Bluff Neighborhood Construction Report 10-25-15

A few interesting developments, plus some lagniappe at the end.

308 N. Bayview Street

The railing of the front steps and landing has been mostly completed (still awaiting caps on the posts), and the last lattice section under the porch installed.

Grading in the back yard has been so intensive that not one but two Bobcats were required.

When I visited Saturday, workers were completing installation of a stone patio and had already constructed a walkway between the retaining wall and the carport, with another graceful flight of steps there.

This stone stoop provides a step up to the back veranda.

Inside, workers were painting the French doors opening onto the porch and between the dining room and living room (not pictured). Throughout the house, drawer and cabinet hardware has been installed.

In the master bath, mirrors have been added to the medicine cabinet doors, and a glass shower door has been installed.

The mystery of the strange drawers is (sort of) solved. As I suspected, they are vertical, one on each side of the range, but what are they for? Long cooking implements?

Another mystery is this closet in the dining room. It has what looks like a bench seat and what appears to be wiring. Perhaps a wine cooler will rest on the shelf?

351 N. Summit Street

Seeing this heap of sand, one might guess what comes next.

Sure enough, a sign for Diamond Masonry has joined this display, and brick masons have been at work. No sign yet of any painting, however. As previously mentioned, builder Vance McCown is building this house as his personal residence. The architect is his son Robert McCown.

Judging from the limited extent of the brick veneer, I am assuming that these clapboards will probably cover the rest.

I was intrigued by these spare (?) stair stringers leaning in a corner under the stairs. Is another staircase planned?

Upstairs, the window(s) over the putative spa tub have been installed. Oddly, however, although the large boxed windows and sliding glass doors have vanished, they have not been installed anywhere.

Note the whimsical turned-up overhang over these windows on the outside.

111 Magnolia Avenue

Outside, grading around the pool has progressed (and the pile of dirt by the street is gone), and tile has been added around the edges of the pool and hot tub.

Inside, tile has also been applied in the Jack-and-Jill bathroom…

…and in the shower of the bathroom of the upstairs “second master suite.”

Most of the noticeable interior change is in wall painting. This bedroom (the northwest corner one) is taupe.

The southwest corner bedroom gets a jolt of aquamarine on one wall.

The next deliberation is over carpet for the NWC bedroom.

The porch of the garage apartment is shaping up nicely.

Lest we lose sight of the bigger picture, a couple of shots of the more or less complete front elevation. The windows on the first floor, from left to right, are breakfast room, living room (in the covered porch), sunny alcove, and master bathroom. On the second floor, the bedroom with the aqua wall is on the left. In the center is a bedroom with doors opening on the upstairs porch. On the right are the bedroom and bath of the “second master suite.”


Having taken most of my photos yesterday, today I detoured slightly from my usual route to check on the progress of construction at 52 N. Church Street, which I found had changed only slightly since I discovered it on August 9. As lagniappe, however, I was treated to a view of the Theater Building at Church Street and Fairhope Avenue in downtown Fairhope, the exterior now complete and all the scaffolding removed.

When the old Village Square building (originally home of the Magnet Theater) burned in 2010, there were hopes that the historic building, built of bricks from Clay City Tile in 1924, could be salvaged, but it was ultimately deemed irreparable. Demolition seemed to take forever, but in 2012 it was announced that a new Theater Building would rise on the site. Like demolition, construction seemed to proceed at a snail’s pace, but in August 2014, the developers announced a projected opening in April 2015. They seem to have missed that deadline; the exterior is complete, but the interior is still just a shell. We will continue to possess ourselves in patience, but I suspect that the former Village Square tenants are not sorry they didn’t wait for a space in the new building. One of them, the Village Square Trophy Shop/East Bay Engraving, moved to Driftwood Park (next to the post office) temporarily before moving into its new home (as Riverbend Gifts) in another new building, the Objects Building, which replaced the vintage Objects building, built in 1924 as Fairhope Garage. The new Objects Building went up much more efficiently, with demolition in 2013 and occupancy in 2014.

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