Inside the house, built in the late 1920s, decorative moulding conceals a theatrical lighting system controlled by a machine in the basement that mimics sunrises and sunsets.
When Petticrew died in 2008 at age 95, stepson Stanley Petticrew Jr. donated the house to OIC.
“We accepted it with mixed emotions,” Calabrese confessed, explaining that sections of the ceiling were caving in.
Since it started, OIC has reroofed the house, replaced its windows, installed air conditioning and an alternative heating system, and replastered the walls.
“We’ve just done it a little at a time,” Calabrese said. “We didn’t borrow money. We just fixed it as we could.”
An auction Thursday of the home’s remaining contents raised $13,000 for new siding to be put on this year. OIC needed $11,000 for the work, Calabrese said.
“The consultants tell us this redwood will never take paint,” he said.
The auction featured hundreds of items, from a player-piano, a pool table with leather pockets and furniture to vintage Christmas decorations, old magazines and even leftover Coca-Cola, unopened in glass gallon jugs.
“I’ll buy whatever I can today,” said Shari Knight, a Springfield antiques dealer who scored the first item of the day Thursday, a chalk statue of famed dummy Charlie McCarthy, for $35.
Calabrese was pleased with the auction results.
“These are crazy times,” he said. “You don’t know what things will bring.”
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