02 September, 2009

Bungalow Reborn, Restoring the Worth -Knox House

This is the story of our bungalow. The Worth -Knox House was built in 1912-13. Charles C. Hook was the architect. Mr Hook designed many important and beautiful buildings in NC. Our home was constructed for the Worth family who lived in Newton N.C. where they owned Clyde Mill. Mr J.Knox was the son of the original owner and he passed away about 6 months before we purchased the house. My son sleeps in the room where Mr. Knox was born. We are the house's second family.

We moved in 2 years ago. The house had been unoccupied only for about 6 months but Mr Knox had been 90 when he died so there was a good deal of immediate repairs that had to be dealt with. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't because Mr Knox didn't love the house, age and time had just caught up with him.He did the best he could and I hope we can be as vigilant.We feel his presence is very real in the house and in a way he is an unseen member of our family. He had been using the upper floor mainly for storage and it was partially closed off. A lovely family of squirrels called the space above the bathroom home and there were cracked nuts strewn down the hall. There was an abandoned bird nest in the maids room window and it seems that a raccoon may have visited the sleeping porch on occasion.
Once we moved in we immediately knew that the electrical was the first project that had to be addressed. The whole house was running on about 30 amps and it's original 1912 knob and tube wiring. Try running a toaster and vacuum at the same time! Now before we go any further let me explain that we are not rich...quite the opposite. This isn't going to be a story about how I called in my contractor and poof it was done. There are no granite counter tops in my future and the only reason I have any stainless steel appliances is because I traded one of my paintings for a stove. We have to save for every project and are learning to do most things ourselves. We don't have air conditioning, dish washer or showers for that matter. What we do have is a big family and lots of love for this big house. And boy did this big house need new wiring and this is one of the things we can't do ourselves. Fortunately one of my best friends is the best electrician in NC, maybe the world and he has helped us get it done. We now have a 200 amp system. We left the 1912 wiring in place though so you can see how it was originally done.

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