Friday, July 5, 2013

Progress report

Okay.  Things are moving along again.  We had a rather dormant spring in terms of progress at WSC. The gallery was super busy, tax time took too much attention, and we went to Istanbul for 10 days in April, effectively avoiding the craziness of San Antonio's annual party frenzy. (Our gallery is in the epicenter of four days of Fiesta insanity. It's organized by the San Antonio Conservation Society which makes most of its budget during those four days, and as a recipient of one of their amazing grants, we do NOT begrudge them the lost days at the gallery.)

In any case, the only real progress for weeks and weeks was the scraping and painting of the exterior of the main building.  Coming home from the gallery and finding another 100 square feet of bright white primer had replaced the ancient and peeling (mostly gone) paint... was fabulous!  Three sides (the more public sides) are primed and the fourth is in progress. We are less and less an eyesore, and more and more a thing of beauty!

But things are picking up speed now and a couple of interior walls downstairs that didn't go up to the ceiling have been demolished and replaced with complete ones and are mostly dry walled already.  We've framed in a restroom for the school which can also be a second bath for the eventual guest lodging behind.  Right now we're making decisions about air conditioning for the school.  Commercial all-in-one unit or residential unit/s. Either choice will require ducting that will interfere with the enjoyment of the architecture as it is.  So we're also considering massive ductless "mini-split"- but then what to do about getting air into the small bath?  It's a puzzle we haven't figured out yet, but will need to choose soon. This week? 

We tore out a lot of broken, nicotine-soaked drywall from walls and ceilings downstairs last year when we first got the property and now, slowly, it's being replaced.  So exciting to see fresh surfaces on top of all that wood. The building was built at a time when the walls were completely covered with wood on both sides and then fabric scrim was tacked on and wallpaper then glued on top of the fabric. Somewhere in the '30s or '40s drywall was added on top of the wallpaper without removing the door and window trim, so the trim's effect was buried a bit.  It's going to be nice to see the trim on top of the wall surfaces.  The guesthouse has long leaf pine floors and the school/former grocery store has oak floors, put down over the pine. When we replaced the walls mentioned above, we moved one of them about 5 feet toward the guesthouse, making the open school area a perfect rectangle- 30' x 40',  with the kitchenette/break room and the new bath adding another 10' x 27'. 
We thought we knew where the projection screen was going to go, but once we looked at the new wall from the school side, we knew we didn't even need a screen:  The ceiling is 11 feet high and the wall is about 19 feet wide. Excellent.

For the 4th of July, we hung our new flag out and sat on the porch after a good dinner and enjoyed the cooling breeze with friends, then walked around the corner to the Hays Street Bridge and watched the fireworks from what's got to be the best vantage point in the city. We happened upon some of our favorite neighbors on the way and on the bridge. When the fireworks big finale was over and everyone had applauded, a train blew its whistle as it went under the bridge.  We walked back around the corner to WSC.  Idyllic, truly.  I rode my bicycle to work this morning.  We've been at Whistle Stop Corner for a year and five months now.   We love the place today and are excited about the years to come.



6 comments:

  1. You two are amazing! What a huge project and how beautiful it is turning out. Bet it is hard to wait and look forward to the time when you can enjoy all the fruits of your labor!! I am so anxious to come see.

    Hugs....

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  2. A lot of work for you gals - but it will be worth it - and sounds like it already is. Love that you have a good feel for your 'hood' - does sound 'idyllic'. Are you painting on canvas any these days?

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  3. Thank you Jo! and Thank you, Pattie, for your good comments. Yes, please, come visit, certainly. Pattie, I'm so eager to get back at a couple of canvases I have going. I know once I get going again, it may be hard to pry the brushes from my hand.

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  4. Thanks for this blog, it's great to hear the things you two are doing with the great building! We've bought the empty lot next door to the convenience store that we're designing a house for. Every time we go by to mow the grass we enjoy seeing the progress on WSC. It looks great so far and can't wait for the last exterior wall to be painted!

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  5. I am very late in seeing this but I really enjoyed reading it. Sounds like the perfect life there at Whistle Stop. Try to post some before and after photos at some point, would love to see that. It will be perfect when you finish I just know it will.

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  6. wow Susan so many wonderful things are happening in your life, you must be busy from dawn to dusk! How do you find time to paint? How lucky are you to have a bigger and better gallery and now this ambitious project as well! It sounds like you are living your dream, good for you!

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