Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Permits Department surprise

Argh!! I am so disorganized! I have no idea what I did with the papers I printed out when I went down to the city office. They were only $.25 a piece, so I will just have to go reprint them at some point.

When I got to the office the lady working there showed me where the computer I wanted was. I went and put in my address. The oldest permit I could find was from 1951.. all my paperwork says that my house was built in 1930. I thought maybe the records only went back to 1950 or something, so I decided to look up the other houses on my street. Some of them had permits going back to 1924!

I was very discouraged, thinking that for some reason my permits were just missing. There is a drop down menu on the computer lookup, so I changed it to blank (rather than on building permits) hoping more things might come up, and clicked on something called an index card. That was basically a compilation of all permits issued for my address. The first line on there was an entry about moving the house from 2715 Longfellow Ave!! My house was moved about 10 blocks to my lot in 1951!! I then looked up that address on the computer and was able to find the original permit from when the house was built. Very cool!!

This discovery definitely answers some questions. When I was looking at homes, I noticed how many homes that were older like this one (pre-50s) had crappy basements. The floors were very uneven, they were dark and dreary. Every person (inspectors, plumbers, contractors, etc...) who has seen my basement has commented on how nice it is. The city inspector asked what year it was built and told me that the concrete floor must have been re-poured because it was so flat and even. When my friend was over he was looking and noticed that the walls in the stairway to the basement were sheetrock, and all the walls on the main level are plaster. We thought it was odd, but now we know why.

It's just so weird that someone moved this house! I would love to have seen that! I went to drive by the original location and found that the whole east side of Longfellow is now part of the Warehouse Depot property. It cost $900 to move my house. I'm glad they did, because even though it's only about 10 blocks away, I like the house's current location much better.

Next up, I'm going to go over my abstract, which dates back to 1850 or so, and try and find out about some of the previous land owners.