9 Incredible Restorations of Decaying Buildings and Shabby Things


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Norton Conyers House, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, England

This stately manor is said to be the inspiration behind the Charlotte Bronte novel Jane Eyre. It was closed for restoration for a decade and has now reopened.

Bronte was said to have visited the manor in 1839, and she heard the legend of a madwoman being locked in the attic. This was the basis of the character Mrs. Rochester, who was in a similar situation in the novel.

Fans of the book can now walk through the old estate to the attic, which is known as the Mad Woman’s Room. The home has a library, which is based on Mr. Rochester’s study.

The Graham family have been owners of Norton Conyers since 1624. They spent 30 years renovating it. In 2014, they won the Restoration Award, which was presented by the Historic Houses Association and Sotheby’s.

Clifton’s Cafeteria, Los Angeles, USA

Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles is a huge complex. It is five stories of cafeterias, bars, and restaurants. The theme of the design is a giant fake redwood tree, which is four stories tall and right in the center of the building.

This place also has a craft beer bar on the second floor, a space for special events on the third, and a fine dining restaurant on the fourth floor. The basement houses a mixology bar, which is accessed through a door that is hidden behind an antique circuit panel. There are wall decorations that feature California nature.

Opened in 1935 by Clifford Clinton, the establishment is named after a combination of his first and last names. It stayed open until 2010, when it was bought by Andrew Meieran. Meieran has since made US$10 million worth of renovations.

Porsche 911 2.5 S/T (US)

No one knows how this rare Porsche ended up in a playground, but it has been fully restored. Porsche’s classic division restored the uber rare 911 2.5 S/T, which is the kind of car that placed first in class during the 1972 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

There were only 24 ever built. A car enthusiast found it in the US on a playground. This car has a great racing history. Legendary driver Jürgen Barth drove the car in many races.

This restoration took two and a half years to complete. Some parts needed to be made, with all parts of the renovation based on the original blueprints of the cars in the 1970s. It was displayed at the Techno Classica motor show in Essen, Germany.

Big Ben in London, England

The iconic emblem of the UK, London’s Big Ben will stop ringing in 2017. Repair work on the landmark will be done for only the third time in its 157-year history. The chimes will not be ringing out through the metropolis during the repairs.

The House of Parliament Web site has said, “Problems have been identified with the clock hands, mechanism, and pendulum, which need to be dealt with immediately to ensure that the clock can continue to work properly.” There are also plans to repaint the clock.

The Elizabeth Tower, which holds Big Ben, will also undergo an extensive renovation during the undertaking that will be a three-year project.

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