Friday, January 27, 2012

Folk Victorian, circa 1872

A contractor bought this 2 family in-town house and asked for my help. Because of the deep lot we were able to return to its original single family status and add a 'barn' as the second living unit.
This massing was similar to other homes in the neighborhood. The back of the barn looks out over town owned wetlands.

The house was renovated on a strict budget.

The 2 units sold as condominiums immediately.

Some highlights:

The living room fireplace mantle had disappeared. The contractor
found a new one at a discount warehouse, Building 19: Victorian style interpreted by Thai craftsmen. We laughed, but it fit the budget and in place, painted, looked great.

The basement had about 6 ft. head room. We found out why when we dug the foundation for the barn addition - a high water table. That required the wing be set higher on the site. Then the roof lines didn't meet properly, necessitating on-the-spot redesign.

The original 1872 house used only one profile for all the moldings. It ran sideways up the windows, upside down as an apron, right side up on the baseboard. The visual variety came from how the light stuck the curves in the different positions. So simple, so effective.

The windows in the faux barn door are over the kitchen sink. The current owners have continued the visual joke by landscaping a faux barn entrance ramp below the 'door'.

The project made a real impact on the neighborhood and received
a local Historic Prservation Award.

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