Sixteen years after plunging into renovating Rosslyn we are… finally tackling the looong postponed icehouse rehabilitation. Sweet sixteen. (Source: Redacting Rosslyn v2.0 – Rosslyn Redux)
In the image above you can see a notable improvement from previous images of the interior of Rosslyn’s historic icehouse. This underutilized outbuilding had become a storage space in the 15-16 years since it was saved from inelegant rot and collapse. Over the last few days the icehouse is being purged by Pam and Tony so that we may at last begin rehabilitation and repurposing.
We entirely gutted the building in 2006 in order to structurally salvage the building. The northern and sorter facades had bowed at as the roof collapsed. The term used by the contractors at the time was “corn cribbing”. Once gutted, the north and south walls were gradually pulled back together over many months a little bit at a time, gradually restoring the structural integrity of the building so that new roof rafters could be milled and installed. That is what you see again today. But over the years the icehouse had become a lumber, architectural salvage, and woodworking space, gradually filling up so full that it was scarcely possibly to move around inside. That was still the case when the engineers from Engineering Ventures made a recent site visit.
I’d guess that there’s still about a day of decluttering and organizing before the historic icehouse is once again stripped bare and ready for the next phase of rehabilitation. All of the materials that were removed have been inventoried and relocated to the carriage barn and the new storage container we’ve rented for the duration of the project. Hhhmmm… I forgot to document that. Not fascinating, nor savory eye candy, but I’ll account for the extra storage area we decided to add into the mix to facilitate job site organization, especially when gentle autumn yields to blustery winter. Now, with many of our existing building materials inventoried we can begin to organize a repurposing strategy. That’s right, baked into our recipe for transforming this historic icehouse into a flex workspace, studio, and outdoor entertaining annex is an ambitious vision of creatively reusing and repurposing a decade and a half of leftover building materials, architectural salvage, and lumber grown, felled, milled, and cured on site. I’ll articulate my admittedly romantic vision for how all of this stuff will be reimagined into a charming addition to Rosslyn’s menagerie of old buildings.
For now, I’d like to celebrate the small victory of restoring Rosslyn’s historic outhouse to its metaphorical bones so that we can begin to prepare the interior for footings and crawlspace slab. Cheers to Tony and Pam for tackling the essential but unenviable task of cleaning [ice]house! Thank you.
It’s going to be an inspiring few months of creative reimaginination, collegial collaboration, and transformation as this handsome historic icehouse gets the loving attention of our rehabilitation dream team. I’ll be introducing the entire cast of characters in the weeks and months ahead, and you’ll have an opportunity to witness up close and personal an historic rehab effectively reinventing a 19th century utility building into a 21st century utility building. This unique collaboration aims not only to repurpose a no longer relevant purpose-built structure into a contemporaneously relevant, utilitarian addition to this remarkable property, but also to reimagine the discarded detritus, the sometimes-elegant-sometimes-eccentric artifacts, and homegrown lumber, the byproduct of reopening the long neglected meadows west of Rosslyn’s buildings. We’ll include you in the rehab to the extent viable, and we’ll enthusiastically consider all recommendations, advice, and ideas. Thanks in advance.