What’s Inside the Bunker

After John hauled out the entire hoard on the main level of the house and the upstairs bedrooms, he moved downstairs where there are two rooms along with an entrance to the one-car garage, the entrance to the bunker (I’ll call this the ground level) and another set of stairs leading down to the basement. Since it’s a split-level, there are three levels plus the basement. For a small foot print, there’s actually quite a bit of room in the house, especially for two people.

Due to the massive amount of stacked boxes, we did not know the layout of the ground floor. It was like a narrow tunnel and the tunnel walls were boxes. All windows were blocked and it was dark. There were a couple of ceiling light bulbs with pull chains in order to find one’s way through the maze.

Below is a photo of the house. The lower windows to the left of the front door is the floor that I’m trying to describe.

Phone photos 923If you took a left in the tunnel, the path lead to the basement stairs. Walking straight ahead, the path lead to the garage door, and going right lead to the bunker door (the original back door leading outside).

In order to take a photo of the ground floor, bunker and basement, I would have needed a serious wide angle lens and very good lighting. Our faces were smack up against boxes with just enough space to pass through the tunnel with our arms skimming the wall of boxes on both sides.

I could only begin taking photos after John started clawing through his next “dig”–the bunker.

Phone photos 926When I took this photo of the inside of the bunker 75% of everything was already transported outside. Many heavy file cabinets were emptied into barrels and placed in the driveway. The 24ft block wall was lined with three shelves of perfectly lined-up milk crates. Neatly coiled cable wire was in each crate.

Phone photos 929The back wall which is actually the exterior of the house had two shelves of household chemicals, which were mostly full and never used, along with coffee cans filled with assorted “things.”

Phone photos 930After John removed the many big and bulky file cabinets, there was a lot of miscellaneous “stuff” to pick through.

Phone photos 925All of the metal cabinets in this photo were removed from the bunker.

Phone photos 935This sort of reminded me of the Dewey Decimal System.

IMGP2708Everything was pulled out in stages so that Bill could go through everything.

IMGP2733Bunker contents…

IMGP2575In addition to the two shelves of chemicals, more bottles were uncovered in the bunker. As John emptied the file cabinets, he stocked the drawers with the chemicals to haul them out. There was a county “Chemical Drop-off” day. He drove a full pick-up truck to the drop-off and they would not take any of it. The man gave him a business card of someone who would take everything for a hefty “fee.”

IMGP2612Cans of paint thinner from the bunker placed in a barrel.

IMGP2605An old piece-of-junk adding machine thrown from the bunker and laying haphazardly on the ground.

IMGP2613IMGP2588A mound of bunker stuff.

IMGP2569Here are some oldies…nice and rusted. The Tile Tone Luxury Lustre Wax looks like it’s from the 1960s.

IMGP2571I don’t think Bill ever used the Barrett’s rug shampoo on the 1960s avocado green wall-to-wall carpeting that covered the wood floors throughout the house.

IMGP2565More spotlights…

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IMGP2553In the bunker, John pulled out a file cabinet drawer filled with UNOPENED mail postmarked 1997. He asked Bill if he wanted to go through it. I said, “That is going too far. He’s not opening 18-year old mail that is beyond old news.” (That would have taken forever.) Bill  said he didn’t want to look at any of it and it went to the paper recycling man.

IMGP2723One of the leaking bunker skylights.

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IMGP2578Ready to be loaded in the truck…

IMGP2596I’m standing in the empty Blosenski dumpster waiting for Bill to go through the outside bins before we could fill it up.

IMGP2584Stacks of the New York Times from 1986.

IMGP2719IMGP2724Another skylight with moldy insulation.

IMGP2716Thankfully, Bill installed a fan in the bunker. It was very musty and stagnant. I could not stand inside of it for more than 3 minutes.

IMGP2568IMGP2696This photo was taken from the roof looking down at some of the bunker chemicals.

IMGP2721Lot’s of tool boxes in the bunker…

IMGP2722IMGP2808Here is the bunker now completely empty. It was filled floor to ceiling with one very narrow path leading from the outside door to the wall fan. The moldy insulation has been removed and it is ready to be demolished.

When entering the bunker from outside, you have to take two steps down. The person who is drawing up the plans for the house suggested we turn it into a sunken, walled-in patio. Instead, we will fill it in with dirt, level it out and then put a patio in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bunker & Basement at Brick House 319

I’m sitting at the airport and taking advantage of my “sit time” by writing today’s post.

Up until the other day, I called the eyesore 18×24 addition at the back of the house as the “shoddy” addition or “shabby” addition. A commenter described it more accurately as a “bunker.” How apropos! Yes, indeed! It was more of a bunker for Bill. He hired a local quasi carpenter in the early 90’s (I believe ’92) to build the addition solely for his expanding hoard. It’s windowless, but does have skylights, and is flat-out ugly. At first, it was a complete mystery to John and I.

I  did not enter the bunker until December, about a month after we bought the house. It was almost impossible to step inside so we stayed away from it.

EXTERIOR BEFORE PHOTO

IMGP2634EXTERIOR AFTER PHOTO (YESTERDAY)

IMGP2809The west side door is the only exterior entrance to the bunker. From inside the house, we can access the bunker from the original back door of the house which leads inside.

BEFORE PHOTO (Taken from inside the house’s main level and looking downstairs which leads to the bunker and basement.)

Photo folio 076

AFTER PHOTO (boxes and makeshift ceiling shelf removed)

Photo folio 136

From the main floor of the house (split-level), looking down the five steps leading to the entrance to the garage, the basement and bunker, this is what we saw (above “before” photo) boxes stacked on the left side of the stairs and to the ceiling. The wall decor consisted of more speakers (remember there were similar speakers on the wall leading upstairs to the bedrooms). At the landing area, the path became more narrow and it was dark. Quite frankly, I didn’t even want to know how bad it was down there. It was simply overwhelming upstairs so John and I both avoided descending down into the unknown. On the day we bought the house, John called a plumber to come over and take a look at the non-working furnace and that was the very first time he followed the narrow and dark path down to the basement. When they both emerged about 10 minutes later, the plumber had a frightened expression on his face. I said, “What’s down there?” The plumber said, “Every inch of space is taken up by floor to ceiling boxes.”

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The east side of the bunker with a generator that supposedly is in working order.

IMGP2681An old A/C on the east side of the bunker which has been scrapped.

IMGP2704The skylights in the bunker roof leak. During the cleanout, Bill found a letter from his insurance agent dated in ’92 stating that the insurance agency could not insure the addition due to poor workmanship;  the agent suggested it be taken down.

Phone photos 931From inside the bunker facing the door leading outside. This photo was taken after half the contents were already hauled out of the bunker. It was impossible to take photos of the bunker (and basement) when they were packed to the gills. There was barely enough room to stand amongst floor to ceiling boxes and metal cabinets as well as more makeshift shelves suspended from the ceiling.

Phone photos 903 The basement after half the contents were already removed. There was finally some space to take a photo.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

 

A Gigantic Green Satellite Dish in the Backyard

 

We asked Bill, “Is that a satellite dish in the backyard?” “How on earth did you get it here?” Bill said that his fellow hoarder friend had a van with a trailer and somehow the two of them managed to get it on the trailer, drive down the highway, and get it back to the house. Bill said, “You should have seen the looks we got on the road.”

IMGP2663John is 6ft so the dish is about 13ft high.

IMGP2797The only way to get rid of the dish is to cut it up with a grinder and recycle the aluminum.

Several locals have stopped by the house and told us for years, driving by, they would see Bill unloading his friend’s car or van and carrying things in the house or backyard. People were aware of the situation but I guess didn’t think much beyond it. They knew he was hoarding. After all, the hoard moved forward to the front yard.

Another person who lives in the neighborhood behind us said that they knew Bill from local yard sales.

Years ago, I think one of the neighbors DID say something about the hoard in the yard. I don’t know the details, and that neighbor moved over ten years ago. Maybe they moved because they couldn’t do anything about it??

If anyone would like to upcycle this satellite dish and turn it into a gazebo, tiki hut or an umbrella awning, please email me at brickhouse319@yahoo.com A couple of commenters suggested ideas and it prompted me to add this note to today’s post. If you live in Southeastern PA, central or south Jersey, or Delaware, come and pick it up before it’s chopped up with a grinder. Obviously, it would be an issue transporting it.

 

Free & Clear of Plastic Bins and Outdoor Hoard

 

BEFORE PHOTO: Looking west at the very back of the property (9 months ago).

Phone photos 347

AFTER PHOTO-Now

IMGP2802BEFORE: Extreme left corner of property

IMGP2304AFTER PHOTOIMGP2804BEFORE: Looking east in back of property

IMGP2307AFTER

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BEFORE: Standing at the middle section looking past the fence

IMGP2301AFTER

IMGP2807There is one lone grey bucket to the right. I went over to it and kicked it.