Wednesday, October 16, 2013

From Dull to Shine: The Floors

One of the things we could not wait to complete on our event space was the floors. Sure...having fresh paint, newly revealed brick walls, and all new lighting can really spruce up a place, but until the floors are finished, everything seems unfinished.

Remember what we started with?

And then...
Floor prep work began! We popped those tiles off over a year ago and the layers of dust, saw dust, dirt and plaster have been protecting those original wooden floors all this time. Once we vacuumed, and vacuumed, aaannnnddddd vacuumed that dust up, we were ready to sand it and then vacuum once more. And because we didn't have overhead lighting yet, and we work at our regular jobs during the day, most of this was done at night by spotlights. Challenging to say the least! But where there is a, you know the rest!

And the finished product...AMAZING!

We chose to stain with a dark cherry to help hide the flaws and it turned out way better than expected. On each side of the main floor by the walls, there are lots of patches with plywood that we really could do nothing about. So we stained them and hoped for the best and they turned out great...matched the hardwood in color, even if not in design. The floor is dusty now again from our continued work, but will be shined up soon for our Grand Opening! We can't wait!

Oh, and as for the rest of the flooring in other spaces...yep...they are painted! Black with lots of shine...and they look great! And here is a sneak peek at our women's restroom floor...

We just had to throw in some chevron flair somewhere!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Up and Down: We have Stairways!

We could always get upstairs to our second story and to our mezzanine level on a separate staircase, but was it pleasant and safe? Not a chance. Here's what we started with: look what we have...Ta Da!

It's hard to believe that is the same staircase but it has been widened, steps have been lengthened up to code, the bannister is sturdy and safe and now it is open, so you can see out into the big area below. 

Our mezzanine steps were hidden in the back in a windy path up the half story, but noooowwwww....

we have a lovely path up to the half floor straight from the main floor, where you could house a DJ, a bar, extra seating, a VIP area, whatever you want! And this will be your view (minus some lumber, ladders, a few tools, and dust everywhere):

To create the railing overlooking the main area, we got creative and used what we had. There was a large stack of these huge window frames with the glass still intact left in the building when we purchased it. Lee and his dad put these together and built a sturdy frame around them and voila...we have a unique railing! Since the area is definitely smaller and more closed in than anywhere else, having the see-through railing will help open it up more. 

We can't wait to paint all of this to create the elegant backdrop for any kind of party or event!

In the meantime of getting the staircases complete, the all-new electrical has been installed and inspected and approved and the plumbing has been installed (and inspected and approved)! Things are moving along!

Exciting things are happening starting on November 2nd! Check back for more details!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

VIP Feature

We were so excited to be one of the features of Humboldt in the Community Profile in VIP Magazine of Jackson. Thank you to Lyda Kay Ferree for the write-up! The pictures say it all...

We even got a current picture in there!

First page

Second page

Pick up your copy today!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Getting Some Exposure...

This old building of ours begged to be rid of its many layers on the walls, and we listened! After ripping the top layer of painted plywood off, we slowly but surely started picking away at the plaster that covered the entire area of the downstairs' walls. 

BEFORE PIC: Lovely plywood that covered those beautiful hidden walls.

After a day's work, the ladies got the bottom half of one side off. It was beautiful! 

We, however, were not.
Plaster dust is horrible and by the end of the day, there was plaster dust all over us, our cars, our homes, and in places we didn't even know existed. But, the work must continue!

The boys finished off the rest of the plaster and then the detail work began. Every inch of those walls had to be scrubbed with a wire brush to remove the remaining plaster and to clean the bricks off. You can see in the picture below that it was well worth it. We had scrubbed the bottom half and boy, did those red bricks shine!

Jessica finally wised up and bought a heavy duty mask, because that dust is no joke!!

Lee hard at work, making that plaster fly!

The things left to do for the brick are to coat the walls in a protective layer to shore the brick up and to decide what to do in the spaces in the brick that were found and voila...another task complete!

As you can see below, we have already had "customers" taking advantage of our beautiful canvas for photographs. This was a singing group called Earmark Trio that was doing a photoshoot downtown one Sunday when we were there. They took a few shots inside. We have also had another booked photoshoot for someone else that wanted an exposed brick, unfinished look and it worked out great for them. So, pass the word...we are not only good for events, but photo shoots as well!

Thanks for visiting and checking us out! We are getting even more exposure in VIP Jackson Magazine. Stay tuned for that update!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fun Finds!

As the boys had to do some work underneath the building, they also came across pieces of history that belong to the building (besides finding dead animal carcasses, dead spiders, and other creepy, crawly things, living or dead).

First off were these signs that have the name of the very first store that this building was created for in the late 1890s.

Along with many pieces of these signs were lots of coal, a pipe, an old spittoon, a Lucky Strike cigarette box and a remnants of a shirt that was labeled "O'Bryan". After some research, we found this to be the name of the manufacturer that later became Duck Head. Here is a little excerpt from Wikipedia:

The Duck Head brand was founded in 1865 in Nashville, Tennessee by George and Joe O'Bryan, two brothers who were buying surplus U.S. Army tent material. The material was a heavy canvas known as "duck", and the brothers began making work pants and shirts out of the strong material.

Also found was an insurance policy from 1936 from Warmath & Dunlap of Humboldt signed by K.L. Dunlap for when the store was Thweatt Bros. Below are a few pics from the policy...


In addition to finding odd things, we have uncovered spaces in the walls.While exposing the brick, an archway was found that oddly enough was covered in wallpaper (remember, this was all under plaster). It looks like it could go all the way through to the building next door, but it stops. About 1.5 feet above the arch is another space that contained a flue and it also had a metal drawer that pulls out that would have contained soot. Above that is a round hole that an exhaust pipe would fit in. So was it a fire stove? A secret entryway? Who knows, but we must find something cool to do with the space! Suggestions are welcome!

Old structures are fun, as long as you can muster up the patience and the stamina to get through it all!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Exterior...95% Complete

After too long of a hiatus from the blog, we are back to report on our progress! We are so appreciative of all of those that ask us about the building and send encouragement our way. It means more to us than you could ever know!

Our exterior progress has continued and we are almost complete on the close we can taste it! It will be so nice to check something off our list as a fully completed item, that we may just have to have a party to celebrate. At least we have a place to do it, right? As long as we don't mind piles of lumber and dust everywhere!

This phase of work started on a Friday night after a lift was rented for the weekend. The metal beam in the center of the building was covered with wood, all windows were caulked, and everything was primed.

Being on a swaying lift that high in the air wasn't exactly too much fun, but the boys handled it like champs!

By Sunday afternoon, this phase was complete and here is our finished product!

All we lack are gold letters that will spell out "THE OPERA HOUSE" that are going in the middle on the black wood. A hanging sign with our logo will also be added to extend out from the door. AND THEN, our outside is complete! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Demolition is Fun!

This may be hard work and it may take a lot of time, thought, and strength to pull this stuff off, but we definitely have fun doing it!

Here are a couple of videos of the "tearing down" parts. Disclaimer: Don't try this at home. We probably shouldn't have tried this either, but we got lucky and nobody died. Yay us!


Eric, the Demolition god!

Even Lee's Dad Robert got in on the fun!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Facelift...In Progress

As many have already noticed, we have done a major overhaul on the front of our building. The top half of the building isn't going to change much, except for some paint around the windows, a good pressure washing, and a broken window replaced. Since we like to keep things as close to original as we can (somewhat), we decided not to paint the brick. So work on the bottom half began early winter (the absolute best time to work on exteriors, right?)


Before with aluminum covering
First things first, that awning had to come down!! It was so cathartic to get that monstrosity off, that they just kept on going!

While the look of the black marble was actually kind of neat, it was heavy, not that secure and broken in many places, so it too had to go!

Even though it had been previously decided to replace the large glass on the front display windows (with smaller pieces that fit with our look and easier to replace if needed), it was a definite after accidentally breaking a window anyway!

So, the windows came out and the front had to be completely rebuilt to achieve the look we wanted. It was quite a scary moment for us (and the on-lookers driving by too, I'm sure)!

We had it boarded up for a while...

But eventually the glass went in...

And the paint went on...

 Work had to move inside for a while, but plans include to cover the steel beam above the transom windows, paint the top windows with an accent color, and add lighting somewhere. At least for now it is not an eye sore to those driving by anymore, but something actually pleasing to see! 

More progress is happening inside now and we can't wait to share it! Also, after exploring underneath, we have some awesome antique finds to share! Thanks for checking us out!