Here is the house I grew up in, in Google Street View. It was an incredible house to grow up in as a little kid. It is a large house even by adult standards but as a kid, it was a gigantic mysterious place to explore.
It used to be covered in ivy, with gigantic fir trees lining the front. As you can now see, the current owners have chopped down all the foliage. This is one of the oldest houses in Bloomington and was built by master stonemasons out of local limestone. It has a Spanish tile roof.
That section on the left side used to be the garage, and once had an amazing 70s multicolor striped garage door. My dad later converted it into an office and had it totally redone. On top of it is a big tarpaper balcony; my bedroom had French doors that opened out onto the roof and I used to love walking out there as a little kid during the summer.
The backyard, fenced in front yard and adjoining side yard were as dense as the Amazon jungle, or at least seemed that way to me. The stone wall between the side yard and the neighbor’s yard could be climbed up on and there was a huge mulberry tree hanging over it that I used to eat berries from all the time. There was also a stand of bamboo growing in a small courtyard in the back. I don’t know if it was planted by my parents or the people that lived there before us.
There was a “sunroom” with giant glass doors on one side, which looked like something from Boogie Nights. Very cool place to hang out as a kid with a great view of the yard. The upper floor was really beautiful and had great wood paneling in the hallway; there was a little recessed glass-doored phone booth or something in the hallway, and directly to the left, a door that opened to a tiny balcony over the front door. The closet in my sister’s room had a window in it, which I thought was totally bizarre.
The basement was a gigantic old-school dungeon basement with many interesting rooms. One of them was called the “gun room” and the walls were all recessed wood paneled gun cases with glass doors. My dad used this as an office at one time. There were many other small, mysterious rooms in the basement, mostly just used as storage space. One of them, at the end of a narrow corridor, was a vast room filled with old packing materials and chicken wire. I was deathly afraid of that room, for some reason.
The guy who first built the house, I think, intended for the basement to be part of the living space. It had a stone bathtub in one area, with these concrete sculptures of fish that spouted out water. I can’t imagine anyone actually taking a bath in that dark, decrepit, creepy basement!