Hamilton Spectator Aug 28, 2014
Hamilton's inventory of beautiful old homes is fuelling a hot blog called Fresh Brick. Adam Wilson's blog is a photo-rich tour of the houses we all want to explore. The stone and brick mansions of Ravenscliffe, Aberdeen Avenue, Markland Street, the Mountain Brow and Delaware Avenue are given glossy treatment on Wilson's ever-changing blog.
"It's a passion project," said Wilson, whose own glamorous home is at 250 James St. S. He grew up in a '70s-era house on the Mountain, and fell in love with grand old houses when he started to make some money. "I never wanted a nice car, I wanted a nice house."
Wilson puts fresh content on freshbrick.blogspot.com while commuting on the Go train to his advertising job at the Globe and Mail. He started the blog in 2012 and posts at least once a week, and often six or seven times a week.
The houses he writes about are all for sale, which gives him access to virtual tours, and photographs from real estate websites. "I always refer back to the original websites. It's just more exposure, and I love to advocate for Hamilton's architecture."
Along with photos and details of the listing, Wilson adds information about the architecture and history of the house using resources from the Hamilton Public Library, the city's listing of houses with heritage designations, and local history websites.
The blog receives about 5,000 to 6,000 page views each month, and has stoked a conversation among lovers of fine homes.
His 1880 house was designed by architect James Balfour, and is designated one of the city's finest examples of Second Empire architecture. It features monster baseboards, 11-foot ceilings, four marble fireplaces, original servant bells, butler's pantry and a grand staircase. It's also for sale.
Call it the lure of the bucket list. Wilson and his wife Irene, a teacher, have owned four homes, making money and moving up the ladder with each sale. There's always another one beckoning.
"It's the thrill of these old treasures; it's like you're staying in a really cool hotel and then you can move on and fall in love again," he says. They're stalking another beauty in the southwest, and hope to sell theirs for $725,000.
"I love to go for a walk at night and see cool things when the houses are lit up, in a non-creepy way of course."
If the For Sale sign is up, you'll see it the next day on Fresh Brick.
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