Martha's Vineyard, MA    2007

Menemsha is a magical place, a tiny fishing village on Martha’s Vineyard. This home was built in the 1740s. At one time the granite-walled lower level served as the local tavern.

This project entailed first rescuing the 260-year-old structure and then gently, lovingly renovating some spaces. The design intervention purposefully retained the original details, spirit, and charm of the house.

In full collaboration with the builder, John Early, the rotted and overloaded framing was almost surgically replaced, and the drainage was modified to dry out the building. Additionally, we replaced the roof with red cedar shingles and rebuilt the chimney. Aesthetically and functionally, the house was lightly modified overall with greater focus in the kitchen, mudroom, and screened porch.

It is common to find 1970s kitchens in antique homes, as was the case with this cottage. We added one window and created a light, functional, and yet historically referential new space. Another common Yankee detail is to put the washer and dryer in the connector—sometimes being the first thing one sees upon entering through a kitchen family door. This connector entry was cleared of this function and opened up to expansive views of Vineyard Sound.

Landscape Architect Kristen Beaumont Reimann of Martha’s Vineyard created a sensitive landscape to support the quiet work of the team.

Builder: John G. Early
Landscape Architect: Kristen Beaumont Reimann
Photographer: Betsy Corsiglia