Best Traditional Home 2018: Resurrecting a Greek Revival
After a devastating fire destroyed this mid-1800s home, the owners and architect teamed up to rebuild a classic.
Synopsis: The 2018 Best Traditional Home Award goes to Paul Hagman of RBF CoLab Architecture and Design for designing a house true to the original Greek-revival style that incorporates a floor plan better suited for modern living. After the original house was destroyed in a fire, the structural damage required a full rebuild. The architect reconsidered the floor plan to include modern conveniences by relocating the staircase to allow for better sightlines. Because the previous home had received multiple renovations and additions over the years, the architect gave the new design the appearance of having received additions over time. Energy efficiency was a top priority as well: the house was wrapped in 2 in. of rigid insulation, with raised-heel trusses used throughout to achieve higher attic R-values.
Years of extensive restoration performed by the owners of a mid-1800s Greek-revival house in the historic Village of Poland, Ohio, came to a tragic end when a devastating fire broke out one afternoon. While the fire destroyed the house beyond repair, it also ignited a resilience within the owners to rebuild their home with the same degree of care and craftsmanship they had put into restoring the original house.
The village of Poland is a study in traditional architecture, with well-maintained examples of almost every house style of the 19th and 20th centuries. This house is situated near the former childhood home of President William McKinley, and is surrounded by a variety of Italianate, Second Empire, and colonial houses. One of the homeowners helped write the village’s historic preservation guidelines, so the couple understood well the importance of preserving the character of the historic district.
After the owners decided to rebuild, a mutual friend put us in contact. Although they had worked with other architects over the years during renovations, this undertaking was…