Our House: Pack full of Mysteries and History

January 26, 2007

Our house is just an enigma begging to be unraveled. I guess that’s par for the course in a house in this location, of such age (built 1890 or thereabouts), etc.

Perhaps I have not mentioned that many people, despite conflicting zoning, have used the house for commercial endeavors. Our block is the closest block to the river (i.e. close to downtown) to have any houses on it at all. The first house is an attorney’s office. The second is a nine-person co-op in a big, old quadplex. This is fine except their dratted roof is just high enough to obliterate our view of downtown. We are the third.

There are hints of business use in elements of the house. The circuit breakers are labeled as “Office 1″, “Office 2,” etc. There are network drops and two voice lines (and occasionally cable jacks) in every room. That latter thing is quite the boon, actually, for geeks such as us. We don’t use phone lines, but if we did, what a bounty! There’s an entire closet full of phone wiring.

Problem is, for the business folks who have been here in the past, the house is zoned residential. There are ways of operating businesses in houses, but it can be tricky, and there are permit and zoning violations recorded.

Some past residents include (I mention these because they’re either business entities or long since gone, so hopefully no privacy concerns):

* Father Mike
* The Owner of SmartMonkey Foods
A family of shoemakers named Osvold, from about 1900 to 1928.

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