The exterior space has actually given us a lot of heartache. It’s a long story, so if you’re here just for the pictures feel free to scroll on by.
We knew when we made an offer on the firehouse that the plots on either side were owned by the city. So our original plan was to buy the plot on the left and the plot on the right (heretofore known as Left Lot and Right Lot). We wanted to fence in Left Lot and add a patio. This plan lasted until just a few weeks from our final closing date when we discovered that the land just to the left of the firehouse… the asphalt that is literally touching the building… the space where the previous owner abandoned a bus… is an ALLEY.
You can see why we were surprised at this turn of events. Dead giveaways like “a break in the sidewalk to allow a vehicle to pass” and “clear passage to another alley or street” are non-existent. Instead, there’s a patch of grass-covered asphalt that ends in a fence. Our best guess is that the city gave the alley to the firehouse but never made it official. We can make it official, but it’s costly and will take some time so we’re still mulling it over.
That revelation lit a fire under our butts to get the process started to buy Left Lot and Right Lot. A call to the city real estate office revealed that our neighbor (I use that term loosely as no one actually lives in the broken down house that’s two lots over) applied to buy Left Lot mere days after we made an offer on the firehouse. What a welcome to the neighborhood, eh?
Not surprisingly we pounced on Right Lot and got the official “ok” to buy it last week. So the patio and yard are flipping to that side of the building. There’s not much to see there right now, but back on the left side you’ll notice the numerous windows that were bricked over (although the contractor is making progress adding windows!)
The back is more shoddy asphalt surrounded by a tall, barbwire-topped fence. (View from Left Lot.)
The back has a few windows that need replaced, a few windows that have been bricked over, a few satellite dishes (how many is too many) and a ramp leading to the kitchen door, which is totally getting chucked. This is the view from the soon to be installed oversized carport. More on that later.
So that ends our initial tour. You’ve caught of glimpse of what we fell in love with. So tell me, do you think we’re crazy? I won’t blame you if you say “yes.” We have lots of plans for every space in the house. Which are you most interested in knowing more about?