Wednesday, August 06, 2008

More Home History

I finally discovered who built my home...well, I at least found the names of both the contractor and the architect. The other day, I found a very old copy of the original building permit dated 11/25/1957. On it is listed a description of the property, the proposed building design, as well as the contractor's name and address, architect's name (no address), and all the legal jargon associated with the parcel.

When I learned the names, I decided to do some research to find a little more information on each man. I couldn't find anything about the architect, and sadly, the only thing I could find on the contractor was his obituary. He actually just passed away in March of this year. However, I did learn that he was a very successful general contractor, land developer, and real estate broker throughout the 1950s and 60s. In fact, he was President of the Northwest Home Builder's Association in 1959 (just one year after my home was built). Pretty neat, I think.

Also included in his obituary was a photo of him which appears to have been taken around the time my home was built...he would have been about 40 years old:



Kelli said...

Isn't it exciting to find out a little bit about your house's origins? I've been digging into the past of my home too and coming up with all kinds of interesting things. If you're like me, each piece of new information sets you off on a quest for more. Thanks for sharing!

troy. said...

So where did you find the building permit -- at some county government office or something? I'd like to know more about the contractor/architect of my 1958 split and this sounds like a good place to start.

Chris said...

Hi Troy,
I'm not sure how it works in other places around the country, but here (where I live) all building records for homes located within city limits are maintained at City Hall, and homes located outside city limits are kept at the county building department.

I really had no trouble obtaining the original building permits. My home is not located within city limits, so I contacted the county building and planning department. They were very friendly and helpful. Also, there was no charge for the copy. Good luck!

troy. said...

Thanks Chris. Unfortunately, where I live (Harrisburg PA), bldg. permits are kept by individual townships (not the county or city) and the one in which my house is located only has records going back 20 years. In fact, they don't even believe a bldg. permit was required in 1958. Seems strange to me. I will say that the woman I spoke w/ was both friendly and helpful.

I guess I'll talk to my neighbors about the original owner and see if they can give me any info. Luckily for me my neighbors on both sides have been there since the house was built. I guess I could also pull the deeds, but that seems like a bit more work.

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