Gloucester is a coastal community known for its maritime heritage and fishing industry, and is a popular summertime destination on Massachusetts’ North Shore. Its “Back Shore” is dominated by one of New England’s most iconic, historic seafront boulevards. This shingle style house enjoys a special site along the boulevard with spectacular views overlooking Brace Rock. With the mouth of Gloucester Harbor nearby, daily activity in and out of the harbor makes for continuous dynamic enjoyment.
When deciding to design and build a new home, it was important to our clients that it fit into the architecture of the neighborhood. Capitalizing on the views out to the water and to Brace Rock was also important. To do this, we needed to create a driveway and landscape that drew you to a landward-facing front door, so that the rear of the house could take full advantage of the views. At the front, a screen wall pronounces entry. At the rear, continuous bands of windows capture the ocean views. A large first-floor porch and a second-floor balcony extend the living spaces and provide additional outlook. Curves in the house’s shape and in bracket details add character and charm to the shingle style home.
For the interiors, our clients wanted to use local materials that told a story. For the fireplace surround in the living room, the stones are all Rockport Granite, hand selected from Johnson’s Quarry in Rockport, another storied historic town that shares the Cape Ann Peninsula with Gloucester. The mantle is a reclaimed partially hewn log from the Charleston Naval Yard that was recently discovered buried in the mud, and perfectly preserved. It was originally stored for use in the construction or repair of the famous ship USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides. Stamped on the end of the wood are identifying Naval codes. Other unique details include the built-in cabinetry in the main living spaces, a curved built-in office desk, and various ceiling shapes. The house includes open living spaces for gathering, but also spaces for quiet retreat, such as the study and primary bedroom with its own private outdoor terrace.