Friday, March 5, 2010

Architects' Exterior Plans

I've received the first draft of exterior plans from The Architects! There's not a lot of creativity in these plans because this is where we're staying true to the Greek Revival style. Even though the porch was originally on the house, a rebuilt porch is considered "nonconforming" because of this closeness to the property line and I'm going to have to go before the Cambridge Zoning Board of Appeals. By staying historically true to the restoration, I can seek the support of the Historical Commission who can send a recommendation to the Zoning Board. This approval process can take about three months so getting the ball rolling is critical if I want to get this done this year.

Just a reminder, this is what the house looks like.

Below are the plans for the front elevation. It's kind of hard to see how the porch extends from the front of the house but you can see the outline of the new columns. The windows are being replaced with six over six double hung windows, the living room windows are being expanded (I'm not sure I'll do this), there's a new front door with sidelights and the wide corner boards have been replaced. Also note how there's no "siding" on the pediment (the triangular area around the attic window) and under the porch. Many of the Greek Revivals around the neighborhood use tongue-and-groove boards in these areas.
Although, it's possible that we'll find something different when all the layers are peeled back, we've modeled many of the details after this beautiful example that I showed a few weeks ago, although I've flipped the photo so the door is on the same side as mine.
Here's another house where you can see a close-up of this tongue-and-groove siding on the pediment.
This is the garden side elevation also showing the new windows, siding and corner boards. You can see the porch profile from this elevation. Although the vinyl siding will be removed all around the house, we're not going to be dealing with the back porch in this phase. It's a very complicated issue that I'll post about later, but for now, the shingles that are under the vinyl will be painted so that everything matches.
This is the current view of this side of the house.
The next step is to get a formal survey done to document the property lines and to get contractors here to give me some estimates. It's exciting and scary all at the same time.


  1. They've done a really nice job on the elevations. The front will look fantastic. When will you start taking down the siding? I'm very interested to see what's beneath. I have my fingers crossed that you'll find alot of the original details. It amazes me how people just slap siding up on a house and obliterate architectural details. Here's hoping the vinyl protected the good stuff! And that's a freat side porch area you have.

  2. Hi Steve, I'm so excited for you! This is going to be quite the reveal. And everytime I see that photo of your picket fence, I just swoon. I absolutely LOVE it! Have a great weekend! Trina