Before vinyl, before aluminum, even before asbestos, Fort Collins covered up its old houses with asphalt siding. Rolled asphalt siding.
The first of the maintenance-free building materials, “lick and stick brick” was popular from the 1930s through 1960s.
You could cover a small house with the stuff for maybe a hundred dollars, and many frugal homeowners in Fort Collins did.
And why not? Depression-era hardware store ads promised “complete weather protection, added insulation value, plus a pleasing appearance.” It could last decades. Look:
But not every house aged so well. In fact, in urban areas, it came to be known as ghetto brick.
Here in the West, in our rural areas, we slapped it over buildings without good bones to begin with. The effect was tar paper shack:
Some people think that’s kind of cool.
But most did not. And with easy credit and a nationwide remodeling boom, Fort Collins got most of ours to the landfill well before the refi money ran out.
Have I given enough credit to Norm Cook lately for sharing his memories and his enthusiasm? Not sure Lost Fort Collins would be much without him. Thanks Norm!