We closed on the house on December 31, 2009.  We were excited to start 2010 with our new home.  The beautiful Victorian Italianate house had "good bones" and it sat across the street from its most famous neighbor, the Hudson River.  It was a preschool for 30 years and they decided to close it down.  They left some lockers, books and lots of little toys that found their way under radiators, floor boards and even in light fixtures.  There was a faint scent of melted crayons that filled the air when the heat was on.  It took us a long time to figure out what the scent was. These are some pictures before we started the renovations.

December 31, 2009 Our adventure begins, we close on the house.

December 31, 2009

Our adventure begins, we close on the house.

Our first day at our new home.

Our first day at our new home.

Since the house was most recently a pre-school, all three floors had a 2 large classrooms, one on the north side and the other on the south side.  The kitchen was in the basement and there were bathrooms, that consisted of two toilets and two short sinks, no showers or tubs.

Back of the House 

The view of the house from the back gate.

The view of the house from the back gate.

Hallway Entrance

Since the house was a pre-school for over 30 years, a number of walls and security precautions were created.  Upon entering the front of the house, there was a second door was security door and only the teachers can buzz you in.  The original second set of doors were sold to a neighbor.

Since the house was a pre-school for over 30 years, a number of walls and security precautions were created.  Upon entering the front of the house, there was a second door was security door and only the teachers can buzz you in.  The original second set of doors were sold to a neighbor.

Soon to be Kitchen/Dining Room

All rooms are labeled what they ultimately become in order to keep things consistent throughout the website. The dining room and kitchen are on the north side of the first floor.

All rooms are labeled what they ultimately become in order to keep things consistent throughout the website. The dining room and kitchen are on the north side of the first floor.

Toys were left behind.  We found everything from jump ropes to Lincoln Logs.  

Toys were left behind.  We found everything from jump ropes to Lincoln Logs.

 

Living Room

The living room is on the south side of the house.  It has windows facing the garden (west) and the Hudson (east). 

The living room is on the south side of the house.  It has windows facing the garden (west) and the Hudson (east). 

Lockers left from the Preschool

Lockers left from the Preschool

Northern Bedroom

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A view from the front of the house during the day  

A view from the front of the house during the day

 

Southern Bedroom

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There is a bathroom on all three floors and they all have two toilets next to each other and short sinks so the toddlers can wash their hands.

There is a bathroom on all three floors and they all have two toilets next to each other and short sinks so the toddlers can wash their hands.

This is the office for the preschool's administrator.  It was located on the second floor behind the northside room. 

This is the office for the preschool's administrator.  It was located on the second floor behind the northside room. 

In 2011 the real renovation journey began.  We have lived in the house for a little over a year, during this time we learned about its strengthens & weaknesses so we had a better understanding of what we needed to do.   Most people start renovations with the interior but we did the reverse, we started with the exterior.  The front porch with its slightly unobstructed views of the Hudson River was the most important room in the house. ( There is a light pole in front of the house)  It is  where we did most of our entertaining, and living.  

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The view of the Hudson River from the porch. 

The view of the Hudson River from the porch. 

The journey begins with these doors.  

The journey begins with these doors.

 

The Front Doors.

  They are beautiful, arched, hand carved doors from the 1850's.  It's the first piece of furniture that greets our guests.   We knew that we could not trust them to any restorer.  It took us months to find someone that came highly recommended.

We handed them over for a few months to be restored.  When they were finally given back to us, we were  in shock surprised to see that they were hardly touched.  We were extremely frustrated, annoyed and disappointed.  We spent a lot of money and the doors looked the same.  This experience taught a lot.  We became more cautious with the people we trusted with the house and we took the actual renovations into our own hands.

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