Don’t Miss This Renovators’ Happy Hour

By on 16 June, 2017 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

If you missed the inaugural Renovators’ Happy Hour on Felder Avenue in Old Cloverdale, you’re in luck! Join Landmarks Foundation and the Historic Neighborhoods Coalition for the second Renovators’ Happy Hour on Thursday afternoon, June 29, 5:30 until 7:00. If you live in Midtown and if South Capitol Parkway is one of your avoid-the-traffic cut-throughs, you’ve notice a simple neat Colonial Revival apartment building on the east side of the street near Madison Avenue with lots of activity happening around it. 19 South Capitol Parkway (I will refer to it as 19) began its life, we think, as a single dwelling but very soon afterward was chopped up in to apartments – probably during an economic down-turn or during wartime. It was one of those party apartment places that so many of us baby boomers lived in after college. More recently, it fell victim to the financial downturn and was subject to foreclosure.

Some watchful neighbors came to the rescue. Christy and Rich Anderson, who live across the street from 19 and George and Alissa Marodis, who live next door to 19, decided to partner and purchased the house from the foreclosing financial institution. The two couples formed Happy Dale Properties, LLC (that’s a limited liability corporation). For you movie buffs, Happy Dale was the name of the sanitarium Mr. Witherspoon represented in Arsenic and Old Lace (Warner Brothers, 1944). They thought this would be an appropriate name because most folks would assume that the couples might be somewhat deranged to take on such a project. The Andersons are old hat at renovations, having renovated several of their own residences as well as converting previous rentals to owner-occupied housing. The Marodis’, living directly next door to 19, wanted some property controls and were willing to apprentice contributing sweat equity.

After the purchase, the first order of business was to secure the property and install the new roof to weather in the structure as they waited out the year of right of redemption which follows the foreclosure process. As soon as those 365 days passed, work on the house began. Because 19 is located in the South Capitol Parkway Historic District, all exterior alterations to the structure and lot needed to be approved by the Architectural Review Board for design review. The initial plan included removing all the old plaster, sheetrock, wiring, plumbing, and ductwork leaving a stripped skeleton. A large red dumpster appeared in the front yard and piles of rotten wood, old appliances and other debris were removed. Weird closets and odd corners were opened up sometimes revealing secret spots and unknown doors. On the exterior, as the strenuous task of removing the aluminum siding began, the house began to breathe sighs of relief from the suffocating material.

The owners have impressive plans for the next phase which you can see at the Renovators Happy Hour. They are eager to share their vision for the new and improved 19 South Capitol Parkway. If you’re interested in old house living, this would be the perfect event for you to catch the fever. If you’re interested in being closer to downtown happenings by moving to Capitol Heights, this is an opportunity to meet many folks who could possibly be your future neighbors. Refreshments will be on hand, provided by our house hosts, so you can be assured of a nice selection of libations.

Join us at the second Renovators’ Happy Hour on Thursday afternoon, June 29 from 5:30 until 7:00 to see this work in progress. The event is free for Landmarks members and $10 for non-members, but be prepared for the Hat Lady to be tending the membership table and she sets herself a membership quota for the evening. She’ll explain all the benefits of being a member of Landmarks Foundation for you and your family including being part of the select few informed of the upcoming third Renovators’ Happy Hour!

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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