Most of the houses in my neighborhood were built in the late 19th or
early 20th century.
Recently someone totally rebuilt a house near here, they stripped it
down to the 2 x 4's and rebuilt...they even put in a new foundation.
At first I wondered why they did not raze it entirely until I realized
the old style 2 x 4's are superior to the ones used today.
They actually measure 2" x 4" and use better wood that today's soft pine.
My question is: what kind of wood was actually used.
It's denser than soft pine but not actual hardwood, though it is
sometimes referred to as such.
My grandparents had their house built in 1948 also.
I believe the end of the war housing boom was when the builders started
using the lower grade soft pine.
I recall my grandmother telling me the builder used the better grade
lumber because all the soft pine in the area was already snapped up by
My house was built in 1898 and will probably be around for a while...
I am living at a time where I actually see buildings less than 50 years
old being demolished.
Ever notice free government public housing for welfare democrats lasts
less than 30 years before it's demolished?
OTOH, republican taxpayer farmers will take care of their homes and pass
them on for many generations.
On 03/19/2017 07:59 AM, Oliver Douglas wrote:
LOL you sure got that exactly WRONG, the three examples I was thinking
of when I posted were:
1) Allen Bradly was a large local electronics firm that is now owned by
Rockwell. The very generous Allen Bradly family donated millions of
dollars to build a sports center, 35 years ago.
It mainly caters to the wealthy suburbanites just outside of Milwaukee
County. (The sports center is in downtown Milwaukee)
It has now been decided that it's too old and a new one is being
constructed and paid for by the taxpayers of Milwaukee. A special
freeway ramp is even being built so the wealthy suburbanites can come
into the city, watch their game and head back out to the suburbs.
If anyone else would even think of having an event in downtown Milwaukee
on the same night as a sports event, forget it.
Parking which is normally $10 for 24 hours is now up to $70!!!
The 35 year old sports center will then be demolished
2) In the mid 60's, my uncle who was a wealthy businessman had a
beautiful house built . It's reminiscent of a design by Frank LLoyd
Wright or Eero Saarinen . When my uncle died my aunt sold the house and
later learned the new owner only wanted the land, the house was
demolished and replaced by a McMansion.
Beautiful 50 year old house demolished
3) Of the same vintage (approx 50 years old) is the Milwaukee Museum,
considered one of the best in the country. Now it's not good enough,
supposedly the storage are is too leaky. The city is going to build a
new one...cost the the taxpayers $100 million.
There's often a lot of intolerant democrats at public sporting events.
Intolerant democrats often riot when things don't go their way. Raising
the price of admission often keeps the intolerant democrats out.
You just unwittingly made my point. Your aunt's privately owned house
was in excellent condition when she sold it. The new owner obviously
didn't like the style but liked the neighborhood. No tax dollars involved.
Preserving history is important. If the museum has valuable pieces, they
need a secure and dry building. Hopefully the new museum will be
fireproof in case some intolerant welfare democrats decide to protest
and burn the neighborhood down.
Yep, the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta which was completed 25 years
ago in 1992 will be demolished this year.
Magnificent stadium, seats 70,000+, largest cable-supported fabric
stadium roof in the county, all seats with unobstructed view of the
field. Most Atlantans love the facility. Former home of the Atlanta Falcons.
But Falcons owner Arthur Blank arm-twisted the local politicians into
building him a nice new tax payer financed stadium under threat of
moving the team to the burbs- as the Atlanta Braves just did, abandoning
Turner Field, downtown site of the 1996 Olympics stadium.
The Georgia Dome is being replaced by Mercedes-Benz Stadium, under
construction right next door.
It's really nuts.
I can recall when all of these buildings were constructed and now they
are tearing them down. Still almost new.
I recall thousand year old buildings in Europe so it's odd to see this.
I still recall the "temporary" tax for our new ballpark became a
permanent .1% hike.
Also: Here in Milwaukee as I suspect elsewhere, new construction is
occurring at a pace I've never seen before yet there are hundreds of
I talked to a fiend of mine yesterday who owns a bookshop in a rental
space. Our city which should encourage business did everything they
could to deny him a ten year occupancy permit. He had to go to court to
obtain one as long at 14 other permits and paid inspections.
He said now that he knows the city will at least allow him to be there
for a while, he'll spend the money to make minor improvements such as
If he thought he was going to be kicked out after a year he would not bother
On Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 8:38:08 AM UTC-7, philo wrote:
The worst part is finding enough that were the same size. Great lumber but
rough cut varies sizes sometimes grossly. I tore down an old country scho
ol planning to use the framing lumber in an addition. I gave up after I sp
ent one afternoon sorting to get enouth matching 2x4 for one 18' wall. Did
use rough cuts salvaged from the schoolf for the floor joists - had to trim
or shim the end of most of them to get a flat floor.
The federal government has had subsidy programs for farmers
going back to the 1930s. The story I've been told is the feds wanted
to keep the farmers down on the farm
to avoid having them in the cities competing for jobs during the
The programs used to involve the farmer idling some ground in return
for the government help. The requirement to idle ground was eliminated
with the Freedom to Farm Act passed in the later 1990s.
I haven't seen any farmers walking on water. Some of the places
are immaculate considering the environment. Others are dumps, with
junk and weeds everywhere.
I've been on or around farms for six decades and have indirectly
benefited from the
government programs. My livelihood still depends on farmers.
The first house I grew up in used some of the old, real 2x4s.
The builders didn't waste anything. They nailed one 2x4 to another one
if the first one was too short.
The walls mostly plaster. One room had some softer material that I
forget the name of.
On Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 8:59:41 AM UTC-4, Oliver Douglas wrote:
Republican taxpayer farmers built their own houses, so of course they
built to last. I've lived in some poorly built houses, poorly built
apartments, and very well built dorm when I was at college. My
current house was built by a stonemason who built it to live in
himself. It's going to be here long after I'm gone.
I hope I'll be dead before it needs repointing. The mortar is
beautifully struck and it would cost a fortune to replace.
Many were built using "local lumber".Others used Douglas Fir or old
growth white pine, or even old growth spruce.
The "local lumber" could be anything from jack pine to white cedar to
elm, maple, chestnut ash, or Gumwood.. Some of the wood used for
framing back then would be good for high end trim today!!
My shed is all "mixed hardwood", some of it 2 1/2 X 4 - originally
used as pallets for sheet metal
Depends greatly on location as the above implies; much framing lumber
even as early as before/around WW I was SYP except it was first-cut
rather than "plantation-grown" as is most all today. As such it has a
much finer grain pattern and typically is also from much larger logs so
has a higher percentage of heartwood vis a vis sapwood.
There was no native lumber out here on the High Plains; the barn and
house were built in early '10s to about 1920 when rationing after WW I
was lifted. They're all SYP, also full dimension, and there are
built-up columns in the loft of the barn of 3 2x6 that are 24-ft in
length. I've looked at some of them carefully while we were doing the
repair/restoration/re-roof and there are a few that appear to be
knot-free over that entire length...
We built a set of bins in the loft in the late '50s for a small feed
mill, the framing lumber for it came from west coast instead of east and
is Doug fir. There are some leftover 2x12-20 still stacked up there
that are also clear; I've no idea what one of them might cost today! I
haven't yet found a project that justifies cutting one of them. since
I've been back... :) They're the 5/8"-over era instead of full
dimension before the pare-back to the current 1/2". Nice for the extra
"beef" for strength but a pita for matching up for doubling up as you've
got an extra eighth or quarter-inch to make up, depending...
But, the general tenor is true; the quality of framing lumber these days
is far inferior and it is mostly owing simply to there no longer being
the virgin timber stands to harvest and so it comes from mostly
faster-growing species and plantation-grown stands that simply don't
produce the same wood properties.
We've been watching a show called Barn Wood Builders. They take apart
old barns and often re-build them elsewhere for people, and they're
turned into modern buildings. Interesting show. Some of those barns
they disassemble are gigantic!
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