Regardless of its architectural pedigree (the good), a one-hundred-year-old house has its kinks (the bad), and the Elizabeth Murphy House is no different. We knew coming in that there would be issues with systems: electrical, heating and plumbing. Yes, the plumbing (the ugly).
It is said that the bathroom was a Frank Lloyd Wright afterthought. Our 6×6’ water closet (the only one in the house) supports that. The plans (above) show a door opening into a sitter’s knees.
And here it is in its present glory, resplendent with fixtures from the 70s, 80s and 90s, squishy linoleum, and a mix of ceramic and plastic tile painted with latex by brush.
We knew we’d be facing a complete tear out. And with that, come many decisions. Here are a few we’ve made so far.
- We’re using this opportunity to improve whole-house systems. For example, we’re replacing 50-year old galvanized supply pipes with copper throughout the house.
- We’re repairing damage from years of leaks with new framing and flooring.
- The renewed bathroom will honor the original plan in layout and trim.
- We toyed with the idea of a walk-in shower, but have decided on a period clawfoot tub.
- We may add a laundry chute.
So we’re all-in: down-shifting our lives into smaller spaces with room for fewer things, and Frank is guiding us. We promise to post images a something resembling a 1917 water closet with a nod to 2017 usefulness, 6-8 weeks from now.