Welcome to the Prairie!

Having once restored a Queen Anne Victorian home in Denton, Tx...we most decidedly got bit by the 'make it pretty again' bug...but BAD.  So now...fast forward to the present, in our ORIGINAL Oklahoma hometown...

Ok now...remember I told you I was going to post pictures of our 'renovation progress'...well first I'm going to start out posting pics of the building itself, what it looked like in 1903, what it looked like in 1950, what it looked like in 2009 (BEFORE WE HAVE DONE ANYTHING to the exterior...and we do have some lovely plans!)...

and in 2011, we posting pics here of the interior, as it existed before we got started,
as we 'cleaned up', and then as we went forward. 

Enjoy!  Be inspired!  Go buy an old building to ReSToRe!

Save a piece of YOUR America!

The Hughes Building circa 1903
^  Here's what we looked like, circa 1920 (built circa 1903) ...as the BANK OF COMMERCE...with the local AUTO CLUB out front!
^  And later, circa 1950...after the stone cladding was added.  The jewelry store storefront is at far left, the door with fabric awning NEXT to it was converted to a plate glass display window in the 1960s, the door in the center is still there.  The door on the right end is still there, the door around the corner was glassed in with glass blocks at some point during the Dillingham ownership of the building.
Note the TALL, ARCHED VICTORIAN windows of the 1903 bldg were shortened when the building
was 'modernized'...this is evident from the inside, as well, which we'll show in some future pics.
^  This picture dates 2009, BEFORE any restoration of the exterior, though AFTER the name change on the building to indicate my Daddy's ownership of this property for over 50 years.  NOTE:  Our 'restoration' will NOT include removing the (still very FIRMLY attached) stone cladding and going back to the Victorian brick exterior.  Since the building has sported it's beige and grey stone cladding for over 60 years now, since BEFORE the time it was owned by my parents, it is a part of the history of the property. However, parts of the interior and the lovely Victorian woodwork elements will be lovingly restored to their original glory.  NOTE the metal grill and window air-conditioner in what was the central doorway...all of the old air-conditioners will be removed, the doorways restored, and a more historically appropriate doors installed.  Ditto the other doors. 
Ditto the 'window treatments'. Ditto the removal of the ugly brown paint over the paned glass upper transoms.

Some of our plans include:  new paint, new awnings, appropriate doors.  Landscaping.

Ooooh!  It's going to be LOVELY!

Just you wait.  : D
^  Some of the exposed OLD brickwork upstairs, which we're VERRRRRY SLOOOOOWLY uncovering...(it takes forever when you're doing it yourself)...under the plaster walls of the upstairs of the building.  We are uncovering a bit at a time, replacing any missing mortar, and using a substance which re-hardens the mortar and surface...to keep that old, sandy mortar from crumbling
and becoming unstable.
^  Prior to our 'getting started' -- Here is some old wallpaper, an example of the MANY layers of wallpaper that was added during various renovations over the last 100 years, to 'modernize' the upstairs office spaces.  We're thinking this is probably about 1930's - 1940's.  What do you think?  Email us at loftythoughts@littleloftontheprairie.com, and soon, we'll have the BLOG up and running, too.

^  After we pulled down the nasty white ceiling squares that had been added at some point, AND the wallpaper ceiling paper under THAT (yes I saved samples), here you can see the ORIGINAL materials of this 100-plus yr old building's ceiling:  beadboard on the original 11 or 12 ft ceilings (I forget how tall, one or the other). You can see where we took out a non-load-bearing wall...the original beadboard in it's OH SO GORGEOUS natural color...then the line where the wall was, then the painted area of the next room's ceiling.  AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT... the room where the ORIGINAL WOOD FINISH is, will be a STUDY, with mahogany furniture and shelves, where we had already planned a very classic, masculine, interior.  Then, a new wall will go up, and the area where you see the PAINTED CEILING...will be OH MY! HOW DID WE EVER LUCK OUT LIKE THIS???!  a lovely vintage style BATHROOM, which I'd already planned to have a painted ceiling anyway.  Thank you, God. Someone IS looking out for us.  Check out the 'strings' hanging down.  That is from at least 10,000,000,000 'tacks' that had held the original cheesecloth to the ceiling, with the old wallpaper then pasted to the cheesecloth. We have loooooots of tack removal to do!   Do you have tips? Experience? Email us at:
^  See what I mean about not taking for granted what might be in that run-down old building in YOUR hometown?  Now admittedly, not EVERY door has these lovely old backplates and knobs, but there are a few.  WOW, will they sparkle when we get them all shined up!
^  One of MANY transoms (used to facilitate 'natural air-conditioning' as they allowed air to flow from room to room) above doorways in what was built as, remember, a VIctorian era brick building. Our renovation/adaption will include restoring the Victorian interior, even as we clean up and spruce up the 1940s-era exterior.  Many of these old transoms will be left in place...and again:  WOW, will they sparkle when we get them all shined up!
I'll be adding MORE PICS very soon!  Check back with us!
This beauty will grace the Master Suite -- which has the bedroom, the sitting room, then the master bath and master closet.

(The doors and green balls have nothing to do with it..that is just storage).

So excited to find this in Fort Worth, Texas...where Mother and Daddy met...and married.  To me...that means alot. 

A lovely old home known as Grove Manor, older than the Tarrant County Courthouse (also gorgeous) is where this was removed from.  The former owner
of the home sold it to us.
All content copyright @ 2011 HUGHES BUILDING ENTERPRISES.  All rights reserved.

"The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious."  — John Scully
“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one
day be. Your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”  — James Allen

The above group of pics was an old wooden yardstick we found in the walls as we
were taking some of them down --- that, along with an old hammer.  These are not original walls, but walls that were put up later, likely in the 1930s-40s, when various business men had insurance, finance, etc offices in this upstairs area. It reads:  (two sides)


GEO. McCLELLAN - Furniture and Undertaking - FREDERICK, OKLA.

(for anyone under 40 - 'undertaking' at one time referred to the funeral business)

...and I had to take that final pic of JUST the words....

"Undertaking - FREDERICK, OKLA."

because BOY...what an 'UNDERTAKING' we have 'undertaken' !
Click here for more WOW results AFTER!
Click here for more BEFORE photos