["Sunday Support Group" is about long-term projects, mine and yours. —Ed.]
Apparently I can't get this out of my mind. I'm not saying I've tried too hard.
Some readers might remember my initially pie-in-the-sky plan to put in a sort of "shop window" for TOP here in the Finger Lakes, in the form of a small outbuilding that would function as a sort of "visitor center" (as well as a place to set up my pool table).
Initially I thought this was a sort of a daydream, the type of thing I'd never be able to afford.
Especially when I was engaging in pie-in-the-sky planning as well—envisioning a custom-built oversize building with a deluxe second-story office.
That is indeed out of reach, but, just for fun, recently I've once again started costing out a much more modest version of the same thing (I've done this before). I've spec'd a single-story 18x24x8' gable-end shed built on a concrete slab. It would have electric (easily accessible from my garage, which has plenty of extra capacity in the junction box) but no plumbing. I need to keep windows to a minimum to conserve interior wall space, but might need to include one window for resale appeal should I ever sell the house (I envision a future owner could use the extra building as a grandchild bunkhouse in the Summer vacation months, or convert it to an oversized garage and storage shed.)
One wall would be used for bookcases for my photo book collection (which has never been displayed/accessible in its entirety) and display cases for photo-related curios (I have some odd things, and would have fun collecting others), while the other three walls would be used for photographs. As I've mentioned before, the photos would be hung "gallery style," above and below each other and jigsaw-puzzled together, to maximize the number of photos I could display. Small size prints, not large, would be preferred! I've got some interesting things, from one of Ctein's matrices (along with the magazine cover made of the photo) to a gorgeous 1910 platinum print, to a vintage dye transfer of God and Man (Godowsky and Mannes, inventors of Kodachrome), to an original news photo of a crime scene in which a hit man was found dead in the trunk of a '40s Hudson. Of course we would display many of our print sale prints, and choose new things as well.
Imagine the eclecticism and eccentricity of this blog, but expressed in objects, books, and original photos, and you'll have the idea. Not a museum, just a room full of cool stuff that's fun to look at, for when people come by. Of course, part of the appeal would be the fact that I'd be the docent, and could tell stories about the stuff.
I've gotten a quote for $13k for the building, including the exterior cladding and the door and windows, and $3k for the slab. The cost of baseboard heating is another thousand (radiant heat in the slab would theoretically cost about $2,500, but I haven't been able to find a contractor who can install it this far out in the country—I'm outside the service range of Rochester installers). Things I haven't gotten quotes for yet are the electrical wiring, fixtures, interior drywall, and carpet. But it looks like the whole thing could be built nicely for $22–25k maybe?
A simple gable-end shed by Woodtex, the builder in Himrod NY I got the quote
from. Picture something like this, only bigger, and with an ordinary entry door.
That's not cheap, but it's a far cry from the $70k two-story outbuilding I was originally fantasizing about. It's within the range of a few fundraising print sales, a Kickstarter, or simply me saving up for it (although me saving up should go into, well, savings). Anyway, it doesn't seem outside of the realm of possibility any more. Also, it turns out I can resell the 11x20-foot shed that's already there. (It's not of high enough build quality to convert.)
The big fun, of course, would be picking the pictures and objects for display. And I've also said this before, but a nice touch would be middle-gray cloth on the pool table, for when we spread out portfolios to look at. :-)
It was out of sight before; maybe it's actually on the horizon now.
Maybe in two or three years.
Enjoy your Sunday! I'll just be sitting here daydreaming.
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