Lots of progress has been made since I last checked in at 830 Fourth Ave. S.E. in Albany’s Central Neighborhood. Paul Dykast and his helpers have cleaned the place out, and they’ve begun working on fixing the old structure up.
I stopped by on Tuesday afternoon. The mountains of refuse were gone, inside and out. Dykast says they filled a Dumpster and so many trailers he lost count.
As reported here before, Dykast is a mid-valley farmer who buys dilapidated houses and brings them back to life as a way to keep busy during the winter when there’s less farm work to be done. When he’s finished one, it’s a brand new house with period elements retained, judging from the one I’ve seen at Geary and First Avenue, which he completed last year.
The inside of 830 Fourth S.E. is pretty much torn up now, with rafters and joists exposed. The aroma of decay and charred timbers is gone. The old wiring was being ripped out. Pieces of cardboard identify where new bathroom fixtures might go. The floor has been partly removed so a crawl space can be dug out.
When I remarked on what looked like a professional installation of new plumbing pipes coming down from upstairs in an exterior wall, Dykast said he’d just put that in.
Two weeks ago, rescuing this place looked like an impossible job. On Tuesday it looked not only possible but well on its way. (hh)