After commenting enviously on a friend’s post showing off a beautifully completed kitchen addition, she responded that at least we had #started . . . and so we have!

The selective demolition discussed in our last post progressed for about a week as the crew carefully detached the addition from the Big House and Summer Kitchen in preparation for teardown.  Here you can see the kitchen in the Big House, in which we so excitedly prepared our first hotplate-and-toaster oven meal at Edge Hill, now fully detached from the original portion of the Big House:



Above, you can see the original peak of the roof and then the addition with it’s nonconforming brick.  This addition housed the added downstairs bathroom at Edge Hill.  Of note is the door you can see at the bottom of the picture under that bathroom addition, which leads down into the creepy-crawly crawl space (SO MANY WOLF SPIDERS).  You’ll see that space a little later on!

Finally, the Summer Kitchen was fully detached as well, which revealed the full extent of decay in that structure.  One portion of the solid brick interior wall collapsed during demolition, and the remainder and a portion of the exterior wall has been removed as well:


Time for the big toys to do some heavy lifting.  Cora and Caroline were particular fans of this excitement (from a distance).  Digger Digger Digger!

Our project at Edge Hill has always been a family affair, and thanks to some skilled cousins manning that equipment, those now-separated structures came down fast!  Debris cleanup also went quickly and soon we were down to the dirt (see below: the Little House on the far left, the smoke house in the middle, and the separated Summer Kitchen on the right):


…and it was time to start digging all the way down:


Immediately in our path was one of the house’s old cisterns (there are two!), which had to be fully excavated (see the pit at the bottom of the above picture).  It was hand dug, lined with brick, and parged.  What a monumental task building it must have been.   Now that it is removed, we will have to fill the resulting hole with some concrete slurry, so it is an actual money pit!  Haha!


What a great perspective!  On the right, you can see the foundation of that creepy crawly crawl space, day-lit and home to thousands of spiders no more!  The cistern went down below our final basement grade (in the far right in this corner) . . . man, that sucker was DEEP!  Cora and Caroline have had so much fun playing in the dirt of their future playroom!  They are particular fans of the “muddy puddles”.

In the demolition process, we were left with a cross section of the Summer Kitchen, which we will tie back into our new addition.  I’ve been so impressed at the work of the selective demolition in safely separating the portion of the structure that will be saved from the portion that had to come down.

The basement level of the Summer Kitchen, originally a root cellar, then a boiler room, will be repurposed as a wine cellar (one day).  The kitchen space on the main level of the Summer Kitchen will be a multipurpose room and will physically look much the same as it did upon construction, minus the kitchen furnishings.  We are still deciding if we will maintain the board ceiling above the kitchen space, or if we will remove the board sheeting (leaving the beams) so that when you stand in the space you can see all the way up to the ceiling.  Decisions. Decisions.

And now, a teaser of things to come . . . Footers have been formed up!


We’ve officially #started !