West Cedar St

West Cedar St

This 1827 brick townhouse retained much of its historic character, although had undergone several renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries. The challenge was to recover and preserve original historic elements, modify the house to accommodate the needs of a family of five, while upgrading systems and stabilizing the structure of the house.

Before starting work, the team undertook a comprehensive building survey to identify historic material, structural deficiencies, and areas of opportunity; this plan formed the basis for the renovation work. Significant stabilization work was required at the roof, stairs, and chimneys; a new heating and cooling system was installed.

Aesthetically, the owner was very drawn to the “rustic” feel of the ground floor, in particular the exposed beams, believing (erroneously) that it was original early 19th century when it was actually 1950s faux. While disappointing, this allowed the design team to propose more sweeping improvements, opening the entire floor to create large kitchen and living area, and opening a new large bay window to the garden to bring in more light. The basement was excavated to create new support spaces (storage, laundry, mechanical), while the first floor, which retained much more historic fabric, was carefully modified to open the stairs and improve circulation. The butler’s pantry was totally redone and hall closets were added in a very complex double sided piece of cabinetry. On the second floor, a bedroom was taken over to allow a large master bath and closet, while the upper levels were largely cosmetic improvements to the bed and bathrooms.

Catherine Truman was the Project Manager and Project Architect while at Ann Beha Architects.

condition before