New life for a Boulevard original

Southwest Life

New life for a Boulevard original

After years of neglect, a circa 1884 one-story Victorian cottage at 855 East Third Ave. received a complete restoration under the skillful hands of owner Diane Wildfang, an expert in historic preservation of Durango residences and commercial buildings. “I bought it for preservation and the beauty of the street,” Diane says.
Fully restored, the modest house at 855 East Third Ave. is a gift to the Boulevard and a delight to its new owners, Diane and Fred Wildfang. The one-story house is slightly less than 1,500 square feet and features a modern kitchen with a vaulted ceiling and skylights.
Where there used to be a maple tree and rose garden, the Wildfangs have now built a garage and an additional dwelling unit complete with a separate office for researcher and writer Fred Wildfang, whose books include photographic histories of Durango, La Plata County and local scenic highways.
The old house needed a lot of work, but no one was prepared to find burnt rafters and boards barely holding up the roof.
Modern carpenters looked with appreciation on original woodwork such as gingerbread cornices at the eaves, all hand drilled and shaped without power tools. Each piece of the historic house was saved and re-used from the floor boards to the external shiplap siding.
A variety of 19th-century publications and promotional tracts were found in the attic, including self-help documents and sheets about what to do with your milch cow.
Other surprises in this old house included a vintage corset found in the attic to fit a petite woman or slender girl. The Wildfangs have donated this piece of clothing to the Center of Southwest Studies on the Fort Lewis College campus.
A variety of 19th-century publications and promotional tracts were found in the attic, including self-help documents and sheets about what to do with your milch cow.
Diane Wildfang is known as the Queen of East Second Avenue because of her successful commercial restorations of buildings, including the Rochester Hotel (1892), the Leland House (1926) the Cyprus Café (1890) and Eno Wine Bar (1940s). She sought to buy the one-story cottage at 855 East Third Ave. for a decade so she could restore it for her personal home.
Fred Wildfang points to decades of grime and paint that had to be removed from the front porch before re-surfacing and painting the original woodwork in an approved Victorian color.

New life for a Boulevard original

After years of neglect, a circa 1884 one-story Victorian cottage at 855 East Third Ave. received a complete restoration under the skillful hands of owner Diane Wildfang, an expert in historic preservation of Durango residences and commercial buildings. “I bought it for preservation and the beauty of the street,” Diane says.
Fully restored, the modest house at 855 East Third Ave. is a gift to the Boulevard and a delight to its new owners, Diane and Fred Wildfang. The one-story house is slightly less than 1,500 square feet and features a modern kitchen with a vaulted ceiling and skylights.
Where there used to be a maple tree and rose garden, the Wildfangs have now built a garage and an additional dwelling unit complete with a separate office for researcher and writer Fred Wildfang, whose books include photographic histories of Durango, La Plata County and local scenic highways.
The old house needed a lot of work, but no one was prepared to find burnt rafters and boards barely holding up the roof.
Modern carpenters looked with appreciation on original woodwork such as gingerbread cornices at the eaves, all hand drilled and shaped without power tools. Each piece of the historic house was saved and re-used from the floor boards to the external shiplap siding.
A variety of 19th-century publications and promotional tracts were found in the attic, including self-help documents and sheets about what to do with your milch cow.
Other surprises in this old house included a vintage corset found in the attic to fit a petite woman or slender girl. The Wildfangs have donated this piece of clothing to the Center of Southwest Studies on the Fort Lewis College campus.
A variety of 19th-century publications and promotional tracts were found in the attic, including self-help documents and sheets about what to do with your milch cow.
Diane Wildfang is known as the Queen of East Second Avenue because of her successful commercial restorations of buildings, including the Rochester Hotel (1892), the Leland House (1926) the Cyprus Café (1890) and Eno Wine Bar (1940s). She sought to buy the one-story cottage at 855 East Third Ave. for a decade so she could restore it for her personal home.
Fred Wildfang points to decades of grime and paint that had to be removed from the front porch before re-surfacing and painting the original woodwork in an approved Victorian color.
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