Over the course of an immersive studio and a five month internship, I saw the majority of rehab work at 601 E. Washington Street. Known as the James A. Boyce house, this residence was one of the first Italianate houses constructed in Muncie, Indiana. Constructed in 1876, the James A. Boyce house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in the Emily Kimbrough Historic District.
Rehabilitative work on the property and house required a wide array of skills and understandings. In order to successfully rehabilitate 601 E. Washington, knowledge pertaining to structures, environmental systems and building technologies had to be utilized in a manner not typically found in the classroom.
Early during the immersive studio, we discovered a serious structural issue with the foundation of the house. At some point after construction, a previous owner had decided to partially excavate one of the bays in the basement. This decision resulted in jeopardizing the structural integrity of the foundation. Without spread footings, the ground below the foundation wall was eroding away. In order to remedy the condition, I suggested that we compact and terrace the grade back to the wall. The terracing was completed with existing floor joists that needed to be removed due to structural issues and conduit.
On the first floor, one important project that I led was the rehabilitation of the bay window in the dining room. Originally, the ceiling height in the bay widow was a mere two inches different from the adjacent dining room ceiling. In order to make the bay window appear as a single entity, I lowered the ceiling of the bay window and framed the three windows as a unit. Within the bay window, I installed salvaged beadboard to add yet an additional distinctive feature.
In the dining room, along with the entry, we installed salvaged flooring. The three-quarter inch tongue and groove flooring was gathered from a housing being deconstructed in Muncie. After the process of installing the flooring, we sanded the floor to gain a smooth surface. We proceeded by applying two coats of stain to the flooring and three coats of a polyurethane in order to provide protection to the surface.
On the exterior of the house, I assisted in recreating the cornice work, performed several mortar joint repairs in the brick facade and conducted numerous repairs on the existing window frames. In addition, I assisted in constructing the new fence on the eastern side of the house. For the front door as well as the rear door on the south facade, I made custom stops for the arched transom windows.
During my internship I had several projects that I worked on alone. One of which was to build an encasing for the pipes around the water heater. In order to provide for future access, I had to build the encasing in a manner that allowed for it to be easily de-constructed. I also designed a portico for the front of that hose that I presented to the city’s Historical Preservation Committee.
Location: Muncie, IN, US