Since the layout of these big old houses isn't necessarily obvious or easy to describe, I spent yesterday working on my old school paint skills to make up a couple of simple diagrams of the first floor.
Determining how the staircase was supposed to run was the most mind-boggling part of the project. It was clear that the floorplan had been changed dramatically, but no one was quite sure how. Before finding the early photo, I spent days examining the exterior brick and mortar for holes, shadows and patches indicating where the porch was supposed to be, and many hours climbing through the secret holes and rooms that had been walled off because of the changes - the spelunking was just as exciting as it sounds . . . . Luckily this house wants to be restored badly enough that she's told us what to do; through more shadow lines, bits of woodwork and wallpaper fragments we have the stair layout close to what it would have originally been (we think). Sadly, in all those walled off spaces no one bothered to stash the missing stair parts, not even the newels . . . Here's where we are as of today on the stair bay (nothing like getting a few square feet painted to make you want to drop everything and PAINT)!