Gloucester, known for its maritime heritage, fishing industry, historic art colony, and substantial oceanfront houses, is a popular destination on Massachusetts’ Cape Ann peninsula. The “Back Shore” portion is dominated by one of New England’s most iconic seafront boulevards. This contemporary shingle style house enjoys a prime site on the boulevard with spectacular views overlooking Brace Rock. With the mouth of Gloucester Harbor just beyond, the daily activity of the working port makes for continuous and dynamic enjoyment.
|Scope of Work||Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Construction|
|Finished Space Above Grade||4,168|
|Photography||Brian Vanden Brink|
The broad gable of the front of the house harkens back to the late 19th Century shingle style of McKim Mead and White. Small dormers march up the long roof, punctuating the drama and providing shafts of light inside. The roof culminates in a flaring copper chimney cap with zig-zag openings symbolizing the flames below. The garage doors are hidden at the end of a low wing that projects off the far side of the house. Sitting at the apex of the hip-roofed wing, a cupola and finial balance overall horizontality. The peaks of the broad gable and lower cascading gables that drop down to the entry porch level are like arrowheads, and the finial like a spear, facing the heavens.
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.
On this side the broad gable transforms, at its center, into a full two-stories that project forward under another hipped roof. Ocean views are maximized from both floors while large overhangs provide shading.