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Dolores Veth

February 16, 2020

Since we first learned about the folks that worked in the BAB for Jacoby Art Glass, I’ve been intrigued to see a woman sitting in the mostly male group of stained glass artists. Like the field of architecture, women were not often seen in this role. I wanted to learn more about her. She doesn’t have a very broad digital footprint, but I’ve found some information.

Dolores Veth

Dolores Veth, with the Jacoby Studio in 1966. She would have been about 35 years old at the time.

According to the Read more…

Another BAB

January 2, 2020

Jon forwarded this article to us today (thanks Jon!). It is about a family leaving California for the Midwest in search of a farm. Instead of a farm, they ended up buying a former 20,000 SF masonic temple in Huntington, Indiana. They are living there and renovating it, with big plans for the future. They have a passion for the history of the place and the many people that have occupied the building- sounds familiar!

Like us, they have a blog ( about their adventure and find surprising things each time they dig deeper into the building! Unlike us, they have some not-too-scary ghosts.


I have to admit to some oven envy!





Green Machine Goes

December 1, 2019

For Sue and me, the week of Thanksgiving is typically two extremes… we either take a long vacation to someplace warm and sandy, or we spend the entire week busting our butts with projects at BAB. The first example of the latter is when Jim & Darcy also spent 2009 T-day week busting their butts helping us clear out all the crap and prepare for our Open House party.

Staying in St. Louis this year, we planned to take the entire week off and get the second floor ready for anticipated construction, on the hopes that the bank appraisal is in our favor and construction can start soon. We made a long list of big and small projects. But unfortunately, we both fell ill. I was sick for almost two weeks, rebounding back & forth and only started feeling up to BAB projects on Tuesday. Sue didn’t feel better until the day before Thanksgiving.

One of the bigger projects I planned was to remove a huge contraption we just refer to as “The Green Machine” (because it’s painted green). It was left behind by the previous owners, and it originally sat in the middle of everything on the second floor.

Photo from 2009 on our first walk-through of BAB.

We weren’t sure exactly what it was, but were confident it wasn’t functioning and was basically scrap. It had some kind of heat exchanger attached to some kind of bed with rollers, likely used to dry silk screened products. Back in 2009, Jim & I separated two large components and disconnected the natural gas line. I removed the two vents that went through the roof during our first phase of roof replacement. A couple of years ago, Sue & I de-constructed and tossed the heavy heater box.

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Big idea

November 9, 2019

In architecture school, there was a common opening statement at reviews: “My big idea is _____”. That was meant to communicate the compelling concept that informed the design. Sometimes the concepts were less than compelling, which gave snarky reviewers gleeful fodder for their insults.

There are so many forums for the discussion of the vagaries of design school. When I was in it, I had trouble understanding why what we (picture people) said about the design ideas was so important in critiques. And, it was frustrating to hear reviewers praise projects where the ‘talkitecture’ wasn’t backed up by thoughtful design.  There are no Read more…


November 8, 2019

Our schematic drawings have been sent to the bank for their appraiser’s review. They need to make sure that what we build has more value than what it costs. We are new to this process and it seems a bit scary-subjective. Are they counting rooms or how big they are? Do design features factor in to the calculation? Are the costs to build the design features going to cost more than their value? How do we communicate the uniqueness of what we’re doing in a quantifiable way? All we have to go on is our drawings.

There are some aspects of the design that have to, at least, be included in the project- walls & doors, plumbing, heating & cooling and the exterior repairs. Others can be added by us Read more…


August 18, 2019

As as we chip away at the process of acquiring a construction loan, there are a few essential boxes that we have to check. We have gathered our personal financial statements, receipts for what we have already invested and proof of insurance. Fortunately, those are things we have that we can submit. Another box is more challenging. The bank must see more than one comparable property or ‘comps’, that have recently sold for more that what we are asking to borrow. We bought the BAB during the peak of the recession, and at the time, very few ‘creative’ properties were sold for what they would have cost to build. Thankfully now, our bank found two properties that they accepted as comps for our project. Check!

One was a Read more…

Weekend Update

July 28, 2019

A few things going on at the BAB. Terrific weather inspired some roof clean up.


Tom power-washed the

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Goodbye to the BAT

July 6, 2019

It has come time to thank the Big Ass Truck for it’s 10 years of service to us and the BAB and say goodbye. In the last couple of years, the rust spots were growing and body parts were starting to rattle and, Read more…

The BAB is incorporated

May 17, 2019

As this big project slowly moves toward progress, things are looking up for the next round of construction. We have a serious lender that is starting the process of creating a construction loan. The loan won’t be a traditional home mortgage, though. The home lending world is highly regulated and the BAB doesn’t fit into those parameters. This will be a business loan. So, to get a business loan, it helps to be a business. There are a few steps to make that happen. Step one: Incorporate. That happened today!


The BAB is now Read more…

“It started out as a pencil holder…”

December 31, 2018

Rather than each of us buying Christmas gifts for my entire large family, we draw names. Earlier this year I got my brother Jim’s name, and I was excited because I told myself I’d make him something cool. He & I have very similar tastes, so if I liked something that I made, he likely would too. I didn’t know exactly what it would be, so a couple months ago I bounced a few ideas off of his wife Darcy. A “desk accessory” seemed like a good direction.

Jim & Darcy could be called the founders of the BAB Fan Club, having spent a week of their vacation helping us clear out the junk and Read more…