Reno no-no

It’s tough to tell just what’s going on inside a certain house built in the 1930s. Recently removed from it, though, was a complete matching set of vitreous-china plumbing fixtures from that era. All the forms were in very stylish shapes, all seafoam green, and all in perfect condition, including a very handsome pedestal sink. Next morning these vintage items were no longer at the curb, having vanished overnight. Those who would commit a renovation error like this are like those who tacked down ugly shag carpet over quarter-sawn wood floors not so long ago: they’ve committed an ugly act and they’ve cheated themselves. Plus, in this case, they’ve done away with a handsome and useful commode and will henceforth be condemned to live with an accursed modern low-flush version. Moreover, some canny curbside scavenger knew a good thing when he or she saw it, even though the discarder did not. “Renovation” that resembles despoliation more than renewal is all too common in our older neighborhoods.

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