Foundation Hartford Blooms Award. Go
yard fits her spectacular home like a glove.
find her out gardening most any time - three seasons.
and Nancy removed volunteer trees and oversized shrubs
to reveal a beautifully mature landscape.
better than ever on Kenyon Street!
Halloween on Kenyon
trick-or-treaters came to Bonnie and Russell's this year.
house was dressed for the occasion!
loved the stuffed animals and books they got.
Looks like Russell lost some body parts!
The house is elaborately dressed for
Halloween, and it's snowing!
other things, Kenyon Street is perfect for Halloween!
Photos by Bonnie.
The West End
June 26 - four of us decide to walk down the block to check
out the latest offerings
at the West
End Farmer's Market - conveniently located at Whitney and
Farmington Ave. every Tuesday and Friday from 4-7 p.m. through
turnips, we split a bunch of scallions, discuss
get local fruit in season and a lemon-ricotta cookie. Click
to see the participating vendors.
goal, of course is to check out the handmade crepes - Apples
and brie, Cinnamon and sugar, savories, too. Warm
arrive back on Victoria's porch in time to witness the storm
of the year - lightening seemed to strike the ground, thunder
boomed, and the torrent turned to hail. (It's not easy
to take a picture of hail.) This storm generated a
tornado in Wethersfield, not seen in these parts
since one hit Windsor Locks in 1979!
Storm notwithstanding, shopping together is a lot of
fun. And if it's right down the block, you can
scoot back and enjoy the storm from your porch!
April 18, 2009 - Kenyon's
5th Annual Progressive Dinner!- 6th?
I think the count is about 30. It's a lovely spring day,
and we have all been cooking.
Toni hosts the
cocktail party, then it's on to Victoria's for the sit down
dinner. Dessert and coffee is at Sue and Mik's.
It's just a smorgasbord of fun, friends, food and Victoriana.
of our first floors has 4 good-sized rooms, plus an elegant,
roomy front hall.
About right for tables for 6-10 people each, accommodating
30-40 people for sit-down buffet. That's usually about
innovation is required. Here's a table for two, a' la
ironing board - for last minute RSVPs.
Just the height of sophistication here in the West End.
been a long winter, so we all catch up.
to see you all at our favorite event of the year!
Photos by Victoria
to 2006 to 2008:
Holiday Cookie Swap
to see photos of our gardens on Kenyon
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