Page 59 - 04-June-2024
P. 59

  Somebody else got their hands on it long before the Eustaces did, and that somebody was Con Boland. The late photog- rapher was another one of the neighbourhood’s colourful and controversial characters. After he moved into this Riverdale home during the early 1980s, he didn’t want to leave, either.
Boland did want to add to the home, but not in any kind of linear way that contractor Ryan would approve of. “It was very much a DIY, build-as-you-go thing, with no real plan in place,” he says. “It was like disorganized chaos, and it became that for us too, because the more we opened things up, the more we had to fix.”
The first thing they opened up was the original home’s taped-up back door, which now leads from the kitchen to the main living room Boland added on. The original chimney stood opposite that doorway, connected to the massive boiler in the basement.
They boarded up the chimney, removed the boiler and had
to close up the ceiling. That’s because as soon as they walked in they saw through parts of it to the second floor — which leads us to the curious case of the mysterious stairways.
If you Google “Con Boland Riverdale house,” you won’t find this one. Instead, you’ll find stories on his other Riverdale house that — much to his then-neighbours’ grief — never reached comple- tion, largely because he kept adding levels. Turns out, adding levels was a lifelong theme.
“So, there’s this set of stairs,” Ryan says, pointing to the stair- way leading from the living room to the second floor. “Then another set of stairs go to the loft, and I remember going up the first time and seeing another set of stairs above me, like a loft in a loft, that was all floor-to-ceiling carpeted, with this kind of upper platform... that was also fully carpeted.”

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