Spy Architecture Lecture by Simon Jacobsen Set for January 19

The Spy is pleased to announce that Simon Jacobsen will make a presentation of his firm’s work over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend on Saturday, January 19th, from 5:00 to 6:30 at the St. Michaels Inn in St. Michaels. Simon is the son of Hugh Newell Jacobsen and they formed Jacobsen Architecture in 2007.  Tickets can be purchased here.

Our Habitat Jenn Martella, summarized their work recently in the Spy and we have re-published it here: 

My second job as an architectural intern was with Gini L. Pettus & Associates in Atlanta. The focus of her practice was interior commercial architecture but we both enjoyed discussing residential architecture and soon discovered our mutual admiration for the work of Hugh Newell Jacobsen.

After I moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004, I was delighted to discover two of his houses from excursions with friends on the water. After visiting the firm’s website, I learned that Jacobsen had designed several houses in Talbot County and his Bachelor of Arts degree was from the University of Maryland. I like to think that on breaks from his studies he made sojourns to the Eastern Shore to enjoy the peaceful pre-Bay Bridge rural architecture and landscape.

What I admire about Jacobsen’s work is how he drew his inspiration from the distinctively American vernacular rural architecture-sheds, smokehouses, detached kitchens and barns. The essence of his iconic style were series of pavilions devoid of ornamentation that evoked Shaker architectural design. His contemporary interpretation of the “telescope” houses of the Eastern Shore, became, in his gifted hands, simple geometric plans with gable roofs and chimneys that rose through the steep roof planes to become sculptural elements. His unique style set him apart from his fellow second-generation Modernists peers.

He also designed houses ranging from Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ home on Martha’s Vineyard to the “1998 Life Dream House,” Life Magazine’s promotion of houses designed by famous architects whose plans were made available to the public.

His son Simon is the Founding Principal of Jacobsen Architecture and explains his firm’s design philosophy as “…our detailing is deliberately sparse and linear in order to enhance the spaces within and without … the site is the dominant factor. The quality of the light upon that particular area of earth is always unique and determines the path the architecture will take.” The firm’s houses on the Eastern Shore embody that design philosophy and my favorite of the Eastern Shore houses is the original Green Residence that as of 2017 has a new owner.

The Greene Residence was built on the Wye East River close to the Chesapeake Bay. The client, a New York advertising executive, retained Hugh Newell Jacobsen in 1971 to design a year-around house. On one of his first visits to the site, the client sprinkled cedar seedlings along the shoreline that have matured into a tall grove to protect the house from the winter storms off the Bay and to frame and shade the exquisite house.

Like the older houses of the Tidewater, the Green house has white walls and steep roofs but the similarity ends there. Unlike historic Tidewater houses, this plan’s massing and functions are organized into pavilions defined by the function within. Some of the pavilions are linked by connections with walls of frameless panes of glass resting on brick sills for a striking solid/void juxtaposition of wall and glass. Other pavilions are slightly shifted from each other with just enough space for construction workers to accomplish their tasks. The lack of exterior soffits, gutters and trim is a careful and deliberate abstraction of traditional detailing.

Many of the pavilions have floor to ceiling glass panes at the main level to create an “outlook” to the landscape and water beyond. Above the large glass panes are two levels of multi-paned transoms. The bottom row is open to the main floor of the pavilion and the upper row becomes windows for the second floor. The lack of interior trim allows the wall and floor planes to seamlessly merge and the steep pitched roofs with dormers creates delightful spaces for the guest suites or the loft for the Owner’s artistic endeavors.

The Green house consists of six pavilions. There are two center pavilions with the front pavilion being the entrance hall and support functions. Behind the entry pavilion a short hall leads to the rear sitting room pavilion that faces the water. The rear corners of this dramatic room are floor to ceiling glass panels and the massive chimney rises through the pitched ceiling. At the front corners, glass walled connections on each side lead to two pavilions that are set on a diagonal to the entry and sitting room pavilions. The kitchen/breakfast and dining room pavilion is on the right and is slightly shifted from the garage pavilion by a solid connection. Off the kitchen pavilion, the long pool reaches out to the water and a fence hides the motor court of the garage pavilion. On the left, another sitting room pavilion and the master suite pavilion complete the composition. Terraces off the sitting rooms offer expansive views of the water.

Two guest suites were located on the second floor. One suite is accessed by a “U” shaped cantilevered stair that floats above the floor of the diagonal sitting room pavilion and the other suite is accessed by a spiral stair in the kitchen pavilion. Since the two suites are separated by the main sitting room pavilion, they have total privacy.

The interiors are white to better reflect the light from the varied sources and the firm’s signature “Eggcrate” bookcases are found in the diagonal sitting room. The Mid-Century Modern furnishings include the leather and polished chrome Le Corbusier sofas and the wood Scandinavian dining room table and chairs. It would be very difficult for this architect to choose a favorite detail but the vista from one of the glass-walled connections through the glass corner of the adjacent pavilion to the water beyond was breathtaking.

The Green Residence is a masterpiece of a gifted architect’s vision of domestic architecture in the early 20th century. The photographs that accompany this article were taken last year and belie the age of this iconic house.

Jacobsen Architecture was founded in 2007 by Hugh and Simon Jacobsen and is the recipient of over 140 awards in architecture, design and interiors. The firm’s work spans from much of the US, Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Besides many accolades and publications, the firm has been nominated for the AIA’s Gold Medal four times and is longest running recipient of Architectural Digest’s AD100, the magazine’s list of the top 100 design talents internationally. The Jacobsens are currently working on a new book to be published by Rizzoli titled “Jacobsen Architecture: 12 Houses by Hugh and Simon Jacobsen”.

If you are one of the lucky few on the Eastern Shore to own a Jacobsen house, please contact the Spy as we would welcome another opportunity to feature more of these unique American houses.

For further inspiration, visit the firm’s website . Photographs of the Green Residence courtesy of Sean Shananhan Photography, Sean@shanahanphotography.com, 703-582-9462. 

The Spy is pleased to announce that Simon Jacobsen will make a presentation of his firm’s work over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend on Saturday, January 19th, from 5:00 to 6:30 at the St. Michaels Inn in St. Michaels MD, 1228 S. Talbot Street. Click here for ticket sales.

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 Holiday House: Boxwood Hall

This is my second holiday card to Spy readers and I am delighted to feature the Easton home of Jeffrey Parker. Jeffrey is a native of Cambridge, MD and received an undergraduate degree in interior design and architecture from the University of Maryland at College Park. After working for a roster of international clients for prestigious firms in Washington D.C. , Muscat, Oman and New York City, he established his own interior design firm in New York city in 1998.  

After spending weekends in his East Hampton home for 20 years, the Eastern Shore beckoned and he bought a weekend house in Cooke’s Hope in 2012.  The two-story traditional brick house had a detached garage that was connected to the main house by a breezeway. Upon moving into the house Jeffrey then began his transformation. A second floor above the garage became a family room with guest bathroom, the screened porch became a French-doored sunroom and the two structures were united by a breezeway with French doors leading to the newly constructed swimming pool.

After solving other interior architecture issues, Jeffrey turned his discriminating eye to the interiors. Moldings and custom finishes added a layer of elegance and each of the bathrooms were redesigned. The dormant third-floor space became a proper third floor for the residence which now has two generous guest suites. What had been a large attic was transformed by the addition of three traditional dormers on the front façade and a shed dormer on the rear elevation to expand the space.  

The rear yard was then enclosed by a traditional brick wall with Napoleon caps and was enhanced by a pool and outdoor fireplace to become an outdoor room for entertaining and  relaxing with family and friends.

The entertaining spaces are important as Jeffrey is more than an occasional visitor to Easton. Passionate about the arts, he is currently a board member and president of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and a trustee of the Academy Art Museum. He continues to also be active with the board of the Easton Choral Arts Society and at Christ Church Easton.

He is passionate about Christmas and his home, Boxwood Hall, is annually decked to the nines with festive holiday decorations including six Christmas trees which display an array of antique and 20th Century blown glass ornaments.  Jeffrey began this collection when he was 8 years old.  

For more information about Jeffrey, visit his website jeffreyparkerinteriors.com, or contact Jeffrey at jeffrey@jefferyparkerinteriors .com.

Many thanks to the sellers who have invited me into their homes, the agents and their administrative assistants who have shared their pictures with me and my fellow architects who shared their creative work.

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.

 

Mid-Shore Habitat: The Whimsical Metal Sculpture of David Dunn

Last night I decorated my Christmas tree with one of my older siblings while we listened to the Vince Guaraldi Trio Christmas album, better known to other  “Peanuts” fans as the soundtrack  to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Now that my tree is resplendent with all my beloved ornaments from Christmases past, the floor is bare and in need of presents!

The perfect unique gift for the gardener or art lover on my list would be one of the whimsical sea creature sculptures of local artist David Dunn. David grew up in  DC and spent summers and holidays at his family’s waterfront Bozman home. From an early age, he would take driftwood and other Bay detritus deposited by the high tides and repurpose them into three-dimensional art. The Chesapeake Bay provided an unlimited source of found materials which later inspired his “Sea Creatures” series of metal art.

As the son of a diplomat, David spent his early years in Paris where he was captivated by art and later attended the College of Charleston where he majored in theater. His focus was prop design and fabrication but art still beckoned. As his interest in metal design grew, he decided to do post-graduate work in welding.

This training, his innate design talent, his love of the Chesapeake Bay and his life-long interest in “found” objects culminated in his current series “Kings of the Sea” which is fabricated entirely in metal and painted in bright colors.

His workday begins by looking at life that exists in and around the Bay waters and foraging for items he then repurposes into new life forms.  These items include industrial parts, bike gear mechanisms, clamps, and bolts that in his creative hands are transformed into “sea creatures” and “tool critters”. In one of my favorite critters, the handle of a wrench became the spine, the clamps the teeth and the bolts the eyes. In another delightful critter, a helmet and cutlery were transformed into a turtle. Some critters maintain their metal color while others are brightly painted like the captivating “Sailfish.”

David’s work can be found in private collections both local and national including clients on the Eastern Shore and New York City, Key West, Malibu and Washington DC. Currently his “Octopus King of the Sea” is on exhibit at the Academy of Art in Easton through mid-January.

I firmly believe a daily touch of whimsy is good for the soul. Now that gardens are becoming dormant until spring, one of David’s colorful whimsical creations may be just the antidote to the winter doldrums and the perfect gift for the gardener on your list!

For further inspiration visit David’s website at www.dunninmetal or contact him via email at dunninmetal@gmail.com or call 202-390-1881.

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: Villa d’Avoncoeur

This Easton Historic District landmark was built in 1920 at the height of American interest in “eclectic ” houses including styles of Tudor, French, Italian Renaissance and Spanish colonial architecture. The hipped roofs with flared eaves, the symmetrical side wings, stucco, and multi-planed windows exemplify its French Eclectic style. The villa underwent a full renovation that restored original features such as the ornamental iron fencing, hand applied stucco and the boxed beam ceilings.

A pair of multi-paned French doors open onto a two-story entrance area defined by hardwood floors that separates the sitting room from the dining room and breaks up this large space that span across the front wing of the house. Opposite the front doors is a “U” shaped stair and landing at the second floor. The beamed ceiling is painted white to reflect the light and to lighten the volume of the room. The seating area boundary is anchored by a large rug with an upholstered sofa under the wide front window, a loveseat and several chairs grouped around the fireplace. The contemporary glass-topped table is juxtaposed against the wood antique pieces and the floor to ceiling drapes that accentuated the height of the room.

The dining room with its seating for 10 and the beautiful antique furnishings would be a lovely setting for a Thanksgiving dinner. Double French doors led to the kitchen-breakfast area that was centered on large windows at the front and side windows for a sunny spot to linger over that last cup of morning coffee. The antique table, high-backed wood benches and chairs, a corner china cabinet, art and an antique rug over the brick floors and the chandelier gave this space much charm. I loved the kitchen area with its large colorful antique posters, the white cabinets and accents of black in the island countertop, Captain’s bar chairs, side cabinets and the green accent of the hood over the stove that picked up the green in the background of the Bugatti poster. The exposed collar beam was painted white as well as the pitched ceiling for a bright and airy space in which to work and relax.

The subtle colors of the bedroom walls on the first and second floor master suites and the second floor bedrooms were very appealing, ranging from light plum, aquamarine, rose and light pink. The bolder baths with walls of caramel and purple were a colorful backdrop for the pristine white fixtures and white floors.
A villa on a corner lot on one of the best streets in the Historic District-tres chic!

For more information about this property, contact Barb Watkins with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-2021 (c), or barb.c.watkins@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.

The Architecture of Hugh Newell Jacobsen on the Eastern Shore

My second job as an architectural intern was with Gini L. Pettus & Associates in Atlanta. The focus of her practice was interior commercial architecture but we both enjoyed discussing residential architecture and soon discovered our mutual admiration for the work of Hugh Newell Jacobsen.

After I moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004, I was delighted to discover two of his houses from excursions with friends on the water. After visiting the firm’s website, I learned that Jacobsen had designed several houses in Talbot County and his Bachelor of Arts degree was from the University of Maryland. I like to think that on breaks from his studies he made sojourns to the Eastern Shore to enjoy the peaceful pre-Bay Bridge rural architecture and landscape.

What I admire about Jacobsen’s work is how he drew his inspiration from the distinctively American vernacular rural architecture-sheds, smokehouses, detached kitchens and barns. The essence of his iconic style were series of pavilions devoid of ornamentation that evoked Shaker architectural design. His contemporary interpretation of the “telescope” houses of the Eastern Shore, became, in his gifted hands, simple geometric plans with gable roofs and chimneys that rose through the steep roof planes to become sculptural elements. His unique style set him apart from his fellow second-generation Modernists peers.

He also designed houses ranging from Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ home on Martha’s Vineyard to the “1998 Life Dream House,” Life Magazine’s promotion of houses designed by famous architects whose plans were made available to the public.

His son Simon is the Founding Principal of Jacobsen Architecture and explains his firm’s design philosophy as “…our detailing is deliberately sparse and linear in order to enhance the spaces within and without … the site is the dominant factor. The quality of the light upon that particular area of earth is always unique and determines the path the architecture will take.” The firm’s houses on the Eastern Shore embody that design philosophy and my favorite of the Eastern Shore houses is the original Green Residence that as of 2017 has a new owner.

The Greene Residence was built on the Wye East River close to the Chesapeake Bay. The client, a New York advertising executive, retained Hugh Newell Jacobsen in 1971 to design a year-around house. On one of his first visits to the site, the client sprinkled cedar seedlings along the shoreline that have matured into a tall grove to protect the house from the winter storms off the Bay and to frame and shade the exquisite house.

Like the older houses of the Tidewater, the Green house has white walls and steep roofs but the similarity ends there. Unlike historic Tidewater houses, this plan’s massing and functions are organized into pavilions defined by the function within. Some of the pavilions are linked by connections with walls of frameless panes of glass resting on brick sills for a striking solid/void juxtaposition of wall and glass. Other pavilions are slightly shifted from each other with just enough space for construction workers to accomplish their tasks. The lack of exterior soffits, gutters and trim is a careful and deliberate abstraction of traditional detailing.

Many of the pavilions have floor to ceiling glass panes at the main level to create an “outlook” to the landscape and water beyond. Above the large glass panes are two levels of multi-paned transoms. The bottom row is open to the main floor of the pavilion and the upper row becomes windows for the second floor. The lack of interior trim allows the wall and floor planes to seamlessly merge and the steep pitched roofs with dormers creates delightful spaces for the guest suites or the loft for the Owner’s artistic endeavors.

The Green house consists of six pavilions. There are two center pavilions with the front pavilion being the entrance hall and support functions. Behind the entry pavilion a short hall leads to the rear sitting room pavilion that faces the water. The rear corners of this dramatic room are floor to ceiling glass panels and the massive chimney rises through the pitched ceiling. At the front corners, glass walled connections on each side lead to two pavilions that are set on a diagonal to the entry and sitting room pavilions. The kitchen/breakfast and dining room pavilion is on the right and is slightly shifted from the garage pavilion by a solid connection. Off the kitchen pavilion, the long pool reaches out to the water and a fence hides the motor court of the garage pavilion. On the left, another sitting room pavilion and the master suite pavilion complete the composition. Terraces off the sitting rooms offer expansive views of the water.

Two guest suites were located on the second floor. One suite is accessed by a “U” shaped cantilevered stair that floats above the floor of the diagonal sitting room pavilion and the other suite is accessed by a spiral stair in the kitchen pavilion. Since the two suites are separated by the main sitting room pavilion, they have total privacy.

The interiors are white to better reflect the light from the varied sources and the firm’s signature “Eggcrate” bookcases are found in the diagonal sitting room. The Mid-Century Modern furnishings include the leather and polished chrome Le Corbusier sofas and the wood Scandinavian dining room table and chairs. It would be very difficult for this architect to choose a favorite detail but the vista from one of the glass-walled connections through the glass corner of the adjacent pavilion to the water beyond was breathtaking.

The Green Residence is a masterpiece of a gifted architect’s vision of domestic architecture in the early 20th century. The photographs that accompany this article were taken last year and belie the age of this iconic house.

Jacobsen Architecture was founded in 2007 by Hugh and Simon Jacobsen and is the recipient of over 140 awards in architecture, design and interiors. The firm’s work spans from much of the US, Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Besides many accolades and publications, the firm has been nominated for the AIA’s Gold Medal four times and is longest running recipient of Architectural Digest’s AD100, the magazine’s list of the top 100 design talents internationally. The Jacobsens are currently working on a new book to be published by Rizzoli titled “Jacobsen Architecture: 12 Houses by Hugh and Simon Jacobsen”.

If you are one of the lucky few on the Eastern Shore to own a Jacobsen house, please contact the Spy as we would welcome another opportunity to feature more of these unique American houses.

For further inspiration, visit the firm’s website . Photographs of the Green Residence courtesy of Sean Shananhan Photography, Sean@shanahanphotography.com, 703-582-9462. 

The Spy is pleased to announce that Simon Jacobsen will make a presentation of his firm’s work over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend on Saturday, January 19th, from 5:00 to 6:30 at the St. Michaels Inn in St. Michaels MD, 1228 S. Talbot Street. Click here for ticket sales.

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: On the Beach

When I moved to the Eastern Shore fourteen years ago, one of my favorite villages was Claiborne.  I loved the Bay setting and the charming older homes, especially the historic Miracle House. I learned its site was developed in the 1930’s as a summer camp for children whose parents had contracted TB. All that remains today is one of the buildings that is now a charming residence and Claiborne’s former one-room schoolhouse was moved to the site.  

This house down the street from Miracle House has a dramatic site along the Eastern Bay and was built in 2005 in the traditional style to blend in with its older neighbors. The front gable, wrap-around porch, rhythm of windows around the center door and the light gray siding with crisp white trim create an appealing front elevation. The rear elevation is dominated by the variety of outdoor spaces to enjoy the panoramic Bay views from a large screened porch flanked by two decks and another deck at the second floor. Steps from both decks led to the lawn and sandy beach beyond for early evening strolls to enjoy stunning sunsets.

The front door opened to the staircase that was centered in the entry hall with  gallery space on the side walls. The stair hall led to the open plan area of the gourmet kitchen, butler’s pantry, dining and sitting areas with captivating water views that was clearly the hub of the house. French doors led to the screened porch and the decks for easy access. The lightly stained hardwood floors and the slightly darker stained trim added warmth to the spaces. I especially liked how the screened panels of the porch were carefully detailed to make them as wide as possible for maximum views of the Bay beyond. A media room and a spacious master suite were also located on the main floor.

Another spacious master suite with a fireplace, guest rooms and the laundry were located on the second floor. The third floor contained storage areas and the shed dormer with its triple window was a cozy bonus room with fantastic “bird’s eye” views of the Bay from that height.

For more information about this property contact Dawn Lednum with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus LLC at 410-745-6702 (o) 410-829-3603 (c) or dawnalednum@gmail.com Design/Build by Dawn Lednum and Safe Harbour Construction, LLC

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 Profile: John Sprinkle on Saving Places on the Mid-Shore and in America

Historic preservation as a concept is not new anymore. In fact, this unique American movement proliferated from such humble beginnings of a few local women saving Washington’s Mt. Vernon in 1858 to now a dedicated agency like the National Park Service with its multi-million dollar budget designed to certify, protect, and sometimes purchase the country’s most important buildings and landscapes of our history and culture.

And like many things on the Mid-Shore, the Spy came upon one man from the region who not only participated in the selection of many of those special places but has written extensively about local and national efforts to help save them.

John Sprinkle, a Chestertown native, is the offspring of a mother from the multigenerational Brooks family of Kent County, and an architect father who specialized in historic preservation, knew very early on that his future would be tied to the past. After completing a masters in historical archaeology and then a doctorate in history from the College of William and Mary, John soon joined the National Park Service and eventually led the agency’s National Historic Landmark Survey, co-directs its Federal Preservation Institute, it’s educational wing, and is also the bureau’s historian.

While his vita has shown a broad interest in the field, he has also participated at the local level where he serves on the City of Alexandria’s Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission and teaches at the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. And in his spare time, John writes books on the subject, with the latest being Saving Spaces: Historic Land Conservation in the United States.

John came back to his hometown last month to give a reading at the Bookplate and was willing to stop by the Spy HQ for a chat about his unique background and his observations on how historic preservation has changed over the years.

This video is approximately eight minutes in length. To purchase of copy of Saving Spaces: Historic Land Conservation in the United States please go here.

Habitat Choptank ReStore Celebrates Eighth Anniversary

Habitat for Humanity Choptank volunteers, staff and board members came together in celebration of a milestone event at their ReStore’s eighth anniversary celebration.  All in attendance enjoyed refreshments, special discounts on a wide array of in-store merchandise including Christmas retail goods, and other family-oriented activities such as face painting and a silent auction. A ceremonial check in the amount of $819,200.68 was presented to the Habitat Choptank affiliate represented by current board president George Fox. The check signifies the cumulative net income the discount home improvement center has generated since it opened in October 2010.  Funds raised by the ReStore are subsequently invested into Habitat Choptank’s mission of implementing affordable home ownership programs in Dorchester and Talbot counties, and effectively, the contribution funds the building of one Habitat Choptank home each year.

“We couldn’t have done this without such a supportive community,” said ReStore manager Chris Smith.  It starts with the donors – businesses and organizations, contractors and individuals – who provide an inventory of donated goods that changes daily.  Then there are the customers – collectors, crafters and artists, do-it-yourself types, and landlords – looking to improve their properties.

And equally as important is team ReStore, which includes a similarly diverse volunteer corps of men and women of all different ages who help with every aspect of the store operation. Smith adds, “our volunteers support the Habitat Choptank mission, by helping to keep new or gently used items out of the landfill, and have fun in the process. I encourage others who want to make a difference in their community to consider volunteering here.”

Photo: Habitat for Humanity Choptank supporters recently celebrated their ReStore’s eighth anniversary with a big check presentation including store manager Chris Smith (bottom right) with George Fox, president on the Habitat Choptank board of directors, holding the check.  

ReStores are resale outlets run by local Habitat affiliates.  Habitat Choptank’s ReStore accepts donated construction materials, home improvement items and furniture.  These goods are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price, effectively providing funding to the affiliate to support the mission of building affordable homes for hardworking families in Talbot and Dorchester Counties.

The Habitat Choptank ReStore, located at 8610 Commerce Drive in Easton, is open Tuesdays– Saturdays for shoppers and donations.  The store also operates two box trucks which are available to pick up larger donations with advance scheduling from around the Mid-Shore region. Hundreds of items are generously brought into the ReStore each month, coming from individuals, families, retailers, and builders from the surrounding area.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has made home ownership possible for 78 families and currently partners with 16 local home buyers. Currently, 9 more homes are under construction in Dorchester and Talbot Counties, with plans to begin construction on 4 homes in St. Michaels in the coming weeks. Income qualifying home buyers are offered access to affordable mortgage financing in order to purchase a new construction or rehabbed home from the nonprofit’s project inventory.  After completing “sweat equity” hours, attending pre-homeownership classes, and meeting debt reduction and savings goals, these individuals and families will purchase homes that they helped construct and assume the full responsibilities of home ownership including maintaining their home, paying property taxes and repaying their mortgage over 30 to 33 years. Habitat accepts applications for its home ownership program throughout the year.

For more information about the Habitat Choptank ReStore, to volunteer with the store or to inquire about making a donation, call 410-820-6186, email restore@habitatchoptank.org or visit www.HabitatChoptank.org.

Spy House of the Week: East Chestnut Charm

I always enjoy featuring houses in a Historic District and this charming house in St. Michaels immediately captivated me. The original house was beautifully restored and a rear addition created a sumptuous master suite. The street elevation was very pleasing with its rhythm of five windows on the second floor and a full screened porch at the main level.  The pale yellow siding, the large windows with dark shutters and the careful detailing of the porch created great curb appeal.

The entry door at the center of the house led to a foyer with the staircase along one wall and a vista through to the kitchen and dining area. The two sitting rooms that flanked the foyer were beautifully decorated with antiques and art. The focal point of the living room was the fireplace between two tall windows and the symmetry and variety of the mantel decorations was a deft touch. The other sitting room was a cozy TV room with walls of art and millwork.

I loved the kitchen dining area with its “L” shaped plan around an island. The hardwood floors, white cabinetry, white granite with gray veining counters, stainless steel appliances and the black accents of the pendant lighting would inspire any cook, especially this one. The adjacent dining area with its antique sideboard and corner cabinet added warmth to the space and French doors on either side of the dining room added daylight throughout the day. One French door led to the driveway and the other led to a fenced outdoor room with paving, dining space under a colorful umbrella and seating between the kitchen area and the master suite.

The master bedroom had a variety of windows on three sides for sunlight throughout the day- high windows over the sleigh bed, a wide bay window and French doors to access the outdoor room.  However, my favorite bedroom was on the second floor decorated in tones of black and white.  The black sensuous curlicues of the iron bedframe, the circular open frame of the nightstand, the Zebra fabric accents and the triple spheres of the floor lamp were delightful.

The best of old and new, a verdant private outdoor room and one lot away from St. Michaels Harbor on a dead-end street-irresistible!

For more information about this property,  contact Cornelia Heckenbach at 410-745-0283 (o), 410-310-1229 (c ), or info@corneliaheckenbach.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: Chance Hope Farm Contemporary

When I search for a House of the Week, there are four criteria I look for: a special site (wooded, waterside or urban or rural) distinctive architecture, appealing interiors and landscape that enhances the site and the architecture. This spectacular site is located on a property that once was farmland but is now a development named Chance Hope Farm. This site is high above the water with panoramic views of the Miles River and two Adirondack chairs on the rear lawn have front row seats for watching the sailboats glide by.

The house was designed by Mark Sullivan Architects of Massachusetts in a contemporary style. The one-story house has a series of hipped roof wings that break up the massing. At the center of the house a second-story wing bisects the house and at each end are triple picture windows with ventilated units below.
The family or “nautical” room faces the water and its custom wood floor of alternating mahogany and maple wood planks, TV, gas fireplace, wet bar and broadwater views was a perfect space for relaxing. A guest bedroom faced the front with the same triple window treatment as the nautical room.

The entrance hall had a pitched ceiling and the landing of the “U” shaped stair faced the front of the house and was deep enough for a chest to display family photographs under an oval decorative window. The stair was primarily detailed in white with accents of stained wood in the treads, newel posts and cap rail. The living room had two focal points; one was the rear wall of French doors with full height sidelights and transoms that followed the line of the pitched ceiling facing the river. The other wall had a fireplace with stained millwork inset into niches flanking the fireplace. Although there was a formal dining room, it would be hard to not choose the breakfast room that projected beyond the rear wall of the house with angled corners so the entire room became a bay window on the water.

The large kitchen with wood cabinets, a combination of granite and corian counters, and a breakfast bar was connected to both the family room and the bay windowed breakfast room for views to the water. The rest of the main floor contained another guest room suite, and office/bedroom. High cathedral ceilings, rooms filled with light, an open floor plan, the unique “nautical” room and breathtaking river views were an appealing combination.

For more information about this property, please contact Tom Crouch with Benson & Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-310-8916 (c ), or tcrouch@bensonandmangold.com, “Equal Housing Authority”.

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.