The needler in the haystack.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hidden Plainfield: December 12 home ID


Yesterday's home is near Muhlenberg Hospital.

There are hundreds of Plainfield 'infill' homes throughout the city similar to the one featured yesterday (see here, with comments).

These modest Cape Cods and their companion style, the 'California ranch', became the first wave of homes built immediately after World War II because they were small, affordable, and could be constructed relatively quickly using some of the mass-production techniques developed during the war.

Two of these revolutionary changes with which I have childhood memories are gypsum board (now universally called sheetrock) and fiberglass insulation.

When my father returned from service in the Navy, he bought the ramshackle house which I consider my real childhood home. Part of the deal was that he would put the sweat equity into making it truly habitable.

So, though we were renovating and not building new -- as in yesterday's Cape Cod -- we used some of the same revolutionary new materials. As an eight-year-old, I was considered old enough to work alongside my dad and help stuff the pink fiberglass batting between the wall studs and against the inside of the roof (barechested, barehanded and sweaty in the summer heat, leading to redness, swelling and itching all over the bare skin).

Then I would help hold the gypsum board sheets in place as my dad anchored them with a few nails. And learning to tape and spackle so that the walls would be smooth once painted.

Yesterday's practically unchanged postwar Cape Cod is in the 1100-block of Hillside Avenue, near Muhlenberg Hospital, as all but one guessed correctly.

Where shall we go next week?



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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3 comments:

ddrincon said...

Dan, I am sure this home was our neighbor's home when I was very young. We lived at 1162 Hillside Ave. I remember running in and out of that side door near the garage alot! Debi Dinehart

ddrincon said...

This home looks like our
neighbor's home when I was very young. I used to run in and out of that side door near the garage when we were playing. We lived at, 1162 Hillside Ave. The house looks great! Debi Dinehart

Dorrie Neisel Johnson said...

Is this house on Moffett Avenue, the road used by ambulances to reaach the Emergency Room. If it is it may be the fourth house in from Park Ave. I lived at 1210 Moffett, the second house. My parents bvought it in 1952 for $14,500.