Woodwork Advice

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
I'm getting ready to renovate a 1911 Tower Grove Heights 2 family. Is it worth the extra labor to strip and reattach the original woodwork?
It depends. If you plan to sell the property in the future for a premium price, and you want it to retain its architectural character, yes.

If you want the interior to look like it belongs with the building design on the exterior, yes.

The caveat for both these options is that you can start over from scratch and re-create what's already there, but if you aren't going to do a faithful and detail-oriented job, why bother? If you do recreate, you may have a hard time sourcing comparable finish grade lumber, as at the time these buildings were constructed, much of the wood was old growth, harvested and prepared more slowly, and generally of a high quality. You can get that today to an extent, but it costs a lot and may be warped.

If you're planning to rent it out for now, but the woodwork is intact and still has a layer of varnish or shellac on it, you can leave it as is or paint it white with a base that the future owner of the property can easily remove when they do decide they want to keep the original woodwork the building was intended to have in it.

Conversely, you can hire an interior architect to do a competent job blending old and new or designing a contemporary space within the proportions of the old shell, which would require new woodwork in a different architectural style (most likely).

This includes windows, by the way. Nothing says third-rate work more than putting crappy, misproportioned vinyl windows on an artistically designed brick building with craftsmanlike woodwork on the interior.

And if you do remove the woodwork, do it carefully, and make sure it ends up with an architectural salvager instead of the dumpster. Or store it in a safe part of the basement, carefully marked, so the future owner doesn't have to track everything down.