In this second round of ers’ youth homes, you’ll see the exact powerful connections people have with these distinctive places. Several of you are renovating the houses you grew up in, a few are living very near the houses you grew up in, others are re-creating the houses you grew up in or picking houses that remind one of the ones you grew up in. A number of you have popped into the houses you grew up in for a trip (inhabited by relatives living there, fresh owners that became friends or new owners favorable enough to encourage you in) or simply enjoyed driving. One er became a professional due to the admiration she had for the house she grew up in; yet another is writing a book inspired by her youth community.
Please check out each of the stories from the original Call and continue to add your stories and images of your houses.
Time Travel to ers’ Childhood Homes, Part 1
Dorset, England. “I had the joy of growing up in the home in the center of the island (Portland, Dorset, England), whose community I didn’t fully appreciate at the time, that’s now the topic of a novel I am writing,” says user deniseqaqish. The decoration was my mother’s (complete with multicolored plastic stripes as a doorway decoration — very ’60s), the alleyway was my play area, and the shop next door was where I worked!
“The island is linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway and steeped in history,” deniseqaqish adds.
West Hartford, Connecticut. “That is the home I remember the most fondly, from when I was about 5 to 13 years old, back in the mid-1950s,” says er emsbutler. “That is a recent photograph, but it looks the same, except the new owners turned the screened-in porch into a space. My mom planted lots and lots of rhododendrons from the front lawn, which are gone now. The memories of playmates, our puppy, a pet rabbit, playing in the leaves and skating in the tiny pond near are so much a part of that home.”
Baltimore, Maryland. “The home I recall best we lived for eight years. At the time I thought it had been enormous, though it appeared smaller than I recalled once I returned as an adult,” says christina.
“It was built in 1880, and it was a constant project removing layers and layers of wallpaper and paint, refinishing the wood floors, repairing the old slate roof,” she says. “Nevertheless, it was a fantastic home, with pocket doors and rooms tucked here and there.
My brother and I had the whole third floor to ourselves (which had an extremely narrow, winding stair, hence the adults didn’t like coming up) . I recall when both of us found a hidden staircase that went from the kitchen china closet up to the linen closet on the second floor. We loved that home, but I believe our parents were happy when we moved to a more modern home that didn’t have quite so many issues.”
Gates, North Carolina. “My dad was in the Marine Corps for 30 years, so I really didn’t have a ‘household’ house, but I remember my mother being skilled at turning any place we lived right into a cozy home,” says user caci. “This included a World War II Quonset hut in Adak, Alaska! I married a farmer and now reside in an 1889 farmhouse in Gates, North Carolina, that reminds me so much of my grandmother’s home in Harrisonburg, Virginia.”
Bellevue, Washington. “It’s funny how you remember things — I always thought the home I grew up in was huge! It was a fine, comfy size but was not as enormous as I recall it,” says Sammi Thielen. “My bedroom was the one on the left, and I remember when it snowed, which was not too frequently in Bellevue, Washington, I would sit and look out my big window and watch the snow fall under the streetlight. I recall it being so peaceful and quiet. The home was a trilevel and had, in the time, the most beautiful gold shag carpets — we had a little sterile carpet rake to help keep it looking fine! Tons of wonderful memories from that house.”
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. “I grew up in a Sears & Roebuck kit house,” says user hjracer. “My parents lived in their forever home for 45 years and just sold it to move into a retirement community. It was built in 1929. It was sad to say goodbye to my childhood home, but another young family bought it to continue many happy memories in a tiny bit of Americana history.” Hjracer’s childhood home was known as the Crescent.
ers, you may recognize some of those kit homes seen in these youth home ideabooks; they were built all over the country. I know there’s a Crescent somewhere around my neighborhood; I am eager to go find it now.
Laguna Beach, California. user joymaker and her husband like to drive by her husband’s childhood home. “It’s on Top Drive in Laguna Beach … we drive by when attending annual high school reunions. It was built using many different bricks and is filled with charm,” she says.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Occasionally, you can go home again. “I made Ottawa 15 years back. I was lucky in my last trip back (only the second in 15 years) to be able to walk throughout my childhood house (sooo grateful to the new owners),” says Cathy. “This three-story home was magnificent — there was a living area on the first floor, bedrooms on the moment and my father’s office library on the next floor,” she describes. “My dad built that front porch, and he also built the coated indoor pool. The new owners have promised it superbly. It will always feel like home to me”
Medford, Oregon. A well-known local architect built this Pacific Northwest house. “Bob Bosworth designed our home in Medford, Oregon, and it was built in 1959,” says user chrdan.
Birmingham, Alabama. “My family lived in at least five homes in three nations when I was growing up,” says beverly_crawford. “The very first house I remember living in was in Birmingham, Alabama, along with Shades Mountain in an area called Bluff Park, from 1966 to 1974. Our home was a brick ranch with three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I wish I’d found an image of the silver aluminum tree with the color wheel spotlight that was exhibited in our living room window. As children we played out from sunup to sundown. There were no fences in anyone’s yards. There was a creek that ran through our neighborhood and a mountain so steep in the end of the road that we were prohibited to ride our bicycles onto it.”
She adds, “The first home my husband and I purchased was in Houston, Texas — a three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch. It took me a few years to realize that the 2 homes wore each other on the exterior.”
Highland Park, Illinois. “The very first home we had was a fabulous 1930s Tudor with nooks and crannies, sloping rooflines and window seats,” says lilybeach. “The next was a dreadful ranch home my parents loved, built in 1968. They loved using a new house. I hated sleeping on the first floor, and overlooked all of the architectural surprises of this very first place. As a result, I’ve loved and lived in old homes ever since. My oldest home was built in 1787; my hottest, 1930.”
Additionally in Highland Park, Illinois. “The home I grew up in was a midcentury contemporary in Highland Park, Illinois, built in 1957,” says Carol Moses. “My dad is an architect and designed the home. They have lived in this home for 55 years and love it.”
“I had been so affected by the home I grew up in that I became an architect,” Carol Moses continues. “I like clean lines, lots of light and believe less is more. The little girl on the rocking horse is me.”
Yukon, Canada. “I grew up in a 1960s home in a fantastic neighbourhood from the Yukon,” says user tourere. “The house didn’t look big in the road, since the lawn came up to cover the bottom level, however it had four bedrooms, a large second living area (my dad’s study) and a large room that housed the freezer, camping equipment and all sorts of canned goods. There were two bathrooms, one with bathroom and shower/tub and another with only a bathroom. This was problematic when there were three teenaged girls (plus their friends) needing to shower in the afternoon.”
“But as a result I’ve never been that keen on the en suite thought, as I enjoyed that it had been an area that we all had to talk about,” tourere persists. “It’s where I watched my dad brush and learned how to whiten my teeth. Both things I love as I return would be the fantastic food storage/pantry and the big picture window. As I child and when I go home to visit my mom, I love looking out the window and seeing exactly what the neighbors are up to — that has a new baby or puppy and who’s learning how to ride a bike. I now reside on a farm in New Zealand, however from our deck we can see down the road, and my son enjoys looking at the tractors and trucks drive beyond. If I were to reside in a city again, I would need to be on the road with a view.”
Austin, Texas. “I recently remodeled and moved into my childhood home in Austin, Texas,” says katrina50. “My parents built the home from the early 1960s. I recently remodeled the master bedrooms, bathrooms and added hardwood floors; however, I did maintain the pine living space.”
“It did have a Nutone intercom system that has now been replaced with newer technology,” katrina50 says.
Cincinnati. Michael Long of Ridge Carpentry is also pleased to be renovating a youth home. “I am fortunate enough to have bought my childhood home in the Pleasant Ridge area of Cincinnati and’m in the process of restoring it,” he says.
It sounds like Ridge Carpentry’s remodel can result in a fantastic future Tour. I’ll be keeping my eye on it.
Detroit. “I grew up in a home in Detroit which is very similar to the one I reside in now in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan,” says user ruthie11. “They call them Cox and Baker bungalows, and it’s not that I love them, however my spouse and I do a fantastic job renovating it piece by piece to make it fit contemporary needs! We got it for a fantastic price in fantastic condition during the bank-owned phenomenon.” Ruthie11’s latest home is only about 5 kilometers from the one she grew up in.
Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your own stories. Please keep them coming!