422 N. Washington - An Ignominious Prologue (and an exciting link!)

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The neighbors absolutely hated us...

Bret,

I opened your website today and my jaw dropped... I lived at 422 N. Washington in the early 2000's. I was a college student living there with 5 of my friends. We couldn't believe that we found a place to live in such a nice neighborhood for so cheap! The neighbors absolutely hated us because we parked so many cars in the driveway and would be way too loud at night. We used the claw-footed bathtub in the upstairs bathroom as a place to put all of our dirty dishes when people would come over. My bedroom was upstairs in the back corner and it was awkward because there was no hallway and I had to walk through someone else's room to get to mine.

A few more memories: The house was in really rough shape when we lived there. That old wood ramp going up to the back "porch" would totally ice over and I probably fell on it a dozen times. I'm pretty sure I'm the one that installed the 2x6s that are holding up the window a/c units in the "before" pictures because they kept falling out. There was wood paneling in every room and my room was a nasty seafoam color. There was a bathroom just off the kitchen that had the only "usable" shower in the house, so there was always a fight for it. The backyard had terrible drainage and would turn in to a giant mud pit in the rain. Also, either the house had no heat or we were too cheap to use it because it was always FREEZING in the Winter.

I am getting the biggest laugh out of this! Feel free to share. I started dating (my wife) while I lived at that house so I'm a little sentimental about it! Did you put that wood floor in downstairs or was it under the carpet?

Looking back, I can't believe they actually leased it to a bunch of college kids. What were they thinking?

Anyway, thought you might like to hear about that; what a coincidence! You did a stunning job renovating that house judging by the pictures on your website. Wow. You must have gutted nearly every wall.

We've been getting much more serious about our move to Arkansas so I'm sure we will be in contact (probably in the early Spring) to meet you in person during a trip to Fayetteville. I hope all is well!

(CH)

Thank you, CH!

Yes, the hardwood floor was underneath the carpet. We actually didn't gut every wall. The house had valuable architectural assets beneath all of that paneling and seafoam. A big part of the story was revealed when we removed the dropped ceilings. We certainly made major modifications, but there was a beautiful house in there!

Also, you may be pleased to know that you and your roommates still enjoy a legendary reputation among the neighbors. They loved the boombox on the front porch. It was a memorable touch!

Bret

BONUS!

Now, for something else worth sharing: I've been in communication with the current owner of this wonderful home.  She shared this article! It's a terrific dive into the deep history of 422 N. Washington Avenue.  I'll see if I can find more history to share.  I'm also looking forward to sharing some updated photos of the project soon.

Also, I'd like to share a link to the current owner's work. Talya Tate Boerner is an author, gardener, observer, and blogger. She brings her perspective to life in Arkansas and the South. Thanks, Talya for sharing your article with us!