Rebuilding After Tragedy
Years of loving restoration of the original mid-1800s Greek Revival farmhouse came to a terrible end when a devastating fire broke out in the middle of the night. While the fire destroyed the home, it also ignited a resilience within the owners who decided that they would rebuild with the same degree of care and craftsmanship as the original home had deserved. For their new home, the owners wanted to remain faithful to the original style, proportions, and siting, which took advantage of the gently rising lot. Although rebuilding was unanticipated, it offered the unique opportunity to carefully reconsider all aspects of the plan and to introduce modern efficiencies and building systems into a well-crafted home, yielding an energy-efficient structure with modern creature comforts and historically accurate charm. The way in which we use our homes has changed drastically since the mid-1800s. Modern living led to an updated floor plan which reflects a less formal arrangement of rooms, placing the focus on the kitchen and 4-season room, where entertaining now takes place. The original home’s finely detailed portico and columns were salvaged and still create a formal entryway for strangers and unexpected guests, however friends and family are drawn from the carriage house and garage, across the brick and stone patio – composed of original foundation stones – to join their hosts in the 4-season room. From here, the site offers views of the wooded rear lot and down the sloping side lot toward a gentle stream and the nearby childhood home of President William McKinley. The final result is a warm sense of place nestled within the local setting. An updated floorplan accommodates today’s family needs and places them in a delightful context.
Rear patio and 4-season room. Photo: Paul Hagman
Front and side facades. Photo: David Pokrivnak
4-season room with views to wooded rear lot. Photo: David Pokrivnak
Interior stair detail. Photo: David Pokrivnak
Front sitting room. Photo: David Pokrivnak