Update: Thanks to a regular reader via our Facebook page, we want folks to know that we have learned that the current owners are working to improve this building and we applaud them for that. We understand that buildings change ownership over time and that the current owners may have had nothing to do with the current state of the building.
That being said, our purpose of doing the post is educational in order to point out to others how and why vinyl and historic buildings do not mix–ever. We hope that we can discourage, even if just a single owner, from performing “renovations” that are just another form of blight in our opinion. Folks come “from away” to enjoy our heritage–natural and man-made–but if all buildings start to look the same, well, they can get that at home.
Original post: As a preview of coming attractions, we are currently working on adding Bridgton, Maine to our town picture gallery . . . stay tuned. However, while perusing the pictures we noticed a “renovation” of an apartment building–the Highland View Apartments–on main street that just set our blood to boiling . . . the Vinyl-Vandals had clearly struck again.
Take a look at the picture above and note the types of vinyl-vandalism that you can see. Here is our list:
- The vinyl-siding extends beyond the window framing. This is usually caused by the addition of a sheet of styrofoam insulation prior to putting on the vinyl-siding. As a result, the windows look like tired, sunken-in eyes.
- As if the cheap-looking vinyl-windows weren’t bad enough, they left the old 6-over-6 windows in the top floor which serves as a reminder of how good the windows use to look. And who though it would be a good idea to have dark green trim against white vinyl-windows?
- Keep in mind that this is the side of the building facing main street, which leaves one wondering why they decided to put the TEN electric meter boxes on that side of the building? Adding insult to injury, the vinyl has been removed in parts exposing the underlying styrofoam insulation.
- A piece of vinyl is missing as well as one of the corners on the left side. This is probably due to the nails being to short to accommodate the extra layer of styrofoam. We’ve removed vinyl-siding like this and the nails had barely penetrated the old clapboards (the good news was that few of the clapboards had split). Needless to say, loose vinyl is no match for a Nor-easter.
- The back deck/fire escape looks like a jail cell from the street. We certainly understand the need for fire escapes, but why do they always have to look so utilitarian which inevitably clashes with the elegant lines of the building? Though not so much in this case since any elegance in this building has been suffocated by styrofoam and vinyl.
- If you are going to start to paint the eaves of a building . . . please finish the job! We can’t tell you the number of buildings we’ve seen with half painted eaves. Drives us nuts 🙂
Yet, there are some good features. We always love a good granite foundation and the granite retaining wall really says “New England.” And finally the top floor and half-painted eaves provides a good clue to hidden charm of the building.
It’s too bad really, because the picture below shows you the incredible view from the building which overlooks Shorey Park and Highland Lake beyond . . . what do you think, did we miss any ugly?
And if you’ve seen any egregious examples of vinyl-vandalism in your area–do share in the comment section below . . .