Spy House of the Week: Craftsman Gem

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This house was built in 2015 but its style evokes the craftsman bungalows of the 1930’s with its compact massing, materials,  textures and architectural details. The “L’ shaped footprint has a wrap-around porch at the side that is recessed from the main façade and is covered by a metal roof with tapered wood columns on stone bases. The porch leads to a deck at the water side and one bay of the porch leads to the front door with sidelights and another window. The front wall of the house is a mix of stone at the first floor with a triple window and board and batten siding around  the double window at the second floor. The garage is at a right angle to the house and its architecture is as beautifully articulated as the house. The pitched roof has a shed dormer above the craftsman garage doors. On the other side, the roof extends to become a shed roof projection with a stone base and board and batten siding above. The gable end wall with a single window set into board and batten siding above a shed bay projection clad in stone with a triple window completes the striking composition.  

The front door opens onto an entrance hall that steps down to the great room with living, dining and kitchen areas.  The “L” shaped stair is opposite the wall of windows that bathe the great room with sunlight on three sides. The fireplace on one side wall is flanked by pairs of double windows and at the rear four single windows are ganged together for views to the water.  The dining area has a bay shape that extends to the floor at the rear and a side triple window unit with a French door to the deck. The galley kitchen with a long island and bar stools defines the kitchen area. The lower level has a family room with dining space and another kitchen to bring the indoor entertaining area closer to the terrace, dock and water.  

I loved the master bedroom with its rear bay window and side triple windows for water views. I coveted the free-standing tub in the master bath underneath four windows ganged together for contemplating nature while enjoying a slow relaxing soak after a day on the water.

This prominent home site is surrounded by water. Outdoor rooms from the porch, deck, covered terrace at the lower level, the terrace with its  semi-circle of Adirondack chairs surrounding the firepit and the sandy beach all beckon the nature lover

 

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For more information about this property, contact John Burke with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-275-2118 (o), 443-206-3727 (c) or jburke57@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

Habitat:  The Work of Architect William Draper Brinckloe

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I have a particular fondness for the “Period” style of American architecture from the early twentieth century. Partly as a reaction to the previous elaborate Victorian style, these Period homes were compact, with space plans defined by separate rooms according to function. Designs were inspired by English Tudor, Colonial Revival, French Colonial, Spanish Colonial, Bungalow and Craftsman styles. Two of my favorite Period houses in Easton’s Historic District are a bungalow on Washington Street and a Dutch colonial on S. Harrison Street.  After some research, I discovered they were designed by the same architect, William Draper Brinckloe, who lived to Easton from 1911 until his death in 1933. He was also an author of two books, “The Small Home” and “The Volunteer Firemen”. In his book “The Small Home” he mentions that he is designing a small bungalow for his family which became known as the “Dutch Cottage” on Harrison Street.

“A Small Home” is out of print but through the Easton Library’s loan program, I obtained a copy that was invaluable to me in my research. Brinckloe discusses sixteen categories of planning and building a house and includes plans and perspectives of sixty of his charming designs. I chuckled when I saw rooms on several plans named “sewing room” as my sewing skills are limited to sewing buttons or fixing hems!  As a veteran of many home makeovers, his chapter on “Making Over the Old Home” had a simple rule “Do as little tearing out as possible; remodel by building on new work, rather than by changing old” and my architectural practice has endeavored to adhere to that rule. I then wryly read his comment that he “…specialized on remodeling to some extent; and I have probably done more of it than my brother architects”. Little did he know that today all but one of Easton’s architectural firms have women principals.

åBrinckloe also designed several commercial projects, including renovations to the landmark Stewart Building that the Prager Group has updated to become the Jewel in the Crown of Federal Street. Brinckloe’s design for the brick building near the corner of Dover and Aurora Streets is simply delightful.  Red brick with accents of white banding between the lower floor windows and the arched transoms, the recessed archway that is an open vestibule to the French entry door beyond, three single windows that step up in tune to the stairway and two pairs of four window units create a lively façade. I especially liked how the white lintel band created a small open transom for the vestibule beyond. The wall above the stairwell rises above the parapet and is crowned with an arched top that steps down to the adjacent roof.  The second floor windows are covered by a deep shingled roof overhang and enhanced by window boxes below.

In addition to Brinckloe’s designs for the Washington and Harrison Street residences, Aurora Street has a row of his Period designs across from Idlewild Park.  When I was active in real estate, I showed the irresistible red brick bungalow with a tile roof. The roofline flares at the front elevation and a wide shed dormer creates space for a second floor.  I loved the symmetry of the front elevation with two pairs of shed roof dormer windows that were centered over the front door below and the end windows that were centered over the wide bay windows below that are tucked under the wide soffit.  The exquisite one-story semicircular bay wing on the right of the house is surrounded by continuous windows for sunlight and views of the park.`

The other Aurora Street bungalows are equally charming with their brick facades and the variety of roof styles that create a delightful streetscape. One house has a hipped roof with two dormer windows and a front porch gable flanked by two pairs of windows.  The center and each end of the elliptical window headers are accented in white to match the façade’s white quoins. Another house has lighter brick with white quoins and two shed dormers in its tile roof. The third house has a gambrel roof, double window dormers above an asymmetrical façade of a triple window bay with quoins, front door and double window. The fourth house is a lovely elongated façade of light brick with white quoins, the entry porch at one side, a wide shed dormer that meets the front wall of the main floor below and a single window wing at the end.

I was very fortunate to have tours of both the Washington Street bungalow and the Harrison Street “Dutch Cottage” that Brinckloe once called home. The Washington Street bungalow is the last illustration of his book. Brinckloe wrote that “the living room is particularly attractive with its curved ingle-nook bordered by bookshelves” and it has remained so. I absolutely love the front elevation with its gable front, deep eave broken by an “eyebrow” to mark the front door, the deep wrap-around porch with its wide, flared columns, the hipped roof wing next to the gable with a triple window-a perfect example of proportion and style that has been lovingly maintained by its current owners.  

Brinckloe’s “Dutch Cottage” residence is set back and angled from the street for privacy. A weathered wood fence along the street frontage is broken by a curved brick path that leads to a gate in the fence. After a short walk through the landscape you cross over a bridge where a stream once bisected the property. You arrive at the two-story gambrel roofed cottage that is sited parallel to the dry stream bed for maximum privacy from the street. The exterior walls are painted dark gray that disappear into the landscape and the crisp white multipaned windows, trim and pale brown shutters are appealing accents.  The front door opens to a view of the stairs that split at the landing in two directions. The dining room has a fireplace with a surround of Delft tiles and an arched niche above for family photographs. One bedroom is tucked under the eaves with a triple window dormer for sunlight.

Brinckloe’s home will be featured in the first Fall Spy House Tour of Homes on Sunday October 6th.  Homes will be designed by architects and interior designers  in a celebration of Talbot County’s great architectural heritage, past and present. Stay tuned to the Spy for more information.

Many thanks to the owners of the Washington Street and S. Harrison Street residences who graciously welcomed me into their homes and shared their photographs.

I am indebted to my friend, the artist Carol Minarick, for leading me to the work of this gifted architect of an earlier generation.  I am also grateful to the architect Charles Goebel for his help during my research.

Exterior Photography by Ted Mueller, tedmuellerphotography@gmail.com, 443-955-2490

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

Spy House of the Week: Granny Branch Farm

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This Maryland Historical Trust property, circa 1735, is listed as the “James Marshall Farm” but the property address on Granny Branch Road Farm inspired its current owners to rename their picturesque country property. One of the owners, a talented interior designer, told me it was “love at first site” when she and her husband first drove up the gravel driveway.  Five outbuildings, including original creameries and a 19th century smokehouse are interspersed throughout the three acre property.  At the entrance to the driveway is a basswood tree whose six foot girth would set its age as approximately 200 years.  A lone majestic Dutch Elm, the only survivor of many others that formed a graceful line along the gravel drive, is behind the house. Across from the driveway entrance is an ancient statuesque holly that offers shelter for cardinals and red winged blackbirds, along with winter color. It is impossible to miss the native 100 foot tall Bald Cypress tree in its prime position on the front yard with its 30 foot limb spread providing shade in the summer months. The vistas throughout the beautifully landscaped grounds with its springtime bursts of color including iris, peonies, hydrangeas and lilies would inspire any Plein Air painter.  Being a native Tennessean, I especially love the blue bearded Iris bed and the ivy colored small shed beyond a bed of larkspur is picture perfect.

The original two and a half story Flemish bond brick structure is faced with a water table encircling all sides of the main wing. The south-facing front porch is now a four-seasons room with lap siding. The frame addition with cedar shake siding, dating from 1880, adds another layer of texture and color to the massing.  On the day I visited, after savoring the exquisite landscape, I eagerly looked forward to touring the interiors since they were the work of one of the owners, the talented interior designer Jane Keller.

We began our tour in the kitchen, with its galley layout and large kitchen island, the perfect spot for one of her husband’s Scandinavian smorgasbords. Exposed wood collar beams, original wood floors, granite counters and stainless steel appliances, comfortable upholstered seating by the wood stove and barstools for keeping the cook company creates an inviting space. A gallery hall leads to the entrance hall with its original wood stair balustrade and a unique Gothic arched wood wainscot.  The front door leads to the four-seasons sunroom with pairs of large windows on three sides to bathe the room in sunlight throughout the day. Both the dining room and living room are enhanced by their original and reconditioned fireplaces and beautifully restored wood floors. The neutral upholstered pieces are accented by Jane’s bold splashes of accent wall colors, art and Oriental rugs.

The entire second floor of the brick main wing is the master suite. I loved the master bedroom as much as I did the sunroom.  A beautiful patterned rug in shades of blue, crisp white bed linens with colorful pillows, antiques and art created a serene space.  The master bath clawfoot tub with shower fitting with the antique chest lavatory and the high wood glossy white wainscot against the darker wall color above creates a sophisticated look for the bath.  On the third floor are two guest bedrooms and above the kitchen wing is a space currently used as an office.

Throughout the house all of the original details including the hardwood floors, Eastlake doors with period hardware, wood trim, moldings, etc., have been preserved with care and pride of place. “Trunnels” (tapered wood nails) were found in the Granary along with a plaque signed in 1835 by the builders and carpenters the day the house was finished: “This building was finished 12 cck July 16th, 1845 JW Hamington & Joel Pippin Builders. Charles McCollister & Rich a G. Duckett present”.

This exquisite property has everything a historic preservationist would treasure-a beautiful site with very old trees, pastoral vistas through lawns and planting beds, a house whose original wing dates from Colonial days, restoration and  renovation executed with care and skill under the watchful and discriminating eye of a gifted interior designer. If you are seeking old world charm and modern upgrades, it would be hard to resist this house and its grounds.

 

For more information about this property, contact Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate Company agent Richard Budden at 410-778-0330 (o), 443-480-1181 (c) or rbudden@easternshoremdre.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity/” Interior design by Jane Keller, 443-994-2934

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

 

Spy House of the Week:  Serenity on the Sassafras

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This house has great curb appeal with its traditional architectural style, mixture of textures and colors of multi-colored stone, light colored stucco and deep red shutters set against a green backdrop of mature trees. From the entry drive the house appears to be a story and  half with roof dormers but the rear elevation opens up to the Sassafras River below with large areas of windows and French doors. The “L” shaped massing of the plan has a main wing with smaller wings on each side with the garage at a right angle to the house so the garage doors are less noticeable from the street. A terrace at the rear of the house is paved with irregularly shaped stone pavers and spans across the master suite, living and dining rooms at the rear of the house.

The vista from the front door is first of the spacious entrance hall with the  “L” shaped stair that is open to the second floor. On the opposite side of the entrance hall is the formal dining room sized for large gatherings of family and friends. The vista continues through the living room with its rear wall of three pairs of French doors with transoms to the landscape and the water views beyond.  The adjacent informal dining area is between the living room and the family room to create a large open plan with sunlight from the large windows and transoms at the rear of the house. The kitchen is open to the dining area and its white cabinets, light countertops, stainless steel appliances and wood floors maintains the feeling of openness. Another French door from the dining area leads to the terrace. A pergola over the master bedroom terrace area creates a shady outdoor room.

I loved the master bedroom with its blue and white interior design scheme. The light blue carpet, valance and drapes in a small blue and white floral print, the wood pencil post bed with crisp white linens is a restful retreat. The second floor bedrooms are located at the rear of the house for water views and one bedroom has a window seat under triple windows.

The house is zoned very well with the garage leading to the breezeway and laundry room to the kitchen, the living and dining areas grouped along the rear wall of windows, the master suite on the main floor and guest rooms above.  There is also a large basement for myriad uses.

 

For more information about this property, contact Ashton Kelley with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-275-2118 (o), 410-708-8144(c) or akelleyre@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Photography by Steve Buchanan Photography, 410-212-8753, 310-996-7295, steve@buchananphotography.com, www.buchananphotography.com.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

Spy House of the Week: Craftsman Perfect Ten

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My favorite houses that I have called home were craftsman cottages so I was immediately captivated by this charming cottage. I loved the lushly landscaped setting, the terrific mix of texture and materials with light colored river rock porch railing and chimney with the green lap siding and the door and window accents in deep red. The side of the house, however, with its atypical window arrangement hinted of a more contemporary interior.

The front door opened to a vista of a majestic Oriental wood chair with a colorful woven pillow. A pair of French doors with frosted glass led to a truly “great” room containing the kitchen, dining and living room areas. The ceiling plane stepped up from the galley kitchen to soar to the roof above the two-story living room. A large sectional and an Oriental rug anchored the space and the rear wall full of windows and the high windows on the side wall flooded the space with light. The stairs wrapped around the full height fireplace chimney for another dramatic vista.

An open front storage unit serves double duty to define the dining area and is topped with reading lamps for the sofa. The up-mount translucent blinds gives seated privacy below and views above to the landscape. A deck spans the length of the rear elevation and stairs lead to the side driveway.

The master bedroom white palette with warm hardwood floors contrasts with the periwinkle blue palette of the second bedroom that is currently used as an office.  The walk-out basement is a blank canvas that could become another bedroom suite or recreation room with French doors to the rear garden.

The front access to the garden is via a gate marked by a trellis above in the fence between the house and the edge of the gravel driveway.  Large stones mark the meandering path through the lush garden with a center lawn area surrounded by planting beds, canopy trees and mature trees.

Great curb appeal, stunning interior architecture and an in-town verdant oasis- what more would one need?

For more information about this property, contact Sarah Dean with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 (o),410-708-2528  (c) or sarah@csrealtors.com.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

Spy House of the Week: Colonial Elegance

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The tranquil setting of this two and a half storied stately Colonial caught my eye. The house’s slate roof, cream colored stucco and red brick foundation set against the green of the lawn and plantings was very appealing. After opening the gate in the black iron fence along historic Water Street, you walk up a brick sidewalk to the entry door at the side elevation. The door and sidelights are beautifully detailed with an elliptical transom and half-glass sidelights of leaded glass. I loved the entrance hall with its checkerboard flooring pattern of white and black marble, the vertical patterned wallpaper with a paneled wainscot and the graceful stairs with a wide landing to allow the lower run to curve around to the upper run of steps. The entrance hall spans the full depth of the house so the vista from the front door is to the landscaped rear yard.

To the left of the entrance hall is the living room and sunroom.  The Chippendale style fireplace mantel is the focal point of the living room with Wedgewood blue walls with white moldings and chair rail. To the right of the entrance hall is the dining room that also has Wedgewood blue walls but the panel in the wainscot is outlined in white.  A contemporary glass table allows the beauty of the Oriental rug to be fully appreciated and French doors lead to a screened porch.

The kitchen and bar pantry at the rear of the house continue the black and white theme.  The bar flooring has small white tiles with black chamfered corners that is perfectly scaled to this cozy space. The white cabinets with period hardware and  glass fronted upper cabinets open up the space. The kitchen is a cook’s dream-it also has white cabinets with black countertops and larger tile flooring, stainless steel appliances and a gray tiled backsplash.  French doors lead to the rear covered brick terrace. Steps from both the covered terrace and the screened porch lead to the spacious rear yard that is ready for a game of croquet!

The stair landing at the second floor is a charming reading nook. The center window’s valance picks up the colors of the mural on one wall opposite an antique armoire.  Full height bookcases flank the window and an oversize rattan chair and ottoman would be a cozy space for reading. Another charming room on the second floor is a bedroom that is currently decorated as a sitting room. This corner room has windows overlooking the rear landscaping and the side yard for added daylight. The third floor has additional bedrooms and a bath.  

Classic American Colonial with a blend of the old and new, gracious entrance hall, great flow on the main floor for entertaining, wonderful and private outdoor spaces, a large rear yard  surrounded by a wooden fence-if you are seeking a historic house on one of Chestertown’s best streets, this one’s for you!

For more information about this property, contact  Peter Heller with Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate Company at 410-778-0330 (o), 410-708-3301 (c) or pheller@cbchesapeake.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

 

House of the Week: Town Home with a Twist

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Queen Street is another of my favorite streets in Chestertown’s Historic District because of its historic character of distinctive architecture, mature trees, brick sidewalks and the close proximity to the attractions of High Street and the waterfront. This charming Victorian semi-attached townhome has appealing outdoor spaces from the front porch that spans the full width of the house and the private fenced rear yard.  An added plus is off-street parking for two cars.

In many town home designs, the front door is at one side of a house opposite the stairway so it was a very pleasant surprise that this house’s front door opens directly into the living room. The stairs for this house are between the living -dining area and the kitchen at the rear of the house which maximizes the size of the living and dining rooms.

Two long windows at the front and another window at the side wall bring daylight into the living room. The focal point of the room is the fireplace with millwork on each side surrounded by comfortable upholstered pieces that are anchored by a beautiful rug of colorful floral squares and accent pieces of warm wood.

Columns below a beam define the full-width wall opening leading to the dining area with its side wall windows, wood table and chairs and a painted armoire for storage. A small accent table and two extra chairs for dining are placed against the living room sofa to maximize the space.  All the windows in the living and dining rooms have sheers to filter the sunlight and to provide privacy.

I loved the kitchen with its checkerboard patterned kitchen floor, the white cabinets with glass-fronted upper cabinets and the rear wall of windows with views of the yard. The range hood shaft is accented by a shelf with collectibles and the table for two in the middle of the room is a cozy spot for breakfast. A cut-out in the side wall next to the refrigerator opposite the range brings daylight into this corner of the room from the kitchen’s rear windows. Another cut-out in the front of the kitchen wall offers a vista to the front door and could also be a pass-through to the dining room.

The charming master bedroom on the second floor has a painted rattan headboard trimmed in the same fabric as the bedspread and window valances, two painted nightstands and lamps to create a serene retreat. Another bedroom and a third bedroom complete the second floor plan.  The third floor with the computer below the dormer window and built-in shelving is a quiet home office space.

Victorian charm with original details including the beautifully maintained pine flooring, spacious living -dining area, updated kitchen, great outdoor rooms in a prime location- a perfect in-town spot!

 

For more information about this property, contact Sarah Dean with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 (o),410-708-2528  (c) or sarah@csrealtors.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

Habitat: Atelier 11, the East End of Easton and Adaptive Re-Use

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This year, the architecture and interior design firm Atelier 11 celebrates twenty-five years of design excellence in architecture and interior design.  Notable projects include the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Building Complex, the Talbot Hospice building, the Community Center at Londonderry and Evergreen Cove as well as numerous new residences, seamless addition and renovations.

The ESLC complex was unique for its sustainability and for its being a historic building that now has a new life to house the ESLC offices and other non-profits.  Glass interior walls encourage collaboration and the stained concrete floors and brick walls are preserved elements of the building’s early days. The building’s welcoming form, colors and sunny interior spaces of Talbot Hospice have drawn back many people whose loved ones spent their last days there. Many people return to visit the chapel or stroll the grounds and feel the presence of their loved ones.

The Londonderry Community Center was an opportunity to provide an environment for residents to socialize or to try a new skill including dance, art, crafts, or attend lectures to exercise the “little grey cells” as Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot, was fond of saying. Evergreen Cove was an opportunity to literally think “outside the box” of a brick rancher.  Atelier 11’s solution opened up the box to nature and is a peaceful setting for yoga and other healing arts.

What many Talbot County residents may not know is the firm has also made a significant contribution to urban design. When they built their office at 11 S. Aurora Street in 2002, the East End needed revitalization to eliminate vacant lots and to renovate the existing housing stock before structures deteriorated to the point that demolition was necessary.  They constructed their building in the middle of a vacant block and opened for business.

Slowly but surely other building owners or investors followed Atelier 11’s pioneering lead and rescued this neighborhood to give it a solid future. After completing their building, Atelier 11 added development to their list of services. They designed and built two new houses on lots near their building to knit the streetscape back together. Now that the Easton Town Council has voted to approve the creation of an Arts and Entertainment District, the availability of tax credits will ensure the East End will continue to thrive.

Their office building is also an example of how good design matters in creating a building that can adapt to changing economic times and uses. When the housing and real estate crash occurred in 2008, firms in Easton had to make painful choices about staff but luckily Atelier 11 retained core staff. They consolidated their office on the second floor and opened a gallery on the first floor.

After five years of having a second office in Lynchburg, VA, to add University work and downtown development projects to their repertoire, the firm converted their Easton building to a live-work space and relocated staff to a studio at the corner of Washington and Dover Streets. Now on the market, 11 S. Aurora St. could be a gallery/living space, a single family residence, or a commercial building. As Principal Architect Lauren jokingly remarked to me, “it is probably the only residence that has a fully compliant ADA bathroom on the first floor.”

On the day I visited, one of the firm’s associates, Tom Batchelor, gave me a tour of the completed construction.  I had always admired the distinctive front door mat created by embedding rounded edged stones into mortar that provides a distinctive way to remove mud from one’s shoes.  The former reception area now becomes a spacious entrance hall with filtered light from both the front French door and sidelights and from the stair landing beyond. The ADA compliant restroom now is a full bath with the renovation of an adjacent storage room for an ADA shower. The former studio space has been transformed and could be an open plan living-dining-kitchen or a studio area . The rear high windows at the South Street side of the building filter sunlight in while maintaining privacy. The former Principals’ two offices are now a bedroom and a den.

As we climbed the stairs to the second floor, we paused at the landing with its dramatic large window overlooking the surrounding neighborhood. I asked Tom how many buildings we could see that had been renovated since Atelier 11’s pioneering building. He told me the firm had actually compiled a map that showed over seventeen buildings which is an amazing statistic.   

The second floor now contains three bedrooms, one of which is a spacious master suite.  The overlook to the first floor has been maintained and also provides light into the hall from the window at the side wall. The master suite has a French door to a terrace with a stair down to the sidewalk along South Street and would be a great space for sunbathing. Opposite the terrace is the “Tower”, a two-story rental unit with living, dining and kitchen on the first floor and a bedroom and bath on the second floor.

Co-Principals  Jon Braithwaite and Lauren Dianich divide their time between offices according to who is the lead on projects.  The next generation of Atelier 11 will continue under the leadership of senior staff of Christian Chute and Tom Batchelor and support staff in both offices.  Happy Anniversary to a talented team of architects and interior designers who have been responsible for some of Talbot County’s best design work, and for the community service that is part of the firm’s mission.  Bravo!

For more information about this property, contact Kelly Showell with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-829-5468 (c) or kshowell1958@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

 

Spy House of the Week: Before and After in Rock Hall

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I am indebted to the Spy reader who emailed me about the work done by two intrepid home owners who have been renovating their Rock Hall property since they purchased the property in 2015. The Spy reader thought it would be a great idea for a “Before and After” profile and last Sunday I visited with owners Kimberly and Bill to tour the  garage/guest house and the main house.

After spending many weekends at Rock Hall, they soon fell under the spell of this charming community and began their search for a weekend/summer place. They were attracted to this house’s historic architectural character, especially the stacked sunrooms at the outside corners of both floors, the full front porch and the woods beyond the rear yard.

On the day I visited, the work on the detached garage/guest suite was complete and the upper floor guest suite was now their weekend retreat while the construction on the main house continued.  They showed me several “before” pictures and the deteriorated condition of the main house and garage would have deterred many buyers. Not these two! Bill is a bridge engineer and Kimberly is a kindergarten teacher who has an innate interior design talent. Both of them collaborated on the space planning and the construction.

Their master plan began with demolition in 2015. Overgrown shrubbery, a mature tree that needed to be removed, the main house’s rear wing whose roof was collapsing, inadequate  foundations, etc., were part of a long list that had to be resolved before the fun of transformation could begin. Next, they tackled the garage and extended its footprint to create space on the second floor for a one-bedroom apartment that is a cozy temporary home for them due to Kimberly’s flair for interior design.

The last two years have been spent on the construction of the main house. During demolition, they discovered the exterior wall construction was balloon framing, where the stud walls are uninterrupted up to the roof joists, without door or window headers. Another challenge was the low ceiling height. They wisely decided to leave the original exterior walls as-is and construct new inner walls to support the windows, doors, floor and roof joists.  The added advantages to this approach are a deep exterior wall that can be infilled with insulation for better thermal comfort and higher ceilings in the new spaces.

In the main house, they moved the stair from the side wall to the center to separate the living room from the sunroom. Behind the living room will be the kitchen and dining area, a side entry from the driveway and a bedroom suite. At the rear is a roofed deck that will become a screened porch.  Since this space is outside of the main house footprint, it has a high pitched ceiling and views to the wooded area beyond the yard.

The front of the second floor will be a wonderful master suite. The bedroom is separated from the corner sunroom by the stairs and the sunroom will become a sitting room for the master suite.  Light will filter into the stairwell from the sunroom windows through the interior windows in the wall between the sunroom and the stairs. Behind the master bedroom will be the master bath and closets, laundry, a second bath and two other bedrooms at the rear of the house.

The stud walls are in place and the rough-in plumbing, HVAC and electrical is being done so interior finishing will be the next step for this talented duo.  After they move into their new home, Kimberly and Bill are considering renting their garage apartment with its private deck. The Spy looks forward to reporting on the completed house-stay tuned!

 

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee.

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