Lakeside Patio: Take 2!

The 2014 flagstone patio project did not hold up well, and our patio went back to being unsafe to walk on.  When the bulkhead was being done, the flagstone was pretty much completely destroyed.  In addition, we had so much more space, so it was time to look into something different.

Although we loved the flagstone, we decided it would be best to replace it with something more suitable for holding up tothe wear-and-tear of our pack of pups.

 

Before                                                                                                      After

 

 

 

Bulkhead

We knew when we bought our fixer-upper historic log cabin ten years ago that we would need a new bulkhead sooner than we’d like.  Next to having to rip the entire roof off of the house, this was the biggest home improvement project we have completed.  The old cement bulkhead was beginning to fall off into the lake, and much of our lakefront property had eroded.  Although it was a huge job, I am happy the original bulkhead hung in there for almost a decade!

The picture below shows the old cement bulkhead:

The old cement bulkhead had to be broken up and hauled out to the dumpster in our driveway:

The new posts were driven into the lakebed:

You can see how much of the land eroded that we gained back with the new bulkhead:

Huge truckloads of dirt were delivered and dumped in the driveway:

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The construction company had to take down our fence and use trucks and bobcats to transport materials in and out of the lakefront area, which meant leash-walking all the dogs while the project was underway.

“Dead-men” posts were set back into the property threaded with rebar anchor rods to hold the bulkhead in place:

Dirt was then hauled to the lakeside and back-filled to the new bulkhead:

It was a stressful (and messy!) time, but I am relieved that the new bulkhead is completed!

New wooden bulkhead:

Before/After:

 

 

 

The Master Bedroom

On our first floor, the kitchen and front bedroom, which we use as our Master Bedroom, was an addition to the original log cabin.

(Click HERE to see the construction on the kitchen, and click HERE to see the bay window installation in the kitchen).

While restoring the original cabin, we also wanted to be sure we “married” the addition to the cabin so that the newer part of the home matched the rest of the cabin.

Even the “easiest” of construction in this home has never been easy.  This project proved to follow suit.

We “camped” out in the lodge room during the duration of the construction.

I’m not sure why I didn’t take pictures of the entire bedroom as I did all the other rooms in the house, but here is the one photo I did find of the bedroom when we moved into  the house:

Although you can’t see the ceiling in the above photo, the bedroom ceiling was the only room in our home that wasn’t wooden slats.  Here is the wood going up on the ceiling to match the rest of the ceilings in the house:

The original cabin is an authentic and historic log cabin – built with full cedar logs and chinking (the white stuff in between the logs).  To make it appear “real” in the addition, we had to put up half-logs.  You can also see in the above and below pictures that the half-logs are up, but no chinking has been installed yet.

Ceiling completed:

Chinking going in:

Finished pics!

 

 

 

 

 

Before/After:

 

 

Featured Story in Cabin Life Magazine

Cello, Hooch, and their Windy Spot Cabin were featured in the August edition of Cabin Life Magazine, published on June 16, 2015!

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You can see the online version of this story plus additional bonus web-exclusive photos by clicking HERE.

For more renovation pictures of Windy Spot Cabin, visit our Windy Spot Cabin section of the website!

Downstairs Powder Room

This is the original bathroom of the home.  It had a window which faced the street, and a tub/shower.  By the time we had bought the cabin, the tub had been removed, the logs had been covered with paneling, and over the paneling drywall and wall paper had been installed.

This is the powder room the day we looked at the cabin for the first time.

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I just couldn’t stand the wallpaper, so when we moved in, I painted over it as at temporary fix until we could get started on the construction of this room.

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When we began to rip out the drywall and paneling, we also realized because of the way they married the walls to the bedroom and kitchen addition, it was best to add half-logs, rather than expose the original logs, as we had first planned.

Half logs were put on walls, and stained to match the original logs.

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The toilet was too close to the wall now that the half logs were installed, so we had to move the toilet slightly.

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…and repair the flooring…

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Brian had the idea to make a vanity from a large cedar stump:

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Brian hollowed out the stump using a chainsaw to make room for the pipes.

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An in-set hole had to be made for the sink, and a hole for the faucet had to be cut.  This was all very time-consuming, as we only had one shot at making this vanity right, or we’d have to search for another cedar stump! powder room 12

Testing out the sink:

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After all holes were cut, I applied a finish to the wood.

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Moving the log into the powder room: powder room 7

Installed! powder room 14

Vanity and sink in place, floor re-finished, and new toilet.  We uncovered the original window of the bathroom and decided to have a piece of stained glass made to hang in its frame, since the window opening now backs up to the kitchen addition:

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Stained glass installed!

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Faux tin ceiling to replace the paneled ceiling:unnamed (26)

This powder room is the FIRST officially completed room in our cabin!

Got Dock?

Since Cello had gotten involved in dock diving, we have been talking about putting in a “runway” that would closely resemble the length and feel of the actual DockDogs dock.

Well, the project came to life – and even prompted us to get some landscaping and other renovations done on our lakeside!

The start of the “dock” began with digging …

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…and leveling…

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Limoncello and Hooch’s dock:

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Cello trying to take the maiden jump, as Hooch is – – being HOOCH!

Hooch’s first jump off the dock (see he CAN “stay” when he wants to!)

We then purchased an Extreme Vertical rig so that Cello and Hooch can practice this discipline as well:

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Cello taking the first “grab” from her new EV rig!

I’m sure Limoncello and Hooch will enjoy their at-home dock this summer!

Flagstone Patio

Ever since the first time we looked at our dream cabin, we said the flagstone patio needed to be repaired and re-done.  Almost every stone was loose, and just about every time someone stepped on the walkway or patio, it was near disastrous.  I’m really surprised (and thankful!!) that no one had every fallen or twisted an ankle.  Although we vowed to do all the work to our cabin ourselves, there are few things we decided may be beyond us – and the patio was one of them.  Luckily, we met some nice guys who had done some work at our neighbors house, and booked them to do the patio…five years almost to the date of our settlement, the patio is completed!

When we bought our historic log home, we decided that we would do our best to keep everything we could original, and use every bit of original material that we could as we renovated the cabin.  We loved the flagstone, but we did not like that it was broken, uneven, and very unsafe to walk on.  We wanted to be sure to use the original flagstone pieces.

Before

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During…

Each stone was picked up, and then reset.  Then each piece had to be wiped with an acid to remove the concrete haze from the stone so that the pretty colors of the flagstone could shine through.

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After:

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As this brutal winter is now behind us, and we look forward to nice weather, we can now (safely!) enjoy walking and sitting on our patio as we enjoy the view of the lake!

2019 Update: Patio, Take 2!

The 2014 flagstone patio project did not hold up well, and our patio went back to being unsafe to walk on.  Although we loved the flagstone, we decided it would be best to replace it with something more suitable for our pack of pups!

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The Kitchen

The kitchen has been the longest-running project.  We built the cabinets all by hand – with no plans to follow, and no idea what we were doing!  We get complements on them constantly – they really came out great – and fit right in with our cabin!

The kitchen is mostly completed as of today (11/16/2013)…but we still need to complete the ceiling (we are going to do a tin ceiling), get hardware for the cabinets, and complete the chinking on 3 walls of the kitchen and adjoining pantry.

The kitchen when we originally looked at the house…

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The kitchen during the demolition…

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Building the cabinets

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…and the kitchen as of 11/16/13

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Copper farm sink…Brian’s pick!

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Other end of the kitchen

Adjoining pantry/laundry room (still needing the chinking in between the logs down as well as the ceiling)

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Chinking (white stuff!) getting done in the kitchen:

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2018:  The “tin” ceiling going up!

 

 

2019

 

Kitchen Wall

One of the walls in our kitchen was nothing but rotted logs (from old roof leakage) and  a very tiny window.  We had the logs on hand, but hadn’t gotten around to replacing the wall. Friends of ours called us one morning to tell us they were removing a large window from their home to replace with a larger window, and that they thought we may be able to use it…well, it was a perfect size, and we dropped what we were doing that day, and ripped out the wall and old window!

Rotted logs and old window removed
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New window in and trimmed, and new logs installed…just need to stain the logs, and chink in between logsphoto 2 (1)

2019:  Farm table and chinking/trim complete

The Bar

More paneling on walls and ceiling to rip out… this room was a “treat”…we discovered to bats behind the paneling while ripping it out…quite the experience – and something I will NEVER forget!

The bar before…

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Bye Bye paneling….!IMG_2339

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Bats…YIKES! Brian brought them safely out of our house!

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With the paneling gone, it’s on to stripping the bark off the logs, sanding them down, staining the logs, securing loose wires, repairing the chinking, and painting the chinking!IMG_2345

The exposed ceiling in the bar…

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The bar after all the staining and painting…DSC08563

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Wood Carvings Inside and Outside the Cabin

We love wood carvings!  Have you ever seen someone carve a tree stump with  chain saw into a work of art?  If not – it’s a must-see!  These people are really talented!  Here are some of our cabin “residents”….

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Brian surprised me with this one for Christmas one year!

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This was the first carving we ever bought.  This bear keeps us company in the lodge room.DSC08572

Brian gave me this one for our 2013 Anniversary gift.  This bear watches over Cello and Loki’s water and food bowls.  You can see behind the bear that part of our kitchen wall is not yet completed with the white chinking…
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This little guy can be seen “climbing” up a tree in our front yardDSC08591

Wood Burning

Brian came home from Home Depot one day and said he had bought me a surprise…a wood burning tool that was on clearance… he thought maybe I could do some burnings on some of the logs in the house. …With great fear of sparking a flame on such  “seasoned” wood, I gave it a try anyway.  The result was a pleasant surprise!  The burnings looked really cool! I think the burnings make for nice, subtle details that are discovered sometimes by accident by visitors to our cabin.

Goose in the kitchen

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Bass in lodge room

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Bass in the making…IMG_2812

Turtle in the Lodge Room

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Lodge Room

Originally, the lodge room walls and ceiling were covered with painted-white paneling, and the ceiling was dropped down far enough where we could reach up and touch it.  (The actual original height of the lodge room is 21 feet). You could only see half of the 2 story stone fireplace.  After we tore all the paneling off, we had to strip the logs of the bark (by hand), sand the logs, stain the logs, re-run the wires to hide them, repair the chinking (white stuff in between the logs), and paint the chinking… it was quite the project!!  In the middle of us doing this project, we had people asking us where we are living when all this is going on… the look on their faces when we told them we were living “right here!” in the middle of this construction zone was hysterical!

Lodge Room fireplace before…
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Ripping out the paneling…

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Windows behind the paneling! Awesome…light!IMG_1439

After the ceiling was exposed, the logs were stained, and the chinking was painted…IMG_2868

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Lodge Room Wall

When we first moved in , I kept hearing “noises” in the lodge room…after some careful inspection, and some helpful hints from our cat, Loki, we discovered a family of squirrels were living in between the  paneling and the logs.  We trapped the squirrels and relocated them (mom and 3 “kids”), and removed the paneling…to find that we were left with a log wall that hand been gnawed down, where you could see through to the outside!  With some help from family and friends, we removed a window, replaced the chewed logs with new ones, and reset the window.

Lodge Room wall with chewed logs

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Lodge Room wall after all the work…

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Upstairs Room

This is another “Good-n-Plenty” pink room!  We still are not sure what we will do with this room.  We only got as far as ripping the paneling down…the logs, electric, and chinking are still in need of completion.  I couldn’t WAIT to rip this paneling down!  When we did rip this paneling down, we had a couple of unexpected discoveries… a fully intact mouse skeleton (I’ll spare you the sight, and leave that picture out!), and an inactive but huge bee hive…aaah,  the surprises keep coming!

This picture was taken after we had ripped down the drop-ceiling to expose the beams

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This picture was taken in the middle of the job, while we were still taking paneling down on another wall, but here you can see the logs have already been stripped of the bark beofre the paneling covered them – – so one less step down the line for us…YIPEEEEE!

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The Dock

When we bought our cabin, there was already a dock on the property.  However, in July of 2004 (before we owned the cabin) a huge rain storm (known as the 1,000 year storm) hit Medford Lakes, NJ, and three dams broke due to extreme lake swelling.  Within a span of 14 hours, Medford Lakes took on 12 inches of rain.  Three dams could not take the pressure, and burst.  Two of those dams were at either end of the lake where our cabin sits. Here is what was left of the damn closest to our cabin:

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You can get a picture of just how high the wave of water was traveling right through homes and businesses by looking at the picture below.  The below picture shows an aluminum canoe wrapped around a tree at the level of the flood waters.  This canoe remains here today, as a reminder of what this town went through in 2004.

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The Flood of 2004 had taken it’s tole on the dock, so the only safe thing to do was to knock it down, and rebuild it.

Here is the old dock:

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Ripping out the dock:

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You can see how the force of the flood waters had pushed the pilings:

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The new dock:

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Tornado Hits Medford Lakes, NJ!

On August 1, 2009, I had laid down in our bedroom with the blinds drawn, trying to ward-off a migraine.  Just as I drifted off, I awoke to sounds I cannot even describe.  Medford Lakes NJ got hit with absolutely no warning by a tornado! Yes, a TORNADO in New Jersey!  Crazy, right?  What’s even crazier is that the tornado traveled right down our street!  It touched down just feet from our home, just one week after we had dead trees removed from our property, and just days after our new roof was complete!  We were one of just a few houses on our street that were spared completely – minus a broken flag pole out on the lake-side of our property.

When I woke up to excruciatingly loud pops and bangs, I ran out onto our porch to discover a house across the lake was on fire.  I still had no idea what was going on!

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I immediately called Brian, who was on his way home from work at the time.  I was in shock, trying to describe what was going on – and Brian had no idea what I was talking about.  Where he was driving, only minutes from our home, the weather was a gorgeous August day.  I went out to the front of our home to see this:

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The tornado some how by-passed our home, and traveled right down our street, causing awful damage to houses and cars!

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Our home and my car were left untouched – with just a broken flag pole:

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Our street was shut down, and the Red Cross delivered fresh water and supplies to all the houses due to power-outages and damage.

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Just a few streets over, our town’s golf course suffered much damage as well:

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I have never experienced a tornado before – and hope I never do again in the future!  We were very lucky to have been spared of damage from this disaster!

The Side Yard

Our side yard was a mish-mosh of broken brick, slate, pavers, railroad ties, and a ridiculously over grown garden.  I spend an entire summer taking out each brick, paver, piece of slate, and railroad tie by hand, and stacking up the “good” pieces of brick (to re-use for a patio).  Brian “mowed” down the garden, and roto-tilled the entire yard in an attempt to grow grass in the sandy Pine Barren soil…EVERYone told him it was impossible to do… and what does Brian do when someone tells him he can’t do something?  He makes SURE he does it! …

The side yard as it was…

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Dante and Cleopatra checking out my piles after we installed the new fence:

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Brian, mowing down the jungle…I mean “garden”….

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The Roto-tiller….

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“New” side yard, with patio and walkways built with whatever good materials we saved from the original yard…oh – and the grass that was “impossible” to grow …way to prove everyone wrong, Brian!

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New “GSP” size fencing! Added in Winter, 2015:

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Porch

The 40 foot porch overlooking the lake had been screened in, and the log railings had been replaced by a plywood wall. We wanted to restore the porch to it’s original form – log railings.  We asked around town about where we could buy logs, and we were connected with a man named “Spike”…he still operates the saw mill where the original logs of this home were milled!  Generations of his family harvested cedar trees, milled them at their saw mill, and carted them by horse and buggy down the main street of our town, to the log homes that were being built here!  It was great getting some more history about our home and community from Spike!

Porch Before…

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Porch After…

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First Project – The Roof

Why start anything inside when we have a leaky roof, right?  The first project we decided to tackle, was one of the biggest – and one that we could not tackle ourselves… the roof.  This project was quite the eye opener…a lesson learned with log cabins…no project is easy, quick, or inexpensive…and ALL projects, no matter how small, lead into 5 other projects!

We wanted the roof to look original – which meant tearing off all the layers (all 4 of them!) and insulating the roof from the exterior so that the original log beams and tongue-and-groove ceiling could be exposed in the lodge room.  What we found was that from the leaking, most of the roof was rotted – and had to be torn off! …I can’t even describe the pit in my stomach when the roofers told us the “the whole thing” was coming off… the sky’s the limit! …

 

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I’m sure the neighbors “loved” us with all the debri that was around the house for the MONTH it took to do this job!

(original estimation from roofers was 1 week!)

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After the exterior was torn off, looking up in the lodge room was like looking up at an old barn ceiling!
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Tearing out the paneled ceiling and walls in the lodge room…so that the roofers could see the roof from the inside and install the skylights.
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Finally done!IMG_1602

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Cello’s Cabin… “Beadling’s Windy Spot”

PAN July 2010In 2009 we bought our dream home – on a whim – and totally unprepared for what was in store for us.  We used to have conversations about what our dream home would be, what it would “have to have,” etc.  Well, one day, we stumbled across our ultimate dream home…a log cabin on a lake…with all the “requirements” on our once fantasy dream-home list… except it wasn’t quite in “dream-home” shape…and it didn’t quite look much like a log cabin!…

The home we purchased was a real cedar log log home, built in 1927.  It is built on a double lot, with a 2-car log constructed garage.  Some time over the years, the original logs AND ceilings of the entire home were covered over by painted-white paneling.  The original hardwood floors were covered with rug…It was infested with mice, flying squirrels (yes FLYING) – and bats (YIKES)…(all of which we finally were able to safely remove and relocate). The cabin also had an entire log wall whittled down to toothpicks  by the family of (regular) squirrels living between the paneling and logs (family of squirrels also safely relocated!).   …Aaaah…with  the adventures we encountered…I could have written a book!

Our goal: Restore it back to it’s original glory…expose all the logs, fix all the chinking (white stuff in between the logs), and make some upgrades along the way – all “DIY” style…ON OUR OWN! …  My thought at the time was “No problem!” … I swore we’d be done the home in it’s entirety in 3 years… what I quickly came to realize is that we had just purchased a life-long project! Although frustrating at times,  it has truly been one of the most rewarding things Brian and I have ever done.  The memories we have created here, both inside the home, and out on the lake, are priceless!

Posts to follow are just SOME of the things we have demolished, built, and restored!

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