Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the unbathroom

Since some of you crazies have been emailing for specifics about the flooring, here are a few detail photos.

The present “subfloor” is the original 1906 hardwood flooring. The house didn’t have true subflooring (nor did the house next door which was nearly identical in construction). There appears to be two layers of plywood/particle board over that. The lowest layer measures about ½” thick, and the upper layer is about 3/8” thick. Stuck to that is the sheet linoleum that gives the cats nightmares.

It is interesting how many different opinions have surfaced on how I should approach tiling the floor. They range from ripping it all up and starting from scratch, to tiling directly over it, and include various middle ground suggestions of securing backer board over the linoleum and going from there to leaving it as is and trying to enjoy the linoleum. Some have even suggested that this whole concept of blogging about my home improvement project is boring.

I did encounter an interesting surprise while removing the remainder of the drywall. Sorry, no mint condition historic circus posters to sell on eBay, but rather these two empty Like cola soda cans.

A little research on the internet suggests that Like cola was the diet version of 7Up, that appeared on the market in 1963. Although one would suspect it was no longer being manufactured once Sugar-Free 7Up began being distributed in 1970, these cans exhibit “stay-tabs” on the top, which weren’t introduced until 1975. Thus these relics appear to date back to the “Uncola” period of pre-9/11 Americana.

I suspect Michael Rock left the cans in the wall… perhaps as offerings to appease the wandering, thirtsy ghost of Isaac the Butcher. As I understand it, Rock was a sort of architectural historian who helped document the surrounding neighborhood in order to earn its well-deserved listing in the National Register of Historic Properties. According to archival records, Michael and his wife Dora purchased the property in 1975.

Photo of Michael Rock taken on the front stoop in January of 1980.

This photo illustrates the location of the missing door that used to connect the bathroom to the bedroom that now serves as my office.

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