Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Free Vintage Door (and the story behind it)

I have a very special vintage, thrifty (free) find that I wanted to share today in honor of my Dad's 80th birthday on Saturday. Before I show my find, I need to share a little family background.

My Dad was born in 1929, the last of five children. When he was born his father (Herman) was 60 years old and his mother (Theresa) was 43 (they already had two grandchildren when my Dad was born). My grandfather Herman purchased a home for his family in 1904 and it remained the family residence until 1952 when my grandmother, Theresa, passed away.

Now fast forward 55 years to 2007. The house that my Dad grew up in is being renovated and Dad and I stop by to take a look at his old family home. I have to say that I was thrilled the house was going to get a new life. It had been in disrepair for a lot of years and needed some TLC. The gentleman who was renovating the house was not going for a historical renovation and had put new doors on the house. The original front door was sitting outside and I asked what he was going to do with it. He said it was mine for the taking! I jumped at his offer and took the 100 year old door home with me. My Dad thought I was crazy but that door represented family history to me and I couldn't let it end up in the dump!!

I haven't done anything with the door yet....it is currently being stored in my basement but I know someday inspiration will hit and I will come up with an idea for the door (and if you have any ideas let me know). You will see from the pictures that it needs to be stripped (it's painted white on the other side) and has years of dirt and grime....but I think it is beautiful!

So thanks for reading about my vintage thrifty find. Here's a picture of my Dad in 1931 standing on the front porch of the house. Look close and you can see a small part of the front door behind him.
And here are pictures of the vintage door. It is extremely heavy, has gorgeous, thick, beveled glass and egg and dart wood trim.
And here's my Dad standing on the in-progress renovation of his old childhood home.

I am posting this to two parties.....thanks to:
Leigh @ Tales from Bloggeritaville for her Thrifty Thursday party and:
Suzanne @ Coloradolady for her Vintage Thingies Thursday party.

Thanks for reading and Happy Birthday Dad!

64 comments:

  1. Wow! The door is absolutely beautiful and the link to your past is beyond words. Just unbelievable! There are lots of ideas for door projects on the internet but if it were me, I would restore that door and put it on my house.

    P.S. Your daddy was a little cutie!

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  2. What a great story and a great door! And that pic of your dad ... what a cutie. That door is so special and I'm sure you'll come up with something honorable for it.

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  3. What a wonderful keepsake and it really s a beautiful door! Great Story behind it as well.

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  4. i LOVE old doors and yours is simply beautiful..i'd be proud to have it as my front door!!

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  5. Hi,

    thanks for stopping by and saying hello. What a wonderful post, and your dad is a cutie.

    Debbie

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  6. Beautiful door! I would love that door in my home!

    Great story! What wonderful detail on your father's family home as orignially built-look at that roof!

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  7. This was a very lovely story, and the door is so beautiful. I wouldn't have changed it for a new one, but luckily for you the new owners did. Your dad looks like a happy little kid.

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  8. That looks almost like a door I had in a house I once lived in. I had a sheer curtain on the door to give me some privacy. When the wind would blow the curtain -on the inside- would blow in the wind. I had it replaced with a more energy efficient door. But then in Pennsylvania, it gets really cold in the winter.

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  9. Oh Jane,
    Wonderful story with such a connection to your past and your desire to preserve it. The glass alone in the door is priceless. Wish your Dad a Happy Birthday from us all!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Living it up at Lakewood,
    Cindy

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  10. Jane, I think its a beautiful door and such happy memories. I look forward to seeing what you will do with it! Have a great day!
    Michelle

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  11. What a treasure indeed...I can not believe they would take that door off and replace it....But I am THRILLED for you to be able to have it now, what a real treat. If it was me, and seeing how the door was built, if you had the room, I would have someone build you a curio cabinet, and use the door for the door of the cabinet....it could store lots of treasures and still be a treasure to see and use.....I have a small house so it might not work here, but I love this door, it is beautiful. How wonderful to have the photos of your dad...great!

    Have a great VTT and a wonderful weekend.

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  12. WOW what a great door! And such a great story. How wonderful that you were able to salvage it, and keep it part of your family heritage. It is a beautiful door, and they certainly don't make them like that anymore! Enjoy it. And Happy VTT!

    Jocelyn
    http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

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  13. this story brought tears to my eyes! what a wonderful, special treasure that door is- not to mention it is absolutely gorgeous. thanks for sharing!

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  14. Oh, you are welcome, as I was reading your post, I was all ready to give you an idea I had seen recently, where the lady had taken an old door, and painted it white to freshen it up, then attached wooden shelves down the door (about 3) and attached it to the wall...it was VERY CUTE! I will have to see if I saved the picture...I'm not sure if I did...but when I saw your door...I knew that would not do...you door is too beautiful to do that with...so I thought about using the door as something functional but a show piece too....it really is beautiful...and already had the handle...love it!

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  15. Jane, I'm so happy that you were able to get that door! And what a beautiful door it is! Could you make a cabinet out of it? That would be gorgeous! I have a great old door sitting in my shed, and I'm contemplating asking my husband to make me a cabinet with it!
    Great story and great picture of your Dad when he was little!
    Happy VTT!

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  16. What a wonderful story, and how great that you were able to salvage that beautiful door. Happy Birthday to your dad!

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  17. I can see why that door has meaning to you as well as being very nice. Really enjoyed the history behind it.

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  18. That's a beautiful door. Maybe you could relate it to family history by using it as sort of a collage frame for a group of old family photos.

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  19. That's a great story and a beautiful door...Your family's treasure will make a KILLER hall tree. Repair the finishing, add some old hooks to the side, you can even add a shelf with 2 pretty metal brackets, atttach it to the wall.. and use it in your entryway or a hallway, bedroom, bathroom...everywhere really!!!

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  20. How fortunate that you were able to latch onto a beautiful piece of your family history!!!

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  21. what a wonderful story...I am so glad you got that door! Imagine if it could tell the tale of all who entered through it!

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  22. How wonderful that you have that door, with all the memories it holds. Fantastic. Love that picture of your Dad ... how adorable!
    Cass

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  23. Great photo of you dad..such a happy fellow! Your blog header is beautiful.
    Pam

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  24. I love the story and the door is beautiful.

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  25. that door is beautiful!!! I love it. Do you think you could refinish it and use it as your own front door? How great- love the picture of your dad as a child!

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  26. Jane I LOVE this post. I am so sentimental and things like the door and the pictures of your father... they just warm my heart.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  27. How beautiful is that door and the story behind it. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

    Gail

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  28. I look forward to seeing what you end up doing with the beautiful door...and what lucky timing on your part!

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  29. Wow! Thats an amazing door, really amazing and a wonderful story to go with it!

    A great post for VTT!

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  30. Jane, That is an amazing story....and I know you were so fortunate to drive by at just the right time to see that gorgeous door outside, ready for the dump. What a sin that would've been. Its gorgeous! I am so glad that you got it!
    Thanks for linking to Thirfty Thursday this week! I always enjoy making the rounds to see the treasures that you find! I appreciate your visits to Bloggeritaville, friend!

    Leigh
    Tales from Bloggeritaville
    www.lbratina.blogspot.com

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  31. What a fabulous door!! Even if it needs some cleaning. What a fabulous family heirloom to have.

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  32. What amazing luck! I would be so excited I'd be shouting it to the world!

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  33. I have a soft spot for that door. It is exactly like the door to my mother's house. I love that it!
    PS - A cat that wants out onto the screen porch can RUIN that beautiful curved wood that holds the glass in.

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  34. The door is beautiful, I have a home that is over 100 years old and we searched long and hard before finding a replacement door for the poor quality one that had ended up there somewhere along the way. I hope it ends up somewhere it will be enjoyed.

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  35. That is a fantastic story, Jane - and an increcidible door! I'll never know why anyone would give up something so beautiful! I can't wait to see what you decide to do with it!
    Cheers!

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  36. I love the door, the story, and that like me, you like to hold onto family history!That picture of your dad is just precious:)

    I will have to think a bit for ideas for it, but just leaning against the wall it is beautiful!

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  37. What a story! I would've taken the door too!

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  38. What a great story and awesome door!!

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  39. This is beautiful! All of it! Thanks for sharing it today!

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  40. Oh Jane... what a beautiful story. I can imagine my doing the same thing with my dad, I am so happy for you.
    Whatever you do with it (I'd hang it and use after refinishing), it's so wonderful that every time you look at it, you'll see your dad running through the front door.
    If I had a big yard, with a gorgeous English garden, I'd put it right there!

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  41. What a wonderful story to read thank you SOOOO much for sharing!!! I love the door! GORGEOUS!
    Gosh so many ways that could be used- pantry door is my favorite way so far how they use old doors and screens!

    I would love to see your little silver sugar and bowl as an urn like I did if you decide to do it- love that you love the idea!!

    blessings
    mary

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  42. What a PERFECT vintage item!!! And some great memories to go along with it. Happy b-day to your daddio! ♥ I bet if you do a google search, you might be able to find some neat ideas for that awesome door.

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  43. I have no words..........what a wonderful story! I have a friend who had something similar and she used it as the door down to her basement.....nice because you could SEE through it. Me personally, I would probably hang it on a wall with black and white photos around it. It reminds me of "Through the Looking Glass".........looking back into the past. Nice!

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  44. Now if there's two things I love, one is old doors and the second is family history. The fact that you combined the two is fantabulous! What's more, the wonderful condition of your beautiful door is blowing me away. I can't wait to see what you do with it. God's blessings on your Dad's special day! Sarah :D

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  45. Sweet story. It's so neat that you have the door and both those photos...maybe you could display them together some how. Looking through the glass back in time... I know you'll come up with something to do them justtice.
    Oh, and tell your dad Happy Birthday!
    Dawn

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  46. Jane you have got a treasure there. How wonderful! Think of all the family that has gone through that door and what it has heard and seen. Your dad is a darling little thing.
    Hugs,
    June

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  47. I have a photo of my father with his brothers
    in military uniforms from 1940's in front of their old house. I took a trip back to their hometown and found the house and it still had the exact skinny windows and front door they were standing in front of when they took the picture. I didn't get the door but I definitely got the photo which is a treasure to me. Your
    door is quite the cool heirloom!

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  48. Jane
    thanks for coming by.

    Love the old doorknob on that door.

    blessings and take care.
    barbara jean

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  49. Hi Jane,
    Wanted to let you know I've posted about you on my blog.

    Blessings,
    Gail

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  50. What a special treasure, you were lucky to get your hands on that! I have seen lots of people use old doors for coffee tables and headboards, but surely that wouldn't work with yours because of the glass. I'm sure you'll think of a way to use eventually, maybe just tucked in your home somewhere as an interesting architectural piece?

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  51. Love love love those doors. I got a thing for old doors.
    Thanks Jane, so glad you stopped by my blog and enjoyed my post.

    Blessings,
    Becky

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  52. It is a gorgeous door!!!! Can't you bring it back to life and use it for your front door? It is a keeper for sure and the history it has. If it could only talk. It's home now!!

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  53. Jane! What a gorgeous door! All the original hardware and that glass! I'm very very much into my family and I have tons of family things, seems I'm the only person in my family that cares about it! I would've jumped at the chance to have that!! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

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  54. Very neat! I love the old picture and the door. What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

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  55. The picture of your father as a child is too cute! What a happy little guy!

    What a great find! That door is so very special, it will be a wonderful memento for you and your family.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  56. Hi Jane,
    Wow! What a find!! What great timing on going by the house, it just seems like you were meant to have that door!! Happy birthday to your Dad too.
    I was wondering if you would mind if I posted a picture of your Halloween bottle project on my post tomorrow, for Brag Monday. I've chosen you to brag about this week, if it's alright with you that is! I will of course add a link to your blog.
    Just let me know if that's okay!
    Thanks,
    Karen

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  57. oh my - you have me in tears and i don't even know you - what a beautiful story!!!! the door is gorgeous, but really , it could be the ugliest thing possible and still be beautiful just because of the story that goes along with it - love the picture of your dad on the doorstep of the new house.
    love it!

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  58. Hi! I came by to visit, courtesy of Karen at Graphics Fairy--loved your post about the door on your father's home--my mom was born the same year, in 1929! I think it's wonderful that you have this beautiful vintage door, especially since it's such an important part of your family's history. And Happy, Happy Birthday to your father!!!!! Smiles, Jann

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  59. That is SOOOOOOOOOO special! I would have a mirror cut to fit behind the glass, prop it against a wall for a full length mirror in my bedroom! You might like to see what I did with a door panel from my grand parent's house:
    http://pinkhousepages.blogspot.com/2008/08/mind-wide-open-challenge-2.html


    and the trip I took with my 88 year-old dad to his child hood home:

    http://pinkhousepages.blogspot.com/2009/08/happy-birthday-dad.html

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  60. Hi there. About a year ago, I came across a DIY project in a magazine and have been searching for a door that I thought would be perfect for this project. Anyhow, I managed to find my door just yesterday and it just so happens to be the same door as yours! I read that you are trying to find use of your door so I thought I'd share what I'm going to do to mine. Here is the link to the project that inspired me...

    http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20234781,00.html

    My door also needs stripping and sanding. Well, I thought you might like this idea because it's very useful, cute, and you would be able to take it with you if you ever move etc! Good luck to you!

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  61. Just visited your blog for the first time, what a great find! I was going to suggest replacing the glass with a mirror but of course someone else has suggested that already. What have you done with your find?

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Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy reading all of your comments!