OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Northeast U.S.

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Northeast U.S.

The Northeastern United States is home to some of the earliest history in our country, the birthplace of American democracy. Having rich resources, lush forests, abundant fishing & fertile farmland, the area led the country’s development in the early years.

Heavy industry spawned the formation of some of the most populous cities & drew immigrants from many countries. It produced some of the country’s oldest & most prestigious universities. Today, New York is the world’s foremost financial center.

Included here on my blog, is a small offering of the historic house museums that you can see in the area. They represent homes & history in the states of New York, Maryland & Massachusetts & Maine.


Surratt House Museum (2:37)
Parks and Recreation, Prince George’s County

A Confederate safe house during the Civil War, built by a conspirator in Lincoln’s assassination.

Tourist in Your Own Town #61 – Lewis Latimer House Museum (2:39)

The home of a brilliant & multi-talented man.

Tourist In Your Own Town #36 – Louis Armstrong House Museum (3:57)

A time capsule of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s.

Immersive experiences offered at Glen Magna Farms and the Nichols House Museum
Visit this beautiful farm & garden, then cruise over to a beautiful 5,000 square foot house built in the Federalist style, which once housed some accomplished & intriguing people.

Hometown Maine – Portland’s Tate House (3:21)

A tour of a Georgian house built in Colonial times, the only home from the era in Portland, that is open to the public.

If you have toured these homes, please let me know your impressions of them.

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OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Western U.S.

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Western U.S.

The house museums in the Western U.S. shown here are the technological & cultural predecessors of our bungalows. They are built of the elements that you can see in our homes hundreds of years later.

I lived most of my life in the West & its austerity greatly impacted my own aesthetic. I can clearly remember gazing upward at the ruins of the first inhabitants of the houses cut into the rocks in Arizona, when I was on a first grade field trip. Even as a wee one I was awed by their age & wished for a time machine so that I could speak with the ancient occupants & experience life as they knew it, high up on the cliffs.

Decades later, I’m still pining for that time machine.

I have visited the last 3 houses listed here & would love to see the ones in Oregon & Washington. I have not included the Gamble House in Pasadena, California because I speak of it so often on other pages. It’s well worth a visit!

I hope to get out West this year & will take many photos to share with you, but I urge to visit yourself.


West Seattle’s Log House Museum explores the city’s history and looks toward its future

I have always wanted to live in a log house. I’m sure that they offered few comforts & allowed creepy creatures easy access, but I am still intrigued. I can well understand Stickley’s famous quote, “There are elements of intrinsic beauty in the simplification of a house built on the log cabin idea..”

Flavel House Museum, Astoria, Oregon
David McElveen (3:51. The section on the museum starts at about 1:20)

I love houses that are furnished with the original family’s belongings.

Charles F. Lummis & Lummis House (8:29)
Jasmine Apple

I want to live in this house.

A wonderfully done presentation showing us this beautiful, Arts & Crafts adobe structure & explaining the accomplishments of Charles F. Lummis.

HouseSmarts “Avila Adobe” Episode 83 (4:58)

The oldest surviving house in Los Angeles, built in 1818.

Take a look into the history of Casa Grande Ruins

My aesthetic was solidly formed by the austerity of the desert where I lived as a child & young adult. I guess it explains why I grow cactus in Florida & why I love A&C!

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OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Midwest U.S.

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Midwest U.S.

Midwest factory“America’s Heartland” with its patchwork of big industrial cities & farming towns, lying midway between the Appalachians & the Rocky Mountains & north of the Ohio River.

The historic house museums in the Midwest U.S. that you will see in these videos were built by industrial magnates who took advantage of the natural resources (coal, oil, iron ore & limestone) which the area had in rich abundance as well as the immigrants who fled poverty to work in their huge factories. Emerging transportation arteries, first the canals of the Great Lakes & then the railroads, linked the Midwest with Eastern markets & firmly established it as part of the industrially expanding North allowing many to amass great fortunes.

So why would a woman whose life is consumed by bungalows be directing you to visit Victorian homes? Because I love cultural evolution. The Arts & Crafts Movement was born as a reaction to the excesses of Victoriana but you see some of the elements of these homes in a bungalow. Many of the grand homes used materials & technology that were cutting edge for their time. Twenty years later, these developments were common place in more modest dwellings.


Columbus Neighborhoods: Sears House Kits (4:21)
WOSU Public Media

Discover Sears houses that residents of Columbus, Ohio still call home, sweet home.

Top 8 House Museums in St. Louis Missouri! (6:02)
This House

A lovely assortment of over-the-top houses! You might want to adjust the playback speed to half.

Touring the Mansion that ALMOST Changed History (16:39)
This House Tours


Tour the Historic (and haunted?) Vaile Mansion
Will we see the ghost?

Preservation Chicago Tours the Arlington Deming Historic District, Chicago (46:33)
Sarah Belle Wilson House
A tour of modest frame homes to enormous mansions in one of Lincoln Park’s most important historic districts, developed following the 1871 Great Chicago Fire.

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OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Southeast U.S.

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- House Museums in the Southeast U.S.

Historic house museum in the SoutheastI have learned a great deal about the Southeast U.S. from visiting house museums. After having read so much material on old houses, it is wonderful to visit the complete homes, most restored with the best preservation practices. Often they contain at least some original furniture & household goods. Generally you are provided with information about the family & their contributions to local history as well as a glimpse into their lives & the life & culture of the time.

I live in the Southeast, but I have toured house museums all over the U.S. & find each experience to be enlightening & entertaining. The videos are broken up by region so that you can hopefully, hop in your car & for a weekend getaway in time. This one, about the Southeast contains videos of many of the places I have been. Check back! I’m not done yet!



Cracker Country – A rural Florida living history museum (2:03)
The City of Tampa

This was my first taste of Florida history after having moved here from Los Angeles. I was rattled by the move & the 8 back-to-back hurricanes. Visiting these early homes served to ground me. My curiosity is always my best friend & Cracker Country opened wide the door to a whole segment of history & architecture with which I had no familiarity. Hm-m-m. Maybe

A Closer Look: l The Ringling Mansion Ca’ D’Zan (11:11)
Cultured Elegance

Truly one of the most stunning & creative houses in the world, the house is only one attraction in the Ringling complex in Sarasota, Florida. In addition to viewing the video, take a look at my post on the other attractions. If you visit Florida, you cannot miss experiencing The Ringling!

Heritage Village in Largo Fl. a trip back in time (15:03)
Dre & Lita’s Travel

This is the second place I visited when I came to Florida. I was beginning to feel more at home, in the company of these remnants of our past & the people who care for them.

Turner Bungalow (9:18)
Pinellas County

Relocated to Heritage Village in Largo, Florida in 2014, now, nearly 10 years later, the restoration is complete & you can tour this bungalow, built in 1915. In the Village museum are displayed Turner family artifacts, covering every decade since the home was constructed in 1915.


Victorian House Lovers Tour of the Conrad Caldwell House Museum Louisville, Kentucky (3:22)
Victorian House Lovers

Constructed in 1895, the richly ornate Conrad-Caldwell House in one of America’s largest concentrations of Victorian homes, is a site of cultural & architectural significance to the city of Louisville.

I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the historic house museums of the Southeast U.S. The rich history of the area is represented in these old houses & they contain much information about the development of the architecture, technology & culture that created our world today. They answer the question, WHY PRESERVE?

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Bungalow neighborhood home tourThe best thing about a bungalow is its old neighborhood with row after row of historic Arts & Crafts homes, each one different from the other & the fellowship to be found there. Home tours, potlucks, monthly meetings- moving into a bungalow neighborhood gives you the opportunity to meet some wonderful new people, form strong friendships & have some great adventures.

Often, these associations have a preservation committee through from you can learn a great deal. I also urge you to participate in that committee for all the same reasons as those mentioned above. And, if they don’t have a historic preservation committee, you can start one one. Don’t know what to do? I’d be so happy to teach you! Here’s an article about some of the activities we hosted.


Celebrating 100 Years of Chicago Bungalows
Chicago Bungalow Association

A delightful & warm video about Chicago bungalows.

Check out my article on these charming homes & the vibrant neighborhoods represented by the Association.

Seminole Heights Beginnings
Tommy McNeely

A teaser for the documentary film I produced with my preservation committee in Tampa.

Bungalow Heaven: Preserving A Neighborhood (3:30)
American Bungalow MAGAZINE

The best known bungalow neighborhood in America. Read my article about Bungalow Heaven. It’s a truly delightful place!

If you love your old neighborhood & are concerned about its future, click here to find how how you can DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

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Bungalow Heaven in Pasadena street signBungalow Heaven, a neighborhood of 800+ historic homes in Pasadena, CA, truly is a paradise. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the area was built between 1900 & 1930 & designated in 1989, as a local landmark district. Thankfully, this status has been instrumental in protecting it from the pop design of HGTV.

I discovered  Bungalow Heaven when I lived in Pasadena. Though occupying only 6 blocks by 6 blocks, entering its streets, you are completely immersed in the period. Even the historic vibe of the whole, beautiful city doesn’t smoothly ease you into this perfectly preserved jewel box of a neighborhood. Holy DeLorean, it’s a time machine!

Thanks for much of this wonder can be given to The Bungalow Heaven Neighborhood Association. BHNA is a crackerjack, non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of the homes & enhancing the lifestyle of its district. When we shakily formed our first home tour committee in nearby Eagle Rock, the historic community where I lived to the west, it was suggested that we volunteer as docents for the BH tour so we could learn what to do. I had been on their tour several times & had admired it from my event producer’s eye, but due to being dazzled by the charming bungalows, I hadn’t really paid much attention to the workings of the tour machine.

Bungalow Heaven Pasadena home tourLike the rest of the organization, it was finely-tuned & well-oiled. The tour, only one of the group’s many activities, is a massive undertaking due to the amount of volunteer coordination & the directing of the hoards of attendees. They also have to ensure the protection & comfort of the homeowners, so each task is clearly delineated & drilled in the weeks before the tour. It was great to receive this training & experience & provided us with the template that we used to form our own fledgling committee.

My wood flooring company was privileged to restore many of floors in Bungalow Heaven. Please understand that we had moved from a bungalow neighborhood in Phoenix, but we had never experienced such wonders as we saw here. I was introduced to clinker brick, to Arroyo rock & I was treated to my first inglenook in BH, in the home of a flooring customer. My husband requested that I be given a tour of the home & they graciously agreed. I was enchanted. When I learned about their yearly home tour, I was thrilled to be able to enter these homes that were so carefully restored & preserved, beautifully furnished, with most decorated in the A&C style.



Bungalow Heaven Streetscape

Bungalow Heaven is the poster child for the Arts & Crafts Movement. Though the Movement’s origins are in England, both its aesthetic & its philosophy were brought to the United States in the early 1900’s & California heartily embraced them.

The natural materials revered by the Movement are abundant in the state. In the forests grew acres of fir, oak, redwood & Ponderosa pine providing lumber for building. California’s mild climate lent itself to the idea of living with nature, allowing houses to have many windows & sleeping porches in which to spend hot summer nights.

The nearby Arroyo Seco, Spanish for “dry gulch” runs 8 miles through Pasadena & provided beautiful stone for building & adorning houses. Pasadena’s beautiful topography, rich soil & mild weather provided the perfect setting in which lush vegetation flourished.

Pasadena spawned & inspired the applied artistry of people such as The Greene Brothers, who designed the Gamble House to enhance the setting & honored the natural environment in every detail. The extraordinary work of Pasadena resident, Ernest Batchelder, tile-maker, is seen in many homes in the neighborhood.

Bungalow Heaven bookAdditionally, the modest homes of Bungalow Heaven were within the reach of the working class. People of moderate means could afford to live in a beautiful city with views of the San Gabriel Mountains, enjoy well-built homes with a variety of attractive details & friendly front porches, & had the added benefit of being near transportation, commerce & job opportunities.

This wonder, a piece of Pasadena that is Bungalow Heaven, is an amalgamation of the history, the homes & the neighborhood spirit. Read about it in this informative book, view it on a driving tour or, catch their spring home tour!



TIP: Read about other preservation groups holding wonderful events in Southern California, click, HERE!



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