Friday, January 7, 2011

Our House Has a History

A neighbor of mine alerted me to the fact that our state offers a tax incentive to restore the exterior of historic homes. The credit equals 20% of the cost of the restoration work up to $2000 a year. Even better is that the $2000 credit rolls over each year it isn't used as long as you live in the house.  Not too shabby when we're looking to have a pricey new roof installed and have the exterior painted within the next few years.

Of course there are plenty of restrictions, for instance, outbuildings, replacement windows, and landscaping do not qualify.  We'll also need to apply for the credit and get the project approved by the state Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission prior to starting any work.  Additionally, we'll need to provide plenty of before and after photographs and, of course, all receipts.  Still, this is a small price to pay for a big reward.

One of the first hurdles is to determine eligibility for the credit.  This was actually simple, as I just emailed our address to someone at the state Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission and she confirmed it. Interestingly, she also provided this information:

RHODA AND WILLIAM PIMM HOUSE ca 1890: A small one-story, weatherboard
clad, mansard-roof dwelling with a turned-post front porch and a
bay window, both with a hipped roof. Pimm was a gold leaf manufacturer.
Garage before- 1918: A one-bay, two-car structure clad in weatherboard,
with a gable roof.

The interesting part is that previous owner had the preservation society in our city do some research on the history of the house and there are discrepancies in the information from the two sources. The city says that the original owner's name was Amelia not Rhoda, and that the house was built in 1886, not 1890.  The city says that the house is a two-story structure, but the state says it is one.  

But both sources say that Pimm was a gold leaf manufacturer and I have to wonder if he had originally gold leafed the address number in the transom window above our front door (see it here).  Whatever the truth is, it is fascinating to think that about the life our house had before we moved in. 

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