Skip to main content

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 time. Sitting on a park bench in the courthouse square you can feel yourself pulled back to a time when we would enjoy the greenery around us rather than the screens in our hands.

    If the house had been a rapidly developing city, I’m doubtful that it would still exist. Supposedly Franklin W. Knox found his inspiration for the home on a trip to Pittsburgh. I’ve often wondered if the house he admired was similar in stature to the one he had built. I’ve tried to find the possible source of his inspiration but to no avail. Maybe it was just a similar style house but not on as a grand a scale that I’ve overlooked. I also think there is a good chance that the house of inspiration no longer exists.

    With progress comes sacrifice and often those sacrifices are buildings that no longer fit in the modern world. I’ve noticed this in my own hometown where farmhouses are being buried so warehouses can grow. Our society no longer shops on Main Street but online. Instead of having a back store room of a modest selection of popular goods we have warehouses full of an infinite number of items to fill our homes.

    If our house had been in a large field near a shipping hub, it would probably only be a memory. If downtown Coudersport had grown quickly, the house with its large yard may have been replaced with an office building or hotel. Luckily for us, the location allowed for the house to be preserved.
In the name of progress we are often far too quick to erase what makes an area unique. Small towns like Coudersport are invaluable. These little towns are full of gems that are only getting rarer as time passes. Hopefully more people will start to see the value in our small towns and realize that progress isn’t always for the best.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Silence

     I am aware that many of you have noticed that it has been quiet on our social media lately. I had wondered if anyone would notice the digital silence. Sometimes out of sight is out of mind but this house has a presence that is difficult to ignore. The house is not being ignored. I don’t think it would be possible for us to ignore it. I just wanted a break from all the noise that the house creates. Winter is definitely an easy time to take that break.       Due to the snowy weather and cold temperatures we can’t accomplish nearly as much in winter. This fall provided enough of a chill that my favorite activity of painting had to be put on hold earlier than usual. I was finally getting the chance to remove the blue paint which has plagued the porch for far too long. Even though we are located on Main Street it was often quiet enough to hear the tiny bristles applying paint to the house. That silence would be quickly interrupted by a generator roaring to life which would then compete

Perfect: A Rant

     The F. W. Knox Villa, better known locally as the Old Hickory, has been seen by thousands of people. I’m sure many of them have only ever seen it in photos. I know some of them have never been to the United States, or never to Pennsylvania, or never to Potter County or who have never made it into the small yet charming town of Coudersport. These people have seen the house because someone thought it was worth seeing, they shared a photo.  I absolutely love that. I’m thankful for that, that so many people can see the beauty in an old house. They saw that beauty years ago when it was really not looking it’s best. I’m thankful that they saw potential like we did. I hope more people keep seeing the potential in these amazing buildings wherever they live.       There is one thing that I don’t like. The comments about our location. It’s far from everyday but I sometimes get comments that we are in a bad area because we are downtown. You might not be aware of this because most of the phot

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