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At the time, Kristen was studying residential design at Suffolk University’s New England School of Art and Design and decided to direct the ship’s renovation. After initial work completed at a Fairhaven, Mass., shipyard, the lightship ended up at New Bedford’s State Pier, where, acting as general contractor, Kristen assembled a dedicated team of skilled craftspeople to bring her vision to life. “Outside, we vowed to keep her red hull the same,” explains Kristen. “But I wanted the interior to feel very much like it was part of history—an ‘if these walls could talk’ scenario. We tested out many different kinds of wood with different stains and treatments, experimenting with what looked best. And I used a lot of tapestry fabrics to give the rooms a rich and storied quality.”

Saving Grace Saving Grace
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Jennifer Sperry is a freelance writer based in New Bedford.

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