Here are the photos of the work done in the main hallway.
One of the first things I worked on was the bulkhead over the staircase. I'm not sure if "bulkhead" is the appropriate term, but that's what I'll be using.
I started by removing the drywall. This is what I found:
View from below, with 2 boards of ceiling tongue and groove removed:
Obviously, they tried to redo this at some point, and stopped since these X braces were in the way. These are to keep the joists at 90 degrees, and to prevent them from twisting. They are not 100% essential, and the t-g floor above, combined with the t-g below (ceiling) prevent the joists from moving much.
That said, these two were removed and the end of the joist was re-cut to the new angle.
I also cut the drywall around this repair to a triangle (with a square corner).
An interesting note on the 1920s construction of my house is that the non load-bearing walls on the first floor don't have a top stud. The studs are nailed directly to the second floor joist. You can see this above, although it's not 100% clear. What you see is the 8" joist, and a 2x4 below it. There is a small corner of pink batt insulation. You can see this better two photos down.
New blocking to hold and support the drywall. Note the old knob and tube wiring (all non-functional and abandoned in place throughout the floors and some walls).
In this photo, you can see the two ends of t-g ceiling boards that I cut, but what you can't see too clearly is that those two additional board ends, and possibly one or two additional ones behind the drywall were once part of the original ceiling (they were cut later, since all the other boards finish at the end of the dividing wall). This tells me that this bulkhead has been modified at least twice before.
SOME of the mess.
Some of the first pieces of installed crown moulding.
The dividing wall needed a lot of work/reconstruction on the end. It had a good (metal) drywall corner on the right, but on the left it had a poorly installed and badly puttied metal/paper combo corner (not good for a high traffic corner). So I ripped that off, and then I had to chisel-off large lumpy chunks of mud, and I also had to re-cut the edge of the drywall (the one on the inside the staircase) since it passed the end of the corner in places (meaning that if I installed the new metal corner over it, it would have been crooked and lumpy.
New drywall and corners on bulkhead:
The second or third (or 4th?) coat of mud on the bulkhead:
Most of the new casings installed on the living room door:
I installed the rest of the casings on the guest bedroom door at the same time:
More mudding on the bulkhead. Note that I am trying to blend the corner onto only ONE piece of the ceiling t-g for a seamless transition. Dividing wall (corner) mostly done.
Not all the crown moulding was seamless and easy to install. To get nice corner joints, sometimes you need to do things like this:
Note ceiling/t-g transition above.
Finished crown photos. The crown is all caulked, puttied (nail holes) and ready to paint. A bunch of places have curves, gaps, and inconsistencies, but this is to be expected in an old house. Because this is going to be painted, caulk (acrylic) is your friend. It LOOKS perfect, but I assure you it's NOT (as evidenced by the shim photos above).
I still have work left to do on some of the bulkhead (more mud touch-ups), but it's almost ready for painting.