The face behind Craftsman Perspective
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I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, a city blessed with a rich architectural heritage. Growing up in a 1912 Arts and Crafts brick and cedar shingle foursquare, I loved the warmth and beauty of the dark stained wood, tiled fireplaces and art glass. Although there was something formal in the style that was lacking in my friends' post-war split-levels, I always felt that my home was inviting and special. And that "special something" turned out to be a whole design philosophy and lifestyle associated with the warm and welcoming house that I grew up in: The Arts and Crafts style.
After college I moved to NYC where I worked as a journalist and later as a graphic designer. I loved every minute of my time in NYC, but after seven years of apartment living I was ready to stake my claim to the great American dream. Which led me back to my hometown.
Compared to today, I was at a disadvantage when I was looking for my first house back in 1996. There wasn't much of anything on the internet yet, and so I spent my weekends at the Carnegie Library, researching the Arts and Crafts Movement and learning everything I could about period houses. And the more I learned, the more I realized that I had been drawn to the philosophy and the style nearly all my life. After months of searching, I bought an affordable 1918 Craftsman-style house not far from where I grew up.
In the summer of 1996 I began what is turning out to be a multi-decade home restoration/renovation, and I decided to create my own little web site so that others might benefit from what I learned along the way. I had little idea how useful the site would be, or that the internet would replace libraries as the place to find information. Or that a dozen years later I would still be maintaining this site. But for the nearly one million visitors who have browsed this site, or the thousands who have sent me mail over the years, it's been your overwhelmingly positive response that has kept me from abandoning it.
As the years have passed, my ambitions, both in updating this site and in working on my house, have waxed and waned. For me, the highlight was being on the 2004 Dormont (PA) House Tour, where my house was featured on the advertising poster. 2005 was definitely a lazy year, but I regrouped in 2006 and pressed on with another round of house renovations that included floor sanding and refinishing, new carpeting and paint upstairs, stripping paint from the upstairs doors and door frames and even some changes in the gardens.
Eventually, renovations take a back seat to house maintenance and by 2007 I could see that some of the early work was already beginning to need some TLC so the last few years have been less about renovating and more about maintenance. Such is the life of a house, and our role as caretakers. By 2010 I was ready for a change. As much as I loved my house, I was ready to pass it along to another couple so they could raise a family and create new memories. I sold the house in 2011, and immediately started on a new restoration project, but as I get older I'm more content to express my love of the arts and crafts philosophy in a less strenuous way...like a total redesign of this site to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Craftsman Perspective. I hope you've enjoyed it.
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