Before & After: John's Victorian Staircase

Before & After: John's Victorian Staircase

Susie Nadler
Sep 24, 2009

We've seen a lot of San Francisco Victorian renovations go the way of the modern; when original details need re-tooling, many owners choose to replace them with updated designs. Others, like John Clarke Mills (remember his chandelier?), make a serious effort to restore historical detail...

The dividing wall, being demolished to let the staircase breathe

Mills, whose staircase project was featured on CasaSugar, has been documenting the full renovation of his 1890's Victorian home on his blog, San Francisco Victorian. Janel wrote about his chandelier a while back, but we couldn't resist sharing this staircase re-do as well.

The original staircase in Mills' house had long ago been replaced by a wall, when the home was divided into two units. But an original banister on the upper floor gave Mills a clue as to what the staircase might've looked like when it was built. So with the help of San Francisco Victoriana, a local workshop that stocks architectural ornaments for historic homes, Mills was able to recreate the banister and install it in place of the demolished wall.

The results are just stunning, don't you think? The absence of the wall must make the whole space feel so much lighter and more expansive. For details of the project, and for glimpses of Mills' other renovation stories, click over to his blog.

(Images: John Clarke Mills, San Francisco Victorian)

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