High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pimp My Dell! - Part 2: It's Nip and Tuck as Our Shady Lady's Facelift Continues to Raise Eyebrows!

Spring in York, Pennsylvania: April showers can be followed by May or June monsoons. Doesn't matter. Let it rain!
Our Shady Dell's got herself a brand new roof!

Veteran SDMM correspondent and award winning photojournalist Toni Deroche, who was recently appointed Violet Hill Bureau Chief, is back from the scene to bring us the latest pictures of the Dell's historic makeover! "The main roof is finished," Toni reports, "but extensive rotting was discovered on the little roofs covering the porches. Parts of those roofs still need to be replaced."

In the four weeks since Toni's first Pimp My Dell photo essay was published, the appearance of the Dell property has changed to such an extent that it might be difficult for some old time Dell rats to even recognize the place.

Dozens of trees have been cleared from the parking lot and other parts of the estate, opening up and brightening up the much too shady Shady Dell.

Toni says there are still more trees on the premises that need to be removed along with other forms of unwanted vegetation.

"We will hire someone else to clear the front and the bushes along the street line," she says. "The large tree in the very front is seriously overgrown and many branches touch the house."

"The house is also covered with ivy from top to bottom," Toni continued. "It's mostly in the front. I already removed enough to jam pack a large garbage can. Pulling the ivy off is not an easy job but it was actually fun! There's still a lot of it remaining. Some of the vines are two inches thick and spiny and it looks like it's growing into the bricks. It will take a professional with a long ladder to finish the job."

Grading of the land continues at the Dell. As the above image shows, a new driveway now cuts in from Starcross Road and slopes down toward the barn. Much contouring work remains to be done, according to Toni.

"More grading is scheduled and lots of fill will be needed to create the lush grassy yard that is planned where the old gravel parking lot was once located."

(April 2010)
In the photo above which was taken late last month, three of the Dell's porches are visible. As Toni reports, the ground level porch on the left toward the front of the house is made of cement and will remain intact, but the two wooden porches on the right of the screen were on the critical list.

"The porch outside the snack bar was torn up and replaced," says Toni. "The second floor porch directly above it, which incidentally is outside of an existing second floor kitchen, is also being replaced."

Toni says the stairway connecting the two porches has been removed because it made the second floor porch too narrow to be usable.

(2008 photo)
The exterior staircase that Toni was referring to can be seen clearly in this photo of the porch taken in 2008.

(May 2010)
In a photo taken this past week you can see that the flight of stairs is now gone. In the days since Toni snapped this picture the ground level porch was rebuilt and resurfaced with pressure treated wood. All that remains to be done is to reinstall the railing around it.

Work is also proceeding inside the Dell house. Williams Service Company, the Deroche family's heating, air conditioning and refrigeration contracting business, is in
the process of removing the bulky old radiators located throughout the house.

Williams is equipping the three story brick home with two new heat pumps and central air conditioning.

The Deroche plan also calls for parts of the Dell house on the first floor to undergo an electrical rewiring.

The first floor ceiling needs to be replaced. Several of the old tiles are caving in as can be seen in the above picture from 2009.

Take a good look at the photograph on the left. It might be the last one you will ever see of the old Dell snack bar in its present location. The remaining components of the Dell's commercial restaurant are slated
to be dismantled and removed. The space
will be transformed
into a modern residential kitchen
with new appliances and cabinets.

"The pool table, the pinball machine, the snack bar and stools and the ice cream/soda fountain will all be taken out of the house and put in storage while the interior work is being done," Toni explained, "and in all probability, none of those things will be going back into the house."

What will happen to the old snack bar and the other remnants of the Dell's restaurant and game room? At this point their final destination remains uncertain, but at least one of the items is being offered for sale by the Deroches. It's an instantly recognizable fixture of the Dell - one whose sentimental value alone renders it priceless!

Imagine what it would be like to own one of Elvis Presley's cars or one of Marilyn Monroe's gowns! That's the feeling you'll get when you stake your claim to this one-of-a-kind Dell collectible. Up for grabs is the Shady Dell's original soda fountain... the very same appliance that Helen Ettline used to dish up sundaes, banana splits and ice cream sodas to generations of Dell rats! Even if your Dell shrine already has everything but the kitchen sink, it won't be complete until you own this unique piece of Dell history - Helen's soda fountain! And it can be yours if the price is right!

In addition to the Dell soda fountain, the Deroches have other original Dell collectibles to sell. Toni is planning to put the Dell paraphernalia on display at a yard sale tentatively scheduled for the second weekend in June. "I will have a Dell section that includes things that were left after the previous auctions - things like ashtrays, ice cream dishes, a glass straw holder, a formica and chrome 50's style kitchen table, other assorted tables and chairs, original Dell mirrors, a stool and a folding step stool. Some non-Dell items for sale will include books, furniture, beer signs, mirrors, table lamps, floor lamps and many more miscellaneous items," Toni added.

Smile and say cheese, Dell rats! If you missed those previous auctions, you will have another chance to own a piece of the Dell and a piece of York County history when Toni has her yard sale next month!

Once again we thank Dell owner Toni Deroche for giving us another exclusive look at the Shady Dell's ongoing extreme makeover. To say that the old gal doesn't look a day over thirty might be a stretch, but just like us old rats the Dell's hangin' tough and staying one step ahead of the demolition man. For that we can all be thankful!

Have a Shady day!

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