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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

uncle john's

Nick Tanchevski poses this morning beside the cast iron column exposed as he begins the renovation of his storefront at 18 S. Main Street in Mansfield.
The City of Mansfield Historic Preservation Commission held a special meeting on the site Monday afternoon to approve the first phases of his project.  Architect Tim Alexander, working for Nick, presented plans and alternatives depending on what would be found beneath the cover-up metal and wood installed over 50 years ago in a previous remodeling. 
What was uncovered was astounding.  "The most elaborate cast iron column I've ever seen in Mansfield" said Dan Seckel, Commission member and longtime preservation architect. 
So what else is there to be uncovered?  Beneath the yellow awning and behind blue enameled panels are transom windows that are slated for restoration.  How high the column goes, and the condition of the brick and stone above it are yet to be seen.  These areas will be exposed shortly as Nick peels back the more recent layers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

upright elephant ear

My ear:

springtime lawn renewal

The results so far of replacing the lawn at Oak Hill:
     Nothing short of totally burning off the old grass, crabgrass, and weeds and covering with two inches of topsoil will work to suppress the reemergence of crabgrass and weeds to some degree as the new lawn comes in.  Simply scorching crabgrass seedlings works to kill them, but this is not effective on older, established crabgrass, which seems to be reemerging regardless of how deeply it's buried if it wasn't totally burned.  I have yet to understand how crabgrass is called an annual, when it seems to survive through our winters here.  
    At the front of the cottage using the burn and bury method, the new lawn has come in weed-free except near the porch and daffodil beds where it couldn't be totally burned off.   The hillside to the east was only partially burned and scorched selectively, and less topsoil was added.  The result has not been nearly as good.