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Restoring a Classic

A century ago, this classic Provincetown home overlooking Cape Cod Bay was a distinctive residence in the historic Cape Cod seaport.

Photography by Eric Roth

A century ago, this classic Provincetown home overlooking Cape Cod Bay was a distinctive residence in the historic Cape Cod seaport.
The stucture’s rich nautical heritage dates back to its construction by a late nineteenth-century sea captain. With the help of architect Chris Brown, AIA, of b Architecture Studio in Melrose and the builders of North Eastham’s Cape Associates, Inc., the structure was recently transformed into one Cape Cod couple’s elegant, 3,300-square-footdream home.

When homeowners El and Ro purchased the residence, they viewed its apartment-styled floor plan­—part of a 1970s remodel—as out of sync with the home’s historic character. Brown’s reimagining of the home allowed two second-floor bedrooms to remain intact, while he added a fabulous new master bedroom and bathroom with spectacular views. “We carved in a private balcony,” he says, “that transitions the outdoor space into their bedroom and the master bath, bringing in seaside breezes and beautiful views of Cape Cod Bay.”

The construction crew completely renovated the first floor, transforming the space from three apartments, all in various states of disrepair, to a spacious full-service kitchen, an elegant dining room, and a cozy sitting room. “The house was redone in the 90s, but not in the beautiful Cape style that we love,” says El, one of the homeowners. “We purchased the home in order to convert it back to the beautiful single-family house it once was.”

“We based the design around the home’s historic street view,” says Brown. Before making any changes, though, the architectural/building team met with the Provincetown Historical Commission to ensure that the historic elements on the front-facing, street side of the home—primarily encompassing the window sizes and placements—were preserved.

“We felt that the exterior of the home did not match the rest of the street when we first bought the house,” says El. The aluminum siding on the street side of the house, for example, stuck out in a residential neighborhood loaded with the classic weathered-shingles of many old Cape homes. For their home, El and Ro decided to replace the jarring aluminum with wooden shingles and then chose shutters with whale cutouts painted bright blue for extra pop. “We wanted something to distinguish the house for pedestrians as they walk by,” says Brown. “Adding the whales made it more unique.”

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