In the olden days, people around here built garages (or perhaps they were originally carriage houses) on steep, otherwise useless, hills. The front of the building faced the street while the rest of the structure stood on posts.
These great old garages had magnificent 4 x 12 treated floors you could have parked a tank on. But the combo of wooden understructures and unstable soils of the hills doomed the buildings. Ninety or a hundred years later, most of them are gone and those that remain look like this:
Until a couple weeks ago, this one was still completely shingled and there was stuff stored inside that nobody had touched in decades. I pass this sad old beauty every day. I tend to think of myself as a decent scrounger. But it never occurred to me to ask the owner if I could take it apart and haul its pieces away. Even if I’d had the thought, I’d probably immediately have concluded, “Too darned dangerous.”
Another neighbor wasn’t so chicken. She asked and it was given. I don’t know her well, but she’s a beautiful woman about 40 with impressive artistic abilities. Oh, the projects she’ll make from this!
She first emptied the contents, and now has begun prying off the shingles. Isn’t it cool how the formerly hidden parts of 100-year-old cedar (there on the mid-left side) remain fresh and red when the exposed parts long ago turned gray and grew layers of moss?
I admire that lady’s chutzpah for taking this on. Never mind that she’s got six kids and has recruited all but the youngest to help her; it’s still a daunting and dangerous task.
I might just have to ask her what it would take to buy that old floor from her when she gets down to it. Those ancient floors make great retaining walls and, cut up and set into a bed of sand, could become unusual and attractive patio blocks.