30 Nov Historic Building Restoration & Music Studio Renovation in Portland, Oregon
As we mentioned in the last blog post, the last (and most challenging) step was to deal with the large main room, bathroom and kitchen. We started with the bathroom by having the light, fan, new toilet and faucet installed. Then, we scrubbed the walls and floor (and the shower, just for good measure, even though it won’t be functional) and re-painted the walls. The result? A like-new, functional bathroom! Next it was time to do the main room. The first task was to scrub and paint the walls. This was a simple task but gave the room a fresh, clean, new feeling.
Next was the floor. It was covered in carpet underlay foam and adhesive, so we decided to sand it, and either restore the original hardwoods (where possible), or to just smooth it out enough to paint it. For this task, we rented a floor sander from Kennedy Rentals, a local Portland company. They gave us a great deal and were super friendly, so we will definitely use them again for our future renovations. Before we sanded it, we scraped the largest accumulations of foam off with a large putty knife, and removed any protruding nails or staples by hand with a pliers. Once this was finished we were able to sand. After 4 hours and 2 sheets of sandpaper, we decided that it would be too time consuming and expensive to try to restore the floors at this point in time, since even after that much sanding they still looked pretty rough. So instead, we cleaned all the dust away and painted them gray to match the floors in the other rooms. The last room was the kitchen, which had already been scrubbed and painted when we did the main room. We did one more thorough mopping, patched the holes in the wall, and set up the kitchen counter.
The last few finishing touches were to paint the floor in the entryway, install curtains, arrange decorations and lighting, and to sweep and mop the stairwell. Even though the studio is fully functional, we will be continuing to do work on it to make it even better. One of these projects which will be coming up soon is to paint the stairs and stairwell.
We have been learning a lot about our new space and it seems to have quite a history. When the electrician was here to re-install the light in the bathroom, we discovered that what we thought was the attic is actually just the space between the original ceiling and a more recently installed drop ceiling. The current ceilings are approximately 10 feet high, but the original ceilings would have been more like 13 feet high! The other fact we recently became privy to is that the space we are occupying is actually comprised of what used to be 3 separate buildings which are now joined together! The kitchen, main room, and business office are located in the first building, the mixing and tracking rooms are in the second building, and the bathroom is in the third building. Quintessentially Portland. We are trying to find any records, photos, and written histories of the building, but so far have only found one document claiming that the corner building was built in 1901.
To celebrate the opening of the studio, we decided to have a Halloween/Grand Opening Party. Fellow Portlanders and friends of Demo My Song enjoyed refreshments, music, and dancing, while touring the new space. We look forward to hosting more celebrations, art/music/cultural events, and community gatherings at the studio in the coming years!