The stairwell leading upstairs is immediately on your left once you enter the side door. You go up a single step and then turn right to go up the rest of the staircase. The stair treads are extremely narrow (even my size 6 shoe can’t completely fit) and make the ascent feel fraught with the very real potential that you might lose your footing and fall. Tilt your body forward, power your way up, and we’ll all be fine.
As you ascend to the second floor, you’ll notice that you are flanked by some murals: Buddha on your right, and the Sphinx on your left. It’s a surprise to come across murals at all let alone in a dark stairwell. If nothing else, I think they start to help you understand the eccentricity of previous tenants.
At the top of the stairs is a very narrow landing (see above), surrounded by doorways to the left, right, and front. We’ll go clockwise for our room tour.
The footprint of the rooms upstairs are small, but they feel even tinier thanks to the extreme pitch of the roof that renders much of their square footage unusable. The small room to the left of the landing faces the road and has a single window facing north and was likely used as a small bedroom.
In the finished state, this space will become a full bathroom.
The largest room on the second floor, the one directly in front of you after exiting the stairwell was used primarily for storage. The wallpaper-clad chimney rises directly through the middle of the room and a knee-wall on the river side contains a large copper water reservoir.
One distinct quirk is that of the two south-facing windows, the lower corner of one is blocked by the roof line of the “fish room” downstairs. We have a hunch about why that’s the case, but I’ll leave you in suspense until a future post.
The last upstairs room, the one to the right of the stairwell, is the creepiest. Upon entering the room, you immediately face a closet door that states “Not a Sh*t House.” It’s a bit ominous. Once inside the room, you can see the side of the closet trailing all the way to the knee wall. The drop ceiling shows water damage that lends a generally drippy feel to the space.
In order to make room for two comfortably sized bedrooms upstairs, we’ll be kicking out the roof on the back, river-facing side of the house to make for standard ceiling heights. We’ll also be adding large windows across the back to take advantage of those water views.
Up next, porch tour and then on to demo!