173 Photos - Jul 13, 2009
Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Abandonned Taiwanese Embassy property at 2224 R Street, for sale by auction; Great bones. Needs a LOT of work!Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Front porch - details of deterioration. Close-ups tell the story!Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Front window detail - collapsed!. Raindrops keep falling in the house!Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Sidewalk and alley - what a mess! We used to call this block the "forgotten block of R Street".Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Rear of house with roof - taken from Greek Embassy. Rotted gutter which poured rain down the interior back walls. Multiple rusting, rotting and leaking roof penetrations.Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Back yard with AC units, poison ivy, painted windows, lower level floodgate (door) and other nasty stuff. Great fence!Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: First photos of the interior. Living RoomPhoto: September 2003 - Month 1: First photos of the interior. 1st Floor Hallway.Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: 1st Floor Hallway. Light filled in so you can see the cabinets in the rear Butler's Pantry.Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Front Hall - original molding. View of original front doors. Solid wood - no glass! A bit dark.Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: 2nd Floor Landing with refrigerator and plumbing pipe going to a 3rd Floor bathroom. Door between niches is the original Anteroom-Entrance to the Master Bedroom Suite.Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Living Room Front Wall. Water damage!Photo: September 2003 - Month 1: Living Room Front Wall close up!Photo: October 2003 - Month 2: Demo of the Dining Room. Doorway between living and dining rooms blocked. Decorative fireplace and corner cabinets.Photo: October 2003 - Month 2: Servants' starcase from kitchen to 2nd Floor - steep and narrow. Current location of refrigerators.Photo: October 2003 - Month 2: Laura expressing complete dismay at the old mechanical room - now Room 101Photo: October 2003 - Month 2: Mechanical equipmentPhoto: October 2003 - Month 2: Room 102 - Stove, Utility Sink and Shared BathPhoto: October 2003 - Month 2: Intermediate Landing with rotted pillars and capitalsPhoto: October 2003 - Month 2: 2nd Floor Dormitory Bathrooms. Lovely amenity!Photo: October 2003 - Month 2: Third Floor Hallway looking toward entrance to Saba Suite. Low ceilings with skylights.Photo: October 2003 - Month 2: Bathroom plumbing?!?!?!?!?Photo: November 2003 - Month 3: Rear yard cleaned upPhoto: November 2003 - Month 3: Debris collectding in Room 111. Demolition of the interior took about 30 dumpsters!Photo: November 2003 - Month 3: Room 123 - A major fire started in this old gas fireplace, which was subsequently hidden behind built-in bookshelves.Photo: November 2003 - Month: Lt. Col. Huang, Taiwan's representative in the sale of the housePhoto: November 2003 - Month 3: Lt. Col. Huang and RaymondPhoto: January 2004 - Month 5: Living Room molding detailPhoto: January 2004 - Month 5: Living Room front window condition - rotted! Detail of crown molding.Photo: February 2004 - Month 6: Digging out the lower level. Standing in Room 101 - tiny old windows!Photo: February 2004 - Month 6: DIRT - Lots of it!Photo: May 2004 - Month 9: New rear stairway - Joe and ZenomPhoto: May 2004 - Month 9: Rear stairway - progress!Photo: June 2004 - Month 10: Room 101 - preparing the new enlarged window openingsPhoto: July 2004 - Month 10: Room 135 bathroom window over open floor looking down onto Room 123 bathroom window. Room 135 is on left and Room 134 is on rightPhoto: July 2004 - Month 11: Room 135 (no floor) looking down on to Room 124 (no ceiling).Photo: July 2004 - Month 11: Berm gone and collapsing driveway retaining walls removed.Photo: October 2004 - Month 14: Front window openings all prepared - waiting for the new windowsPhoto: October 2004 - Month 14: Rear window openings all prepared - back of the house. Room 133 dormer not yet constructedPhoto: October 2004 - Month 14: Francisco and Leo repointing ALL the brick on the front of the house. Beautiful new large windows in Room 101Photo: October 2004 - Month 14: Installing the granite curbs. The city did extensive work on R Street, repaving the road and installing new sidewalks and curbs.Photo: October 2004 - Month 14: New sidewalk!Photo: October 2004 - Month 14: New driveway!Photo: November 2004 - Month 15: Window installation. Dining Room!Photo: December 2004 - Month 16: New windows almost all installed. Only two "blanks" on the front of the house.Photo: November 2004 - Month 15: Original rear stairway coming up into the Saba's living room. This steep and narrow servants' stair was removed and replaced with a new stair on the front of the house.Photo: December 2004 - Month 16: Opening for the new stair to the 3rd floorPhoto: December 2004 - Month 16: Room 134 - en plein air. Badly charred beams were discovered when replacing the roof surface. The whole roof across the back of the house was replaced.Photo: December 2004 - Month 16: Room 133 - More charred beams!Photo: December 2004 - Month 16: Leo, Francisco, Zenom & Joe. A great viewPhoto: January 2005 - Month 17: Original stair from 2nd to 3rd floors removed. Saba's living room just got 1/3 larger!Photo: January 2005 - Month 17: New stair to 3rd floorPhoto: February 2005 - Month 18: Kitchen getting new floor joists. Leo on the balance beams.Photo: February 2005 - Month 18: Framing the 3rd floorPhoto: February 2005 - Month 18: Dining Room - Plumbing installed for upstairs bathrooms! An important amenity.Photo: March 2005 - Month 19: Electrical team? Matthew and Uncle JoePhoto: March 2005 - Month 19: Electrical motion!Photo: March 2005 - Month 19: Elevator shaft - no elevatorPhoto: May 2005 - Month 21: Dormer extended all across the back of the house to give Room 133 a windowPhoto: June 2005 - Month 22: Zenom on the roofPhoto: June 2005 - Month 22: Roof access through Saba's living roomPhoto: June 2005 - Month 22: Zenom (aka "Indian Jones") coming up the “stairs” to the roof. Rusted white metal roof cap on right will be removed.Photo: June 2005 - Month 22: Repairing the masonry under the metal capPhoto: June 2005 - Month 22: Prying the metal loosePhoto: June 2005 - Month 22: Zenom on the roofPhoto: June 2005 - Month 22: Close up!Photo: July 2005 - Month 23: Beautiful new stone caps on the roof!Photo: July 2005 - Month 23: New roofing surface - back of the housePhoto: July 2005 - Month 23: A steep, beautiful roof!Photo: July 2005 - Month 23: AC at dawn. Four beautiful AC units get delivered for rooftop installation. DC's building boom visible in the background.Photo: July 2005 - Month 23: Reeling it in!Photo: August 2005 - Month 24: Finishing the rear and moving on to the front of the roofPhoto: August 2005 - Month 24: The work continuesPhoto: August 2005 - Month 24: Francisco, Hector, Jeremy and Indiana Jones (aka Zenom) on the roof! Awesome craftsmen!Photo: September 2005 - Month 25 - Beginning of Year 3: Last view of the porch!Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: Porch stairs come down!Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: Porch stairs headed for the dumpster.Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: Whoops! Almost tipped the machine completelyPhoto: September 2005 - Month 25: The porch is GONE!! Door frame assembly still in place.Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: Back of the house - finished dormer. Still missing gutters, downspouts and window trim.Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: Downspouts!Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: New front stair going up. New brick walls are a good match with the original brick.Photo: September 2005 - Month 25: Front steps in place! Lower planter boxes completed. Upper planter boxes next.Photo: October 2005 - Month 26: Resetting the white masonry crown molding at the roofline. Emergency repair. The masonry started falling into the front yard!Photo: October 2005 - Month 26: Another view. Things look good from the top!Photo: October 2005 - Month 26: Final window installedPhoto: November 2005 - Month 27: Drywall deliveryPhoto: November 2005 - Month 27: Threading the needle!Photo: November 2005 - Month 27: Completing the roofing work in the front of the house. Closeup of front dormers which are not yet completedPhoto: February 2006 - Month 30: Front roof and dormers completed. Beautifully reset masonry crown and lovely new gutters!Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Back is finished! Major home improvement!Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Decorated rear window!Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Installing the ceiling medallion in the dining room - Phase 1 center shadow box.Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: 3rd floor hallway. Drywall up throughout the 3rd floor. Great ceiling height! Skylights installed and chandelier hanging - with a couple of pieces missing.Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Room 124 - Windows trimmed, walls painted and brick fireplace repointed! Beginning to look like a bedroom.Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Living room gets dressed in drywallPhoto: February 2006 - Month 30: Window trim detail. Trim is Raymond's design.Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Bob Hawkins with Raymond in his woodwork shop in Fredericksburg, VA. Bob was responsible for all the custom glass doors, hardware, and custom millwork. Incredible craftsman!Photo: February 2006 - Month 30: Raymond checking out the new hardware. This panel is not actually a door. It it one of the two 10' tall side panels for the vestibule.Photo: March 2006 - Month 31: Andrew sanding the third floor hallPhoto: March 2006 - Month 31: First finished shower stall!Photo: March 2006 - Month 31: Room 135 bathroomPhoto: March 2006 - Month 31: Bank visit! Andrew, Raymond and Matthew Saba with banker Paul BicePhoto: April 2006 - Month 32: Rotted out front porch!Photo: April 2006 - Month 32: The left side (right exterior), which sustained the most water damage.Photo: April 2006 - Month 32: Ugh! A good kick would have knocked the whole door assembly down.Photo: April 2006 - Month 32: Rotting capitals. Raymond re-sculpted and molded the broken and rotted trim for all of the decorative capitals - both on the front porch and on the second floor intermediate landing.Photo: April 2006 - Month 32: Capital closeup. Like an open mouth ready to devour us!Photo: April 2006 - Month 32: Exterior door frame assembly is GONE! Interior vestibule doors exposed for the first time. Amazing! They had no damage! This would have been a much shorter project if the whole house had been in this condition!Photo: April 2006 - Month 32: 3rd Floor - floors finishedPhoto: April 2006 - Month 32: Third floor stairwell.Photo: July 2006 - Month 35: Cabinets and appliances!Photo: July 2006 - Month 35: Rooms begin to look finished. Floors sanded, doors and crown molding installed, door trims going up.Photo: July 2006 - Month 35: View from the living roomPhoto: July 2006 - Month 35: Front hall - floor sanded and wainscotting being repaired and prepared for paintPhoto: July 2006 - Month 35: 2nd floor intermediate landing. New crown molding, but still the old rotted out pillars and capitals.Photo: July 2006 - Month 35: Room 122 - doors installed and trimmed outPhoto: July 2006 - Month 35: Understair linen closet on 2nd floor. Every space was used! Nothing wasted.Photo: July 2006 - Month 35: 2nd floor - columns on the intermediate landing are gone, as is the bottom section of wainscotting, which disintegrated under the paint scraper. Rotted out!Photo: July 2006 - Month 35: Final exterior powerwash. Still no front door.Photo: August 2006 - Month 36 - 3 years! Carpets arrive! (L to R) Electric BlueTabriz (Room 123), Dusty Rose Kashan (dining room), Ivory Esfahan (Room 121), Red Kerman (Saba living room), Rose Tabriz (Room 122) , Salmon Sarouk (living room)Photo: August 2006 - Month 36: Hector painting the fire place after much prep work removing layers and layers or prior years' paintPhoto: August 2006 - Month 36: Jeremy preparing the first floor hallway wainscotting for paintPhoto: August 2006 - Month 36: Andrew finishing the 3rd floor stairsPhoto: August 2006 - Month 36: Building the porch. Handing the first capital out the window. Zenom, Joe and Leo (in shadow)Photo: August 2006 - Month 36: The final capital - Raymond, Leo and ZenomPhoto: August 2006 - Month 36: Porch pillars and capitals are installed. The neighbors were thrilled. The columns are NOT fibreglass!Photo: August 2006 - Month 36: Porch roof framed in!Photo: September 2006 - Month 37 - Beginning of Year 4: Hector painting the first floor colums and capitalsPhoto: September 2006 - Month 37: Leo preparing the stairs for sandingPhoto: September 2006 - Month 37: Joe cleaning the interior brickPhoto: September 2006 - Month 37: Hardware with two dates: Nov. 12, 1889 and May 24, 1898. Raymond cleaned all the original hardware so we could reuse it.Photo: September 2006 - Month 37: Hardware detailPhoto: September 2006 - Month 37: Zenom and Francisco installing hardware on the front doorsPhoto: September 2006 - Month 37: Raymond hanging out in our new doorway. One leaf!Photo: September 2006 - Month 37: Two leaves. It's a door!Photo: September 2006 - Month 37: Deciding on uphostery fabric. Laura finally gets to start her part of the work. Choices for Room 111 guided by Beto Rossi's wonderful painting.Photo: September 2006 - Month 37: More upholstery choices for the living room guided by another of Beto's beautiful paintings.Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Furniture delivery! What a great day!Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Porch complete, doors installed. Door trim assembly being built according to the original pattern.Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: 3+ years into the process, Raymond is a happy owner. We've come a LONG way!Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Checking out the new upholstery. Nice match in Room 123!Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Room 124 works!Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Happy with Room 121 choices!Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Dress rehersal! Living room missing window trims and crown molding. Just checking out the furniture!Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Front hall with doors installed and paint finished. Chandeliers wrapped to protect from dust.Photo: October 2006 - Month 38: Kitchen cabinets installedPhoto: October 2006 - Month 38: Appliances and office in placePhoto: October 2006 - Month 38: Laura's cousin Dean Evans, who designed and fabricated all of the metal railings throughout the house, installing the side railings on the porch.Photo: November 2006 - Month 39: Dean's security gate under the front steps installedPhoto: November 2006 - Month 39: Medallion installed. Vestibule has a floor at last!Photo: November 2006 - Month 39: Goldleaf numbers going up on the original, newly restored, leaded glassPhoto: November 2006 - Month 39: Gold leaf installation- close-up!Photo: November 2006 - Month 39: Three 2's and a 4 to go! A group gathered across the street to watch this process and cheered when the final number was completed.Photo: December 2006 - Month 40: Raymond beginning the process of re-sculpting trim moldings. Will this project ever end????Photo: December 2006 - Month 40: Closeup of the re-sculpting process. Pieces of the "eternal laurel leaf" molding, a major component of the front door and interior arches, being rebuilt for casting.Photo: December 2006 - Month 40: Installation of the new living room crown molding. The entire front wall has new medallions molded by RaymondPhoto: December 2006 - Month 40: Marrying old and new trim pieces. A very delicate process.Photo: December 2006 - Month 40: Building the living room window trim boxesPhoto: December 2006 - Month 40 - Christmas Eve: FINISHED! View from the hallway into the living roomPhoto: December 2006 - Month 40 - Christmas Eve: Ready to put the living room carpet down and move the furniture in againPhoto: February 2007 - Month 42: Finished front! Photo taken for the opening party invitations.Photo: March 2007: First week in business!Photo: March 2007: Front Hall looking beautiful! No books on the bookshelf yet.Photo: March 2007: Looking back toward the new stairwell. Large back windows bring light into the Front Hall.Photo: March 2007: The finished landing. Looks so simple. Just needed a little paint!Photo: March 2007: Close-up of the eternal laurel leaf trim molded by RaymondPhoto: March 2007: Looking up the stairs to the second floor landing and the new stair to the third floor. Remember what it used to look like?Photo: March 2007: Continuing the tour to the 3rd floor landing.Photo: November 2007: Back patio brick completed. Fence posts going up.Photo: Spring 2008: Fence and back gate installed. Another gorgeous design by Dean Evans.Photo: Spring 2008: Front porch and door detail. Beautiful railings installed.Photo: Spring 2008: One of Laura's favorite photos of the completed house!