Published at Wednesday, April 03rd, 2019 - 18:50:16 PM. Home Decoration. By Adal Meier.
Spindler is active in local preservationist and historic groups. But perhaps the most important connection she can make is with a capable contractor. While the exteriors of many San Francisco Victorians are protected by historic preservation ordinances, the interiors are generally not. Electricians and plumbers often suggest that the only way to update a Victorian is to tear out original walls. But Spindler knows it can be less expensive to drop pipes and other infrastructure straight through the homes balloon framing or to wire electrical lines through an attic than to tear out valuable, original plaster work. “The crazy things that people do to these poor old houses. The walls never look the same,” Spindler laments. She compares the work of contractors who skillfully retain old Victorian walls to that of arthroscopic surgeons, who use fiber optic technology and video cameras to avoid open surgery: “Its better for the patient in the long run.” While Spindler is glad to see more young people interested in historic homes, she acknowledges her niche is limited by the number of Victorians in her market, estimated to be around 7,500 single-family homes. “Its not a lot, and we lose more every year,” she says. “Theyre not making any more of them, obviously.”
If youre looking for inspiration, ask hospitals and wellness centers in your area if they have therapy gardens that the public can use. Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore planted trees, boulders, paths, and water features on three outdoor levels of its new Mary Catherine Bunting Center building with the firm of Mahan Rykiel Associates in charge. “Families, staff, and patients enjoy seeing greenery flourish through windows and when outdoors. It helps them remember that life goes on as patients recover,” says Dr. Joseph Costa, medical director of the intensive care unit. When planning their own garden, homeowners should be selective and make decisions based on how much maintenance they want to undertake—or pay to have done. Too many features, or the wrong kind, may add stress, says Delaney. And thats the opposite intention of these gardens.
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