By Jennifer Wolgamott
This poem is a bit of bonus content for 202 South Washington Street. It may be too long to hear during the tour itself, so we wanted to share it now!
T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even JB Russell’s spouse.
Throws of labor, bricks and stone in 1890 were placed
Three stories, a basement, four arches with such grace.
The stockings were hung by the 9 fireplaces with care
Who knew in 2022 someone’s stockings would again be there?
Merchant and banker James Russell all snug in his bed
With visions of electric lights and 34 radiators dancing in in his head.
With Mrs. in her kerchief and Mr. in his cap
They dreamed of a coal boiler during their long winter’s nap.
When near and far there arose such a clatter
They jumped from there beds to find out the matter.
It was here, it was there, it was 1,640 feet of iron pipe
The sound was not Christmassy, it was in fact ripe
By the 1980s a boarding house it had been
The thought of which now is a crime and a sin
But that was then, and this is now
The magnificent house had to find 2022 somehow
Away to the window I flew like a flash
To find out who would save it I turned back a wooden sash
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
A diminutive architect, her plans were quite clear
Lifting the house to tomorrow was not for the faint
The wall colors alone took 120 gallons of paint.
640 pieces of slate tile went up on the roof
And 4 brand new heat pumps and condensers is no spoof
With a little elbow grease so lively and quick
One knew in a moment this rehab would do the trick
Slower than eagles the subcontractors came
The architect whistled and shouted and called them by name
When they met with an obstacle, no quarter was given
And 22 historical glass panes add to the comfort of liven.
So, on this magical night the sleigh lands on the new rooftop
With new brick and mortar chimneys, Santa won’t have to stop.
The house is now ready, with nothing to dread
Historically modern with 7 rooms just for bed
The bathrooms, the closets, materials and light fixures
Placed so the old and the new are perfect mixtures.
The jolly old man can go straight to his work
After filling the stockings he can turn with a jerk
And laying a finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod up the chimney he’ll go
And as he ascends just before he goes out of sight
He will say “Merry Christmas to all who renovate and restore, and to all a good night.”