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Historic homes

FranklinD
FranklinD Member Posts: 399
I've recently been perusing the Realty websites, having found that a number of historic homes in Duluth are for sale. Most were built between 1890 and 1915. All seem to be heated with hot water gravity systems...in fact, in talking to a few of the owners, it would seem that several of the bigger homes are still circulated via gravity! This home in particular caught my eye...several MASSIVE radiators, such as this one (taken from a realty website, sorry for the quality). By my count, 50 sections. Yowza! It blew my mind and I just had to share. These homes in Duluth's East Hillside are just gorgeous. And the heating systems are something to behold, given our winter temps regularly dip to -25*f. Just beautiful craftsmanship in every regard.
Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
kcoppJStarSteve Minnich

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,454
    Try to find a rad that long nowadays.....................
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  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    And I just thought I'd add a few more pictures that I found amazing. My future home. Ha. I wish. This one is about $700k. Also hot water heat.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    FranklinD said:

    And I just thought I'd add a few more pictures that I found amazing. My future home. Ha. I wish. This one is about $700k. Also hot water heat.

    I have to ask, what is the contraption in the second photo?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,454
    It's a shower, with full-body sprayers.
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  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I remember seeing one just like it at the Biltmore. I wonder if it's a Speakman.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
    FranklinD
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Is that thing vintage or just made to look retro? Very Cool, although it would take forever to rebuild it with all those valves.
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Believe it or not, all of the plumbing is original. I would imagine that they've been rebuilt over the years, but they are original to the house. A few of the owners got together and offered private tours to a few people, and I was lucky enough to go through 3 of the houses that are currently for sale. Just beautiful stuff.

    Yes, it's the precursor to the modern full-body spray shower. Looks like a medieval torture device though :-).
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
    RobGkcopp
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Any idea of it's age? I haven't seen showers with body sprays in older homes, I thought it was just our decadent generation.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,312
    Frank Loyd Wright house in either Chicago or Springfield Ill. I believe has one. Both places did not allow a tour of the basement. :'( . Mr. Wright (nor anyone at that time) was not into energy conservation for the rich.

    Rob the rich have always been rich, only now we get to tour some of these homes. Both homes mentioned above have a sad story about riches to rags.
    FranklinD
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,653
    This is the view from my front porch. This house has a "sister" on the other side of town. Both were built at the same time by the men that essentially built the town I live in. Happened mainly at the turn of the century. The houses were finished in 1913. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing inside them yet, but it's on my list. This one is largely untouched since new, but the other one has been turned into a B&B. This one is owned by the local historical society. As a side note my house was lived in by the caretaker for this mansion for a number of years and has a road named after him on the other side of town. My neighbors uncle was actually born in my house. I love history! Very cool pics thanks for sharing!
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    FranklinD
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    JUGHNE said:

    Frank Loyd Wright house in either Chicago or Springfield Ill. I believe has one. Both places did not allow a tour of the basement. :'( . Mr. Wright (nor anyone at that time) was not into energy conservation for the rich.

    Rob the rich have always been rich, only now we get to tour some of these homes. Both homes mentioned above have a sad story about riches to rags.

    I had the pleasure (not) of disassembling the plumbing and heating in an FLW house that was being moved. Everything had to come out and be reinstalled just like it went in. It was all threaded brass pipe. Everything had to be disassembled and labeled to be reinstalled in like manor. PITA!
    FranklinDZman
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,454
    edited August 2015
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
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    FranklinD
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,312
    Steamhead, the text is there and a good read in itself, however I can't get the pictures to come up (Opps! this link seems to be broken). This happens to me on trying to view uploads on any thing very old on the wall. Does this happen to anyone else?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,819
    I've mentioned it before -- I'll try again: I have the privilege of being the caretaker -- for my generation -- of an historic home in northwestern Connecticut.

    It's in the process of being restored to 1880 (part of it) and 1895 (another part of it). All original furnishings...

    If any of you wallies would care to take a tour -- basement and all! -- just give me a ring or drop me an e-mail and you'd be welcome.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    FranklinDZman
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Try and build a wood paneled room like the one in that picture today. That, in itself would probably cost 200k.
    FranklinD
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Mr. Hall - should I ever find myself in that neck of the woods, I will take you up on that offer. There are few things I enjoy more than getting to walk through some of these grand old estates.

    I feel the same way about my childhood home, which my mother is preparing to sell (I've pleaded with her for years to sell to me, however she "doesn't want to burden me with it"). My folks bought it in '77, and I love it. Built 1886 or so, Gravity hot water heat (now pumped), all original plaster walls and crown moldings, original hardwood floors, and so on. It needs work, but my folks were always working on it while I was growing up, so it's not in bad shape at all. She has the title abstract going back to the land parcels held by New York 'land barons' back in the 1870's. Some very interesting signatures on those documents.

    Duluth, MN has many fine old homes and mansions, thanks to the lumber barons, railroad tycoons, shipping magnates, and Iron Range mine owners. The Congdon Estate (Glensheen) is open for tours daily. That's the big one. But that whole neighborhood is full of these big beautiful homes, and almost all of them fell into the ownership of not only historically-minded people, but also people interested in preserving the originality of the homes.

    Which is amazing, as they aren't governed by historical preservation laws, for the most part. The people just wanted to keep them as they were.

    Check out Zenithcity.com sometime, the historical archives. There are some beautiful photos on there of my fair city. The San Francisco of the Midwest, I've heard it called.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    A picture from my hometown for you fine folks, looking down a hillside street, with a view of Minnesota Point and the harbor, with the Lift Bridge visible.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
    kcopp
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,454
    JUGHNE said:

    Steamhead, the text is there and a good read in itself, however I can't get the pictures to come up (Opps! this link seems to be broken). This happens to me on trying to view uploads on any thing very old on the wall. Does this happen to anyone else?

    Looks like the pics aren't working. Dan?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
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  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    They aren't working for me either. Somehow I missed that one. I'm hoping I get to see the pictures too ;-)
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    I'd imagine , every picture posted since the inception of this site would require a huge amount of memory.
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Most of the pics didn't make the transition from the old server to the new last year. Sometimes one can click on them to appear if there's a jpeg address.

    Speakman has been making full-body water massages and pulsating multi-pattern shower heads since at least the early teens. My 1914 house has three still functioning, one of which was the subject of a long post last year when I had bleed-through on the mixing valve. There is the main showerhead, a handheld shower head ("shampoo") on the turn valve, and a "needle" massage which sometimes feels exactly like that, but in a good way! :)The Temp adjustment is independent of the volume control. It's still hard to find anything as nice today, although Speakman still makes a fine product.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Thought I'd add a few more local pictures from the area here. Some of the grain elevators in the harbor, and one of our local churches (the one I attended for 20 years...notable because they spent $3 million on a restoration and ***didn't touch the heating system!*** - still the original ancient boilers heating the church and the elementary school across the street). And one of the lighthouses at the end of Wisconsin Point's breakwater.

    Everyone have a good Labor Day weekend!
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Jamie, where are you? I didn't realize you're in my neck of the woods.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,819
    Northwestern Connecticut. How well do you know the area? We are in the town of New Hartford, which is just east of Torrington.

    Give me a ring and come on over -- I'd love to meet you in person!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I will for the next time I'm up that way, I've some friends in Canaan, and last time took 44 East to 84. Really pretty up there!
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,183
    I enjoyed my tour Jamie as always, see you next fall. Maybe sooner, that is some of the prettiest road trip travel in our area.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,819
    I enjoyed your coming! And as always you are welcome to drop by anytime!

    Same for you, Bob Bona -- looking forward to meeting you! And, for that matter, any other Wallie who cares to drop by.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
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