128 College

128 College was covered with aluminum siding.

The Gifford Park Association has a program they call the Great Unveiling.  The name and program was borrowed, with their permission, from Rock Island, IL. It is an old fashioned barn-raising event where volunteers take off the substitute siding.

When the Gifford Park Association started the program they offered free removal of the siding and a reward of $1000 for participating.  After a few years the City of Elgin took over the program and started giving a $5000 grant for taking off siding.  Many were done.  Because of recent struggles with the budget the city stopped the program.  GPA brought back the $1000 reward on this project.

Here the owner is awarded the $1000 grant.





Click here if you would like to read the Courier article about the unveiling.

The aluminum siders had covered over three windows and the fish scale siding.  Here is the gable window that was uncovered.  Luckily the sash was left in the attic.

The window to the right of the door and another around the corner were also uncovered.  It is unbelievable to me why they would cover up the windows on the house and drywall over the openings  inside.  The investor that bought the property plans to uncover the window on the inside.  Here the balustrade, apron and newels are being replaced.


The aluminum siders also chopped off the gable ornament on the porch.  It had never been painted over so a wonderful shadow was left to make a pattern for a new one.


I offered to make a new gable ornament for the owner at no cost to him as a way of saying thank you for unveiling the property.

Normally I would trace the pattern on a large piece of paper.  It is difficult to get an accurate pattern.  I have also used this method:

I took an electronic picture of half of the ornament as the two are the same.  Care has to be taken to take the picture straight on so it is not deformed.  The picture I used was not cut off on the left as this one is.  I printed the picture on an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper.

Using my printed picture I took it  to a print shop to have it blown up to the proper dimension.  I measured the picture I printed.  It is 10 1/16 long.  The actual mark on the house is 20 1/2 inches.

Actual dimension  divided by the picture dimension = percentage to be blown up.

I cut the printed picture into three parts to be blwon up labeling them so I am sure how they go back together.

To change 1/16 into decimal divide 1 by 16 to get .01265

20.5 divided by 10.0625 = 2.037 which rounded off  is 2.04 which is 204 %  so the picture has to be blown up by 204 percent.  It can be done on a home printer or take it to a print shop.  I took the three pieces of paper to a print shop and had each one blown up by 204%.  I then taped the new ones back together and cut them out for my full size pattern.

I always trace my paper patterns onto plywood so I have a permanent pattern that can be preserved and to make it easier to trace onto the final wood.  Here are the appliques I made:

Here are the appliques installed.

I also agreed to make newel caps to replace the three that were missing.  There was one left on the house that I used as a pattern. It is the white one in the picture.    I used cypress wood which has great rot resistance and coated them with preservative and primed them on all sides so they should last a long time.



Here is the front of the house primed with the balustrade, newels and appliques installed.  The owner ran out of good weather so the painting was not finished.  It is just primed.  Stay tuned for the final colors.



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