Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Floor Plans

The first stop on the virtual tour consists of several diagrams detailing the overall plans of the house.

Frame. This diagram shows the general layout and dimensions of the frame (as viewed from above), which consists of four bents and three bays, spaced at 12'-8'-12':

Within the interior of the house, most of the frame is finished over; however, a few exposed timbers suggest approx. 9x12 posts and 6x9 tie beams. The exterior of the house is heavily sheathed with thick, vertical oak planks, and as such, the original builders may have felt no need for wind bracing, because no braces appear to be present anywhere in the bent system. (I suppose it's possible that small braces may have been cut flush to the exterior, and now are hidden by interior walls, but somehow that seems unlikely). In future explorations of the frame, I'll attempt to determine the presence and locations of braces and girts, the general dimensions of the framing members, and the joinery used.

First Floor. The first floor consists of two front rooms and a large kitchen area in the rear:

The dining room, as well as the bath, were most likely relatively recent modifications to the plan. Of particular note is the volume of space (approx. 7' x 7') in the chimney bay, just behind the second-floor stair. This space was once occupied by the large central chimney and fireplaces that served the kitchen, main rooms, and bed chambers. The large chimney and fireplaces were abandoned some years ago, when the house was moved from its original location. Today, the chimney bay accomodates a small chimney, several storage spaces, and, on the first floor, the basement stair. Some of the interior walls of the chimney bay show obvious traces of where the old fireplaces had been.

Second Floor. The second floor consists of four bed chambers, and a small spinning or work room in the back:

A catwalk in the chimney bay surrounds the new chimney and provides walk-in storage. Of the five second floor rooms, the spinning room is perhaps the closest to its original state, with exposed timbers and old plaster walls. Nearly all of the original flooring remains throughout the house, except for the hall chamber and second-floor landing, which have narrow-planked wooden floors of a more recent vintage.

Next stop on the virtual tour: Attic (Home)