So the ugly wallpaper bath was named for what originally appeared to be just that. Once we started demolishing it though we learned that it was actually decorated using shelf liner/contact paper (ingenious). Under the contact paper we found a rather nice old floral wallpaper and a green plaid wallpaper.
Under the floral wallpaper we found odd thin strips of wood that were nailed to the wall vertically. Under that was a layer of generic building paper and under that was Kraft paper, the all purpose building wrap of the early 1900's. From there we expected plaster or raw studs…..
but that would make entirely too much sense. Instead we found horizontally laid wainscot over empty stud bays (hence the frozen pipes). We will continue tearing down to the wainscot level and see what surprises we come across.
We also need to see about renting an insulation blower for the north exterior wall. Given that it took us two days to remove the loose fill fiberglass from the ceiling cavity above this bathroom we are a little hesitant to subject future generations to that form of insulation.
The goal for this bathroom is a claw foot tub, big shower, higher ceilings and plenty of storage… all pretty reasonable given it's 13'8" x 8'2" dimensions.