Looking at it as a whole, it seems a little overwhelming. Take it one room at a time… and it’s still overwhelming. This blog will serve to document the process of restoring/remaking the house to suit us, and to share with those who take an interest.
Fairhill was built for prominent banker Fred E. Frisbee in 1917. Built in the Georgian Revival style, the house has a lux feel without being over the top. No marble or gold leaf. Very sensible, like a banker. I have an approximate oral history that I will try to confirm when I have time to research the abstract. It looks like the Frisbee’s had the house until 1929 or so, probably seemed a little excessive during the depression… I think it may have changed hands a few times after that before being converted into an apartment house in the 30’s or 40’s. The gazebo was torn down to make room for a six stall garage for the tenants, two apartments on each floor of the house. In addition, the carriage house was converted into a small home. Kind of a “mini-me” of the main house… There was also an apartment built on the top of the garage. With 8 apartments total, I’m betting this place paid for itself many times over. May be how it has been so well preserved through the years, considering how many people have lived here. It continued to have apartments until the late 90’s, and then served as a photography studio. The last owners started de-compartmentalizing the house, taking down walls that were added, removing a couple kitchens and repairing neglected wiring and plumbing. It’s come a long way to being restored to its former glory, but has a long way to go yet. We will no doubt be busy for a few years. Or decades.
The first rule of Fairhill is ONLY ONE ROOM AT A TIME. The second rule… Well I’ve already broken the rules by starting both of the kid’s rooms at the same time, but it’s the only fair way to go. We started with those rooms so they’d be done before the kids are ready to move out. We’ll keep posting pics and maybe some video later of the more interesting bits.