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So Many Windows We Needed an Index... Or Did He Say Windex?

At times this project may seem like all windows and there is certainly a good reason for that. The house has seventy arched windows in addition to a handful of non arched windows in the basement. One of our early goals was being able to see outside through the house's many "eyes". Even more importantly we needed to be able to see while inside the house. Sunlight shining through the windows would be and still is our primary source of illumination.  There is still a ways to go in meeting that early goal but I couldn't be happier with the progress we have made thus far.  We are enjoying the beautiful views, many of which are completely new to us since they were obscured by plywood when we bought the house. A welcome bonus has been watching the snowflakes swirl by in the wintertime without feeling the biting cold that would sneak in during the early winters of our project. Here is an unfinished directory of some of our lovely additions.  More photos are on the way!

The Fi…
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Autumn in Downtown Coudersport

A glimpse at the beauty of Coudersport in the fall. If you've never been to Coudersport, I would highly recommend a visit when the leaves are showing off their impressive colors. A few weeks ago, I took a break to enjoy this years display and it certainly did not disappoint. The house is located only a few blocks from this lovely downtown scenery. These leaves have provided wonderful inspiration for what trees we will be adding alongside the house when we shift our focus to landscaping. I certainly can't wait to replace our "spooky" tree with one that actually produces leaves. A tree with beautiful leaves that inspire you to just rake them up into a pile, not to get rid of, but to jump into like back when you were a kid and you could easily find the magic in a crunchy orange leaf. 

The Other Houses of Coudersport: Fall Edition

Coudersport may be a small town, but the number of old houses is certainly grand. Here is an autumn look at a small sampling of Coudersport's other historic homes which are all within walking distance of the F. W. Knox Villa. 

Issac Benson House/Coudersport Consistory

The Lewis Mansion

Location is Everything

People always say that location is key and that is certainly true for our incredible house.
For those of you who are not familiar with the house’s location it is on nostalgia inducing Main Street in the small town of Coudersport, Pennsylvania. The Allegheny River runs along the side of the house but so early in the river's existence that the size of the waterway, like the town, is quite small. The closest major city is not even in Pennsylvania but can be found about two hours North in New York. 

Unaffected by urban sprawl, the town has developed slowly.  Looking out a second story window you can see the classic marquee of the local movie theater. Strolling down Main Street you will pass by historic brick buildings of a bygone era. Many of these buildings were constructed soon after the house, when the area was bustling with logging activity. As the trees disappeared so did the town's need to grow. It allowed for the town's architectural development to become frozen in tim…

An Explanation and a Request

For those of you who have been wondering if we are documenting the renovation, the answer is yes. I have taken thousands of photos at the house. If you see someone outside the house obsessively clicking away, it is probably me. Before and after photos have become somewhat difficult due to the amount of scrolling required to get back to the beginning. I find these photos to be incredibly important. Its amazing what changes can be seen in just a few days or photos and even more incredible when we finally make it back to the beginning. Some shots are just of the house, but my favorites are the candid shots with someone working in the background. What I share online is really just a small fraction of what I have collected. Another small fraction of my photo collection makes it into a book. The inside of the house, which I've really only given a glimpse of online, is inside those pages. 
This book was a Christmas gift for my Dad. He gets the additional in progress shots that I don't…

“A Trip to the Mountains”

"A trip to the mountains". That phrase meant something different when I was eight. Back then, I would be glancing at the clock from atiny desk, waiting for the hands to strike the number three. Now I illuminate my smart watch, waiting for 5:00 to stand out on the screen while rolling back in my chair. 
      Then there is the part that didn’t change. I carry my bags out to the car and buckle my seat belt. I begin chatting about my day to help eat away at the long drive that will take us from highways to an overly bumpy dirt road. After hours in the car, I stretch my legs and breathe in the refreshing air. The apple trees are still there, maybe a little more gnarled and not bent in quite the same position. I found myself surrounded by green, my favorite color, which quickly disappears as the sun sets, giving way to an unbelievably dark and sparkling sky. It’s like nothing has changed, but that is not the truth.        Everything is different now. When I wake up, I won’t be…

Completion Date: ????

I have recently gotten a lot of inquiries into our completion date for the house. This is a question that I always avoid answering. I know a lot of it simply stems from curiosity but I also feel like a small portion of it stems from doubt in us ever being able to complete such a task. I’ll be honest with you, we don’t have a completion date and the house will never be finished. This isn’t a term paper that we will submit. It’s more like a pet that we will need to care for throughout its lifespan. I guess you might not even call it a project then, you would call it a commitment. As long as we are successful with our care, one day someone else will begin the continuous task of caring for the house because it will still need someone to help it along once we are gone. The house was listed in the local newspaper as completed in May of 1880. That wasn’t really true, in that instant the paint was already starting to wear away and the shingles beginning to age. Maybe none of this aging was vi…