Thursday, September 7, 2017

All That Is Changing.......

The continued work at the Eppstein is really taking shape now. All of the windows have been replaced, the a/c unit is installed, the patio is almost finished, the bathroom is heading into the finishing stage, the landscaping is underway and the floors are being fixed.
 The colored layer of the interior floors is being chiseled out by hand. An arduous task to say the least. Of course once that is finished and a few other things, a new layer of color will be poured.
The carpenter is doing an a fantastic job that shows when you see the work in person, especially in the laundry room and bathroom.
Things should move along pretty quickly now with a lot of trim work being created and readied for installation.
One aspect of this restoration that no one else had even discussed, aside from removing the pool, is the landscaping. As a matter of fact, no other home at The Acres has any sort of landscaping beyond grass and a few shrubs. At least nothing that catches anyones attention. Now at the Eppstein, the landscaping taking place is going to be as much a piece of art as is the home. Don't let that big a/c unit distract you. It is whisper quiet and will be covered on 2 sides by a bench and in the back by decorative bushes.

When you pull into The Acres you are greeted by the Pratt house on the right and the Eppstein straight ahead. It is actually the focal point of the drive in. The Fonken is on the left but sets far back into the woods so is often hard to see. The Meyer house is on the hill up beyond the Eppstein same as the Weisblat house so neither can be seen until you drive past the Eppstein house. That pretty much means that the Eppstein and Pratt homes set the tone for any visitor to The Acres. The owner of the Pratt house has taken very good care it and is always making sure that it is looking its best. So contrast that to what was the home in the worst condition, which you will look at the entire time you drive in and while you drive out then it's pretty much the last home you see in the rearview mirror as you exit. It tended to make you leave feeling sorry for the place. But all that is changing.....
I can assure you that the Eppstein, which was once the biggest eye sore of any Frank Lloyd Wright home in Kalamazoo County, will be one of the most attractive girls at the dance when finished. Both inside and out.
New laundry room basin and walls


Laundry room
New Steps out side of laundry room and patio 

View from bottom of steps (above photo)
The A/C Unit & New Patio
Looking North Towards The Valley
The Terrace Makeover
This is a new feature
Plants to come soon
 Color Layer Removed
What it looks like when being removed
All new woodwork in bathroom
Access Panels (skilled carpentry)
The new shower. Almost finished.
Main living room a/c unit custom ordered to match walls
The hallway looking towards basement

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Getting Closer To The Finish Line

When you pull up to the Eppstein house today you can see the finished work of some things and the ongoing work of others. If you had not walked thru the house a number of times a year or so ago then it probably just looks like a construction zone. The one things that stands out is that the new owners were certainly the "wright" purchasers. They are doing things to the home that no other potential buyer even discussed doing and they are doing it "wright".
When I stopped by yesterday I could see that all of the windows have been replaced. The A/C units are installed inside and the main unit was being installed. The bathroom floor is in and the entire exterior has been stained. The new roof is also completed. I won't go into too much detail on that but the company that did the initial roof replacement with the Firestone EPDM, did add extra insulation but did not taper anything to allow for proper drainage so there were large pools of water after moderate rains. The new owners had another company come in and fix it.
The cement patio off the front of the living room was cracked so they had it removed and then re-poured a new slab. When they did this they extended the slab by a couple of feet. It is a far more usable space now. They are also putting in a cement slab were the very northwest corner of the pool was and this will be where the main a/c unit is located.
There is still much to do but, it won't be long now.
Bathroom Floor

Master Bedroom A/C Unit

New Bathroom Ceiling

Location Of New Patio & Main A/C Unit

New Front Patio

Driveway Parking Area. (they were buried for 30 years)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

And the beat goes on.......

The new bathroom is nearing completion, the exterior staining is complete and the new patio is getting ready for cement. New windows are in the process of being installed and the new septic system is completed.
Everything is moving right along with the restoration and the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen.
Front Patio
Front Patio

Stained block at entry

New bathroom

Exterior at drive entry


Friday, March 24, 2017

It Was Almost Lost....

 The Eppstein saga continues. Someday it may be the most famous of all Frank Lloyd Wrights designs...... yeah..... probably not, but perhaps this will help both it and The Acres to become a little more well known.
 At one time the Eppstein (designed by Wright) and Fonken (designed by Taliesin student Francis Wilsey) homes were so far gone it seemed that they would never be able to come back from the edge of destruction. They sat empty for years and the weather was taking its toll and then some. It was such a sad thing to see. I can remember passing by them a few times a week and wondering how they could have ever made it to this level. They were pretty much abandoned. I know the owner of the Eppstein had a desire to bring it back to life but life itself sort of got in the way and as time passed by it seemed it was harder and harder to get to the house. Things tend to compound and costs to repair quickly soar to almost unimaginable levels.

 Today is a new day. The new owners are bringing the homes back to life and it seems as though all of the owners at The Acres are doing things to the homes that have been long overdue. The Acres are heading into great times and I think that as more people see what is going on there, its true potential will come out.
Here are a couple of pics of the Fonken and Eppstein homes from a few years ago and then a couple from 2015.
You will also see a couple of photos of the work going on inside the Epstein house. They are not that much different than the last post. The larger post with more photos is still being worked on. The home is going to be fantastic when it is finished, which should be soon.
Fonken 2011

Fonken 2015
Eppstein 2012

Eppstein 2015


Eppstein Family Room

Eppstein Bathroom

Eppstein General Purpose Room/Temporary Cabinet Shop

Eppstein Bedroom. Bath on L, Laundry & Master Straight Ahead



Sunday, March 5, 2017

It Wasn't Even Close To 90% Finished.....

So early on in this endeavor I made a statement in the marketing of the home that it was approximately 90% finished. That info was thought to be accurate based on what other prospective buyers and the seller had obtained estimates for. The new owner stated early on that they disagreed with my statement. I figured opinions differ but I was certain that I was correct. It's all relative to ones perspective of what needed to be done. All of the others felt that it needed the boiler addressed and some things with the kitchen and perhaps down the road the floors. Some of the walls could be refinished but for the most part it was within 10% of being put into a condition deemed fit for living in.
Well.... I didn't see this coming. The new owners have done what you see in the previous couple of posts and more. I can see exactly why they felt it was not 90% finished or even 75% finished. Maybe 50% at best.
The work that is going on in the house right now is far beyond what anyone else had even considered doing. I cannot say just yet what the final condition will be but I would venture to guess it will be in excellent condition. It is very pleasing to see this all happening.
Some of this will be redundant but..... the cement slab was removed and a new one poured that has the floor coloring in it. Really stands out and was an awesome idea. The entire boiler system is new, not just the boiler for the general purpose room which is what others were concerned with but the main boiler is a small wall mount propane unit that feeds the entire home. The oil tank was dug up and hauled away and then a propane tank was buried. The entire electric panel in the boiler room is also new.
Open the door to the home and you will see that the blocks have a nice uniform appearance. They have been stained and it is very impressive.  Look in the interior electric closet and you will see that it has been gutted and that the wires are cut and things are being prepped for new wiring.
There is so much going inside that it would be hard for many people to envision the finished product. There is sawdust in just about every room and lots of plastic tarps wrapped around items. There are walls that have been removed and the only thing left in either bathroom is the master baths toilet and bathtub. Everything else is gone. The second bedroom has no closet and the wall to the laundry area is gone. On down the hall there are new doors on closets and they look fantastic. Get into the General Purpose room and it's like WTH? In the middle of all if this chaos you see a new bathroom vanity being custom built to match the original. There are even hand written notes and sketches of the new vanity laying there. Not a single room is untouched. Of course the pool, deck and shed that you could see from the General Purpose room are long gone too.

If you walk into the home it is a little overwhelming. It's like a tornado went thru the inside of the home. So many things going on and all of it is coming together very well.
There are more photos coming soon as I have a new professional photographer taking photos of the interior for the next update. Very exciting stuff and so glad to see it.

The Master Bathroom

Looking thru what was the closet you can see what was the laundry room.

Vanity Plans

Vanity under construction and new doors

The electric panel has been removed.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Walls...

So, it is exciting that the progress on the interior is coming along. It is moving slowly but methodically. This is a short post to show the progress that has been made with the interior walls. I cannot post all of the specifics but a certain stain has been introduced. The walls were cleaned then it was applied. The results are fantastics and when the weather allows the exterior will be addressed.
This really helps with the interior look and feel. The very top photo is the before and the rest are the afters.







All That Is Changing.......

The continued work at the Eppstein is really taking shape now. All of the windows have been replaced, the a/c unit is installed, the patio i...