Osterville Captain’s Compound
Since the downstairs portion of the new wing so ably satisfies the needs of the owners, the second story could be devoted to children, grandchildren and guests. The great room extends upstairs in a double-height atrium, which creates a gallery to the action down below. The second floor houses a total of six bedrooms, two of which are en suite and four of which share “Jack and Jill” bathrooms. An upper den doubles as a second living room, and it opens to the two decks above the pool area.
The crown of Captain’s Compound is an attic living area, with a staircase rising to a widow’s walk that was inset into the reframed roof. Recapturing another detail of historic function in the home’s renovation, the open chimney-side roost is nearly invisible, nestled as it is. Here is the perfect vantage point for spotting schools of bluefish or false albacore in Nantucket Sound, or for taking in the rainbow of billowing spinnakers during a Sunday afternoon Wianno Senior sailboat race. Unlike a typical widow’s walk, accessed by a ship’s ladder and fenced by white railings, the recessed structure offers an easier, safer experience, especially for small children, and it provides shelter from the wind without compromising the panoramic views. If Jay Gatsby did inhabit Captain’s Compound, this is where he’d take Daisy Buchanan, up into the moonlight, removed from the festivities below.
Patrick Ahearn and E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, Inc. won gold in the 2016 BRICC Awards Excellence in Remodeling category in part because of the ways the team overcame such challenges as “expanding the home without sacrificing the original character or increasing its scale,” according to Ahearn. The team also succeeded in restricting the height of Captain’s Compound to 26 feet, even though zoning permitted 36. The result, says Ahearn, is “all about the smaller scale; it feels like it’s from another time.”
In the cultural deification of The Great Gatsby, many people forget that the character was ostentatious, perhaps even tacky, but this is one quality Captain’s Compound has managed to avoid. The home exudes the style and implied decadence of Gatsby’s roaring 20s, yet remains devoid of the garishness; it’s the ultimate refined New England beach cottage. Of the historic renovation, Jaxtimer says, “Ahearn is known for this.” Ahearn himself concludes, “It truly feels timeless in its appeal, with a real sense of intimacy. It’s the ultimate seaside experience.”
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