Saving another piece of history

KINGSTON — It’s a house that seems to be worth saving again and again.

At least that’s what Kingston couple Kate D’Archangel and Jason Manges have believed the past three years.

When they purchased one of Kingston’s original turn of the century homes on the corner of Ohio Street and 3rd Avenue in October 2002, they knew it had charm and potential to be a wonderful place for their young family.

Now three years later, with their first baby on the way in about two months, the couple is on their way to ensuring house continues to overlook the Little City by the Sea for years to come.

Upon finding the gem, it had been well taken care of on the inside. All the couple did was paint the walls, rip out the carpet and refinish the original hardwood floors, plus take out a stove and chimney that were in the middle of the house.

“Its all been painstakingly taken care of and redone — both by us and by previous people,” Manges said. “There was no rot, it was exquisitely built. Whoever built it did it right.”

But the foundation was another story.

“The house would have fallen a long time ago but because it’s in sand, it was dry and saved it,” Manges said. “People had patched it up but it needed something permanent.”

The couple wanted more room in their 1,200-square foot home but instead of building an addition, they decided to kill two birds with one stone — fix the foundation and at the same time, create a livable basement. When they first moved in, the “basement” was nothing more than a small room with a dirt floor and enough room for a washer and dryer.

The couple didn’t go into this project blindly — in fact, when they were looking to buy, they wanted something pre-1930s, D’Archangel said. And renovation work is nothing new to Manges, who works as a contractor in Seattle.

In order to create a basement underneath an already constructed home, there was some pretty heavy lifting to be done.

During the first week of July, they had the house raised three feet by Monroe House Moving — the same company that moved the “Treehouse” from Lindvog Road to Stillwaters Environmental Education Center last year.

Manges then removed about 200 yards of dirt from beneath the house, creating a large open space for a new foundation to be poured and the basement to be built. Originally, the house had been held up by large wooden supports.

Currently, the house is resting on two steel beams, which are being held up by several crib pilings. The footing has been set and concrete walls are being built. The house and the new basement are expected to be secured in about a week.

The end project will result in a day-lit basement with several windows, a living area and two bedrooms. Upstairs, there are currently two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen. The top floor is more of an attic and the couple would like to remodel that portion as well. In total, they will have more than more than 2,000-square feet of space after the renovation.

But the work doesn’t stop there. Manges said he would like to sit down with the Kingston Historical Society to see if anyone has any information on the house, including researching the old titles, if they can be found.

But one thing he does know for sure is that this isn’t the first time this home has been renovated, Manges said, as another couple in the 1970s did the same after the house was found abandoned.

“(They) saved it the first time, we’re saving it a second time,” Manges said.

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