Sunday, January 23, 2011

Arcata Scoop

     Our first meeting of 2011 will be at the Arcata Scoop. "Amazing handmade ice creams, late hours, all-natural ingredients, awesome new flavor combinations...." this is what one customer had to say about it. We aren't meeting at the best organic ice cream shop in northern California for their frozen delicacies, we will be addressing the bay window on the southern side. The window that gets the most sunshine and the harshest weather. 

     Isaac Minor built this house in 1884, along with a twin next door for his two daughters. They were built as mirror images of one another. The original "stoop" of the house was on the right side of the front of the house (as opposed to the center where it is now), and the stoop of the sister house was on the left side of the front of the house.
     Built as a residence, the building has been used for commercial purposes for the past 40+ years, with the front portion usually serving as the retail portion and the back as offices and storage. Mike Wilson first remembers the building being Red Roach Records in the 1970s and early 1980s.  In the mid 1980s it became Moonrise Herbs, and when they moved to the Plaza in 1997  the house served as a venue for massage/alternative medicine consultations. 

     Mike and Laura bought the building in 2004 and renovated the back 2/3rds of the interior as on office. They pulled out temporary walls, a lot of paneling, the drop ceilings, and what was left of the old kitchen counter and plumbing and installed a small kitchenette in what was the old wash room. They stripped the upper walls and ceilings (that which was above the drop ceiling) of layers of wallpaper and pulled thousands of tacks and essentially refinished the lids of both side rooms, including adding the interior windows to get light from the south room into the north. The whole interior was painted and laid with carpet. The large front room was rented out as is, and the tenants made minor improvements. 
     In 2005-6 they renovated the exterior with assistance from the city of Arcata facade grant for $10K. With that, and a bit more from Mike and Laura, they replaced the right front corner section of the foundation, which was essentially a piece of flagstone. Also replaced was all the plank one-by below the water table, portions of the water table, the columns on the side porch, several sections of roof soffit, a bunch of the dentils, and the entire front porch, (except the roof and roof members). Laura Kadlecik's father milled most of the trim package that was needed for the exterior work including the columns for the front porch, the watertable, the dentils, and the flat sawn balusters. The porch railing balusters were (originally when Mike and Laura first had the building) flat but plain, no decoration. 
     "From one of the historic photos of the house we saw the balusters sawn w/ flower cut outs in the yard fence. The house adjacent to our home (built in the late 1880s) had the exact flower cut outs as could be seen in the photograph, so we copied our neighbors flat sawn balusters and used them for the porch railing." recalls Laura.

      Then the exterior was painted.  In 2008 the Arcata Scoop started renovating the large front room, the north room, the restroom, the whole north yard, and installed the new ADA walkway and side porch and door (a sliding glass door, installed backward, was where the side door was up to that time). Mike and Laura installed a new foundation on the north side as part of the Scoops work.
     "There's more we want to/need to do to the house (of course)!  Other then more painting, the roof needs replacement and also I want to put a widows walk on the top, as shown in the photo." says Laura.
     I guess the most interesting factoid about the house is that Houdini apparently slept there.... or so they say.
     Mike and Laura  are "SUPER grateful" for our offer to help repair the bay window sill and trim.  They haven't had the the chance to offer much TLC to the building in the past couple years and that has been weighing on them.
     "I'm so stoked to have you and your club memebers lend some of yours.(TLC)" says Laura.
     They will have a historic report by Alex Stillman & Susie Vankirk to show us as well as some old photos
See you Sunday, January 30 at the Arcata Scoop, on I street across from Los Bagels.