Corner rooms and things above them…
The corner of dear ole’ 11 was what used to be an open-air covered patio with sleeping porch above.
For those who do not know, sleeping porches were placed on particularly Spanish Colonial revival homes. They were to be used as a place to sleep in the summer months when it was too hot to be inside. They were often covered with a fabric awning and sometime canvas side panels.
All the homes in the Historic Hollywood district were built in the days before central air conditioning, but because of the innovative, authentic design, air would easily flow through homes with barely any need for it.
This year the home had a spate of over sixty consecutive days in late Summer where there was no need for turning the air conditioning on in the home.
but I digress..
This corner area of the house was completely transformed over twenty years ago. The bottom area was enclosed to add additional living area for the first floor and the upstairs was covered and walled with of sash windows to create a second den area for the house.
This upstairs area was completely rebuilt in the renovation for it had not been designed with overhangs to deflect water. A taller scale with more generous overhangs were put it the former’s place.
The downstairs room was to become the formal dining room and rightly so, for it had such an elegant stone colonnade. It was also adjacent to the new kitchen as well as the existing spacious den, the gem of the house.
These improvements increased the usefulness of the house ten fold. One of the factors you find in an older home is that it’s floor plan can become dated and not useful in a modern way of living. Case in point, the original kitchen was tucked in the far corner of the house, over forty steps away from the main living area and fifty steps from the closest place to set and watch television. A servant’s kitchen in a world where people live in and near their kitchen.
Modern living in the original home was daunting but through good design and a passion for authenticity, I hope we gave the house the architectural justice it deserved.
I have to say, with all the walls of the house being over a foot thick throughout, the home and thick antique terra cotta roof, there is no doubt that 11 is well insulated. With small windows in the lower, below grade areas of the house being a chilly 67 degrees, and small window on the third level open to catch and pull air out of the house with every passing breeze, thus pulling the cool air into the house. There were sometimes full gusts of cold air flowing through the house. Needless to say the power bills those months were rather low considering the square footage of the house.
Being green couldn’t be easier, if you design or build a house right. You know in 1927 they may have known how to build a house right after all.