RWA Architects is proud to announce that we were chosen to receive a Rehabilitation Award from the Cincinnati Preservation Association for our work on a historical residence on Delta Avenue. This year marks the 50th meeting of the Cincinnati Preservation Association and RWA is proud to be recognized by this organization.
Built in 1894, the Florence Weaver House is a hybrid neo-classical style house, which perches high on the hill overlooking Delta Avenue. In 2008 – 2009, this home underwent a less than sympathetic renovation. For reasons unknown, the house was put on the market unfinished. Prior to that, the site had sat empty for 25 years. Over time it had been proposed for demolition and repeatedly suggested as a site for a townhouse development, similar to others in the area. Fortunately, it was saved from demolition when the current Owner bought the house. It was in fair structural condition, has had several renovations, new utilities, lighting, and mechanical equipment added to the home. The current Owner wanted to increase the size, modernize the amenities and add a garage, while keeping the entire house as authentic to the existing style as possible.
It was important to the Owner that all new work fit seamlessly with the existing style of the home and the design team was tasked to stay true to the character of the original style. Extraneous decoration and utilities were to be removed or replaced with more appropriate designs. The Owners played a large part in the design and construction of the remodeling. Their drive to honor the existing style drove the design and construction team to meet their exacting standards.
Design for the renovation began in August, 2011, with construction starting in March of 2012. The project was completed in May, 2013. The entire roof of the third floor and attic was insulated with expanding spray foam insulation, as well as all walls in the areas that were added and/or remodeled. The existing roofing and flashing were completely replaced. Box gutters were repaired and leaky downspouts were replaced with new downspouts very similar to the existing. New insulated windows were installed throughout, but were designed to match the construction and details of the existing windows. All remaining existing wood exterior doors were removed, cleaned, and refinished. The fabulous 2 story columns and covered porches were restored to their original glory. The damaged siding was replaced and painted to match the existing. On the addition, all new soffit, dentil and trim details were painstakingly matched, to the point that the extent of the addition is often confused with the existing plan. Also, the house was completely rewired. Extraneous outlets and switches were removed or combined to minimize electric devices on the walls. Virtually all of the existing plumbing piping has been replaced, including the cast iron sewer pipe under the basement concrete slab. Plumbing fixtures have been chosen for appropriate style and finish for this home.
The third floor attic was converted into a Game Room and Guest Suite. A back staircase was added as well as a new Master Suite above the three-car garage addition. The modern Kitchen replaced the half complete renovation from the previous owners. The stone site walls were stabilized. Additionally, there was great effort to keep the existing mature red oak. One of the design goals was to open the living room and dining room views to the kitchen in order to eliminate the dark and narrow openings. The main stair and foyer were rehabilitated to return them to their original glory. The same was done for the original pine floors, which were completely refinished.
The current Owners’ efforts have enabled the home to move forward into a new future, while preserving it’s character, durability, and sustainability.