Looking Through the Glass Door of the Craftsman House on Voltaire: Demolition or Removal?

by on September 14, 2017 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

By South OB Girl

WOW!!  A free house!!  Frank Gormlie sure got OBceans’ attention with his article announcing the possibility of the structure at 4921 Voltaire St. being given away for free.

I wandered down to do a little reconnaissance.

The roof looks pretty new and shingles are in good shape.  (Perhaps the roof was replaced to help the sale of the property when the property was originally for sale?)

Walls in the front room which I could see, through the glass panels of the front door were sturdy-looking, clean, and painted white.  They were not dirty and derelict which I was expecting.  Paint was not peeling, there weren’t holes in the walls.

There also wasn’t any graffiti on those walls which often happens when a house sits vacant long enough.  There is some graffiti on the fence outside the house.  There is one built-in feature visible from the front door (common for this type of house) which also appeared in good shape.

Front porch was sturdy and didn’t collapse when I stood on it and went to look at the front door!  As someone who has seen and visited dilapidated houses — I’ve seen crumbling stairs and porches.

Wood floors in front rooms. Photos by South OB Girl through cloudy windows.

There is a wood floor in the front room which is visible through the glass panels of the front door.  Some people who restore old homes would most likely say this hard wood flooring is a good find and in good condition.

What I could see of the wood floors in the front room was not broken, shattered, or extremely dirty.  Some of the boards were scratched up.  If the floors were refinished they might be very nice, and I believe they are original from the 1920’s.  I would need to run that by someone who has more knowledge about wood flooring from the 20’s than I have.  Some of the flooring may be salvageable and if refinished may be very nice.  I do not know what the floors of the house look like beyond the front room visible through the front door.

Built-in shelves visible on the left.

There are no tenants in the house (no electricity or water so this is not a rental and is a vacant structure).  So don’t worry folks — I was looking into a vacant house that is going to be torn down (or moved) and there are no tenants currently living in it.  At least no tenants who are supposed to be there.  Common for squatters to move into a vacant home like this.

Not sure what the exterior of the house looks like beyond what can be seen from the sidewalk and front porch — I did not want to trespass or run into any critters or people.

I hope that this might become someone’s home!  But remember, the owners have not given their okay for any removal. A restoration project for someone who has that kind of interest or skill.  Or, like one reader said — a model green building.  That would be cool — with solar power and a gray water system.  Wow — the possibilities!

And if the structure is left on the lot for demolition, I hope that during the demolition process some additional time will be spent donating relevant materials and parts to Habitat for Humanity.  I also hope individuals interested in historical restoration can have access to features which may be of interest to them.  Home owners, architects, and contractors doing historical restoration do seek out parts and materials which are originals from the time period of the buildings they are restoring.

I  enjoyed checking out what the old house looked like!  Go peek in the windows for yourself before it’s gone!

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