The renovation and upgrade of this 1801 Charles Bulfinch house was an incredibly unique opportunity to work on a one of a kind house. Archival and physical research allowed the design team to develop a detailed chronology of the house and a comprehensive preservation strategy before undertaking extensive conservation and renovation of both the interior and exterior. On the exterior, the historic masonry was cleaned and carefully repointed, deteriorated brownstone lintels repaired or replaced, and missing historic elements were restore based on archival data. Paint testing revealed the original paint scheme, which was restored. On the interior, the work ranged from highly sensitive conservation efforts — historic decorative elements (wallpapers and stencils) uncovered during the work and were documented, including a spectacular and completely unknown stencil on the dining room ceiling – to major structural interventions to support chimneys, add an elevator, and integrate all new mechanical and electrical systems. The work was all undertaken with an attempt to balance restoration of a major historic house with the need for the house to remain a home for a family with children. Detailed planning went into how to create an entry and circulation that kept the main house used and active by the family, but also allowed for large formal events. This project underwent several reviews with the Beacon Hill Historic Commission as well as neighborhood review.
Catherine Truman led this project while at Ann Beha Architects.
Photos by Peter Vanderwarker, Joe St. Pierre, and the Architect