Architectural errors frozen in time

Every building has its story

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

The other day I was eating breakfast at a cozy little diner called Sam's Log Cabin, not far from where I live. The place is pretty much what its name suggests -- a rustic little box of a building with log siding and a hipped roof. The inside is just as spartan as the outside: There's no proper ceiling, and the roof rafters are plainly exposed to view. I was savoring my pancakes and bacon, idly regarding this unusual construction, when my eyes came upon a curious thing. Apparently the person who'd framed the roof made a whopping mistake and ended it in the wrong location. You could see where the angled hip rafters were framed in, as if the carpenter thought he'd reached the end of the building, and also where additional rafters had been appended to continue the roof another 8 feet or so. It was clear that this had happened at one time, because the next stage of the work -- the boards covering the roof -- plainly continued onto the patched-on part. The intriguing thing wasn't...