Blueprint for Excellence Carolyn Dvorsack

Architect John Dvorsack’s office, located in historic Highfield Hall in Falmouth, is a picture of subtle color and form. Look closely and you’ll see the hand-cut nails that stud the pumpkin pine floor. In late afternoon, you may notice a particular golden light that pours through the deep original windows. The bright, spacious office, tucked away on the second floor of the grand 1878 former estate—now a cultural center—perfectly melds historic craftsmanship, the natural world, and modern architectural practices.

Whether new construction or renovations, the same focus on pleasing, functional detail is infused throughout Dvorsack’s work. One of his recent projects was on the site of an original 1915 fishing cottage overlooking Megansett Harbor. Though it was in a state of disrepair, the owners had a strong emotional connection to the antique cottage’s character and feel. Rather than use new products, Dvorsack salvaged and restored the cottage’s front door, accent windows, interior doors, original hardware, beadboard, and oversized exterior columns, and designed the new house to incorporate these old elements. The old exterior pergola and massive century-old Wisteria were also saved. The Wisteria was relocated to another corner of the property, and the old-growth heart pine pergola was milled and fabricated into the stair newels and powder room vanity. The end result is a beautiful new home that respects and feels like the original. 

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Mary Grauerholz

Mary Grauerholz is the communications manager of the Cape Cod Foundation and a freelance writer.

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