Friday, December 9, 2016

In Defense of Yellow

I just had my building painted yellow--I know, I know: it's very controversial. But it feels like we need a bit more yellow these days.

It's a happy color--in passing. It's not a great color for rooms you spend a lot of time in, but to me it brightens the neighborhood. Our neighborhood is on the West End, but the immediate area has about a surprising 50% poverty rate. A lot of the houses are gray or dull in color, so I wanted to help brighten it up by buying and fixing a deteriorating building, and to help improve the park experience (it really is a great park).

The walls on the park side were rotting and moldy, the supporting beams behind the rot were also rotting and had insect damage, the windows were in terrible shape, very drafty, and dotted with an peeled paint of an ugly gray and purple. There are still remnants of that purple in some of the pictures.

So we (me and Bear) replaced all of the windows--all 44 in total. Landlords get very little benefit from an upgrade like that unless they raise rents, which I haven't done, but it just looked terrible and wasted so much energy. I converted the top floor to a 600 sf apartment that I live in until I have a reason to move--it's great with so many windows and roof access. And nobody seems to complain about the guitar or drums.

We replaced the rear (park-facing) siding with pine and repaired the gutters. We're just finishing construction on two apartments above the cafe, which is now occupied by Commonwealth (open from 8-2 except Monday, for breakfast and lunch. Nice place!). I gave the cafe some of the old windows to use inside--looks pretty cool. Styles on Mulberry has the front space--they're sweet people and do a great job with hair--even mine.

The "final" piece was getting Two Dudes Painting to brighten up the place with the yellow exterior, black doors and hardware, and white trim. In the Spring we'll replace the siding on the front and add the roof deck, which will make it a lot harder for me to leave ;) but it will finally look finished. We're also considering ways to shield the trash cans from public view, and to add signs for the businesses there.

Yellow gets a bad rap but I like it, and I'm happy with the way this turned out.

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