"The entries are finished in fine wainscoting of Grueby Faience tile especially designed in soft tone colors, and tile and marble floors and stairs, and mahogany wood finish..." (from a 1913 brochure advertising the building when new. This is the least changed of all of the described features.)
I won't be moving in until Thanksgiving week, but the key should be in my hands on Thursday. Here are the stairs, but there is also an (almost too charming, yet entirely serviceable) little elevator with a wooden door and a brass folding gate. It looks as if it goes to Narnia, and the floor buttons run from right to left. I am told that it was the first "automatic" elevator in Pittsburgh. It should serve me in good stead in old age and/or with armloads of groceries.
The living and dining rooms are much changed from their advertised 1913 look:
"The apartment reception halls and living rooms are in dull finish mahogany, the dining rooms in dark oak with plate rail and beamed ceilings..The living room mantels and fireplaces are specially designed in mahogany and Grueby Faience tile, the rich tone of the one combined with the light soft shade of the other giving at once an effective and harmonizing contrast."
Below are a couple of "before" pictures of the living room. Lots of white paint has long covered over all that mahogany, oak and tile. I'd like to see about getting the fireplace tile restored one day, but the mahogany mantle wouldn't work well with my new bookcases, which will be poplar, designed to be painted and to fit in with the mantle moldings.
I don't think I'd want all that to be mahogany, even if I could afford it- too dark and master's-studyish, especially with lots of books added. One of the many reasons I fell for the place is that it has been flooded with light every time I have been there...these pictures were taken at dusk!
Friday, Bill the carpenter is scheduled to begin building those bookcases on either side of the fireplace- my big pre-move-in splurge. There is also going to be carpet disposal, floor sanding, and some wallpaper stripping and wall painting to follow. Can't afford to do it all now, but some. I'm excited.
Lest you think that this is going to be a complete one-time do-over,-not so. There is quite a lot that needs work, and which will have to wait until I can do it myself, or afford to pay to have it done. I'm not complaining, I quite like having a big project.
The rooms are as follows: Galley kitchen and similarly shaped pantry; 2 bedrooms; two bathrooms (one bath is nominally a "maids room" of yore, but has a sink, toilet and shower; the "maid " would have had to be lilliputian), living room, dining room, sun room (teeny), and hall. All the windows have louvered shutters.
Wish me luck, please.