The House Director Suite renovation is going well. Completion is planned for late June to early July (that likely means August).
We have found interesting items under the wall and floor layers hiding for years in the old House Director’s Suite. There were two layers of carpeting along with the underlying pad. Most of the walls had a second layer of drywall against the original lath and plaster. The ceiling light in both rooms had a gas pipe running to the middle of the room.
The hardwood floors in both rooms appear remarkably good in the old parlor room and what will the new bedroom. However, on the new bedroom floor, half was covered by linoleum tile and has a black tar residue. The other half of the bedroom has a foam pad that had adhesive backing or over the years had adhered to the hardwood floor. Either way, our floor people will have an opportunity to show their hardwood floor restoration expertise. They did a great job with similar floors in other parts of the original 1904 house.
The floor under the old Suite’s bathroom was totally rotted out. However, it does not matter because this is where new kitchen tile will be laid. Likewise, the floor where the new bathroom is located has softwood pine and the replacement base for an old chimney that was removed during the renovation. The bathroom floor also will be laid with tile. The support rafters above the new kitchen, below the Old Head on the second floor, show major water damage. The water damage has bowed the bowed the wood two inches below the bottom of the beams on the rest of the room.
The exposed wood shaker pattern we love in the foyer, will be brought back to life around the old parlor fireplace, walls facing Iuka Avenue and wall with foyer. The kitchen portion of the room will have this same shaker pattern installed in the cabinets. Finally, the four foot door between the foyer and old parlor room, originally was a pocket door. The pocket door track was discovered during the removal of an old heat duct wrapped in asbestos.
The goal for the old parlor, now the House Director Suite great room, will be for common space for the actives and alumni to use. The House Director’s bedroom and bathroom doors can be locked while the common space of the House Director Suite great room can be used for other AGR purposes.
With the completion of the House Director Suite, along with the restored living room, foyer and foyer staircase completes the restoration of the ‘Mansion in the Woods.’ Beta Chapter fraternity house, the mother ship of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, is once again a historical, yet functional monument to our founding in 1904.