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Gloucester PSD 0 Mobile

Brace Rock

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.

Gloucester PSD 2 L Exterior Gate
Scope of Work Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Construction
Finished Space Above Grade 4,168
Photography Brian Vanden Brink
Gloucester PSD 1 Exterior
Gloucester PSD 2 R Exterior Entry

The shingle style, historically associated with New England seaside living, characterizes some of the best houses on the boulevard. Brace Rock seeks to join this tradition, but to also feel fresh and of its time.

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.

Gloucester PSD 3 L Interior Entry1
Gloucester PSD 3 R Living Room
Gloucester PSD 6 L Windowto View
Gloucester PSD 4 R Fireplace
Gloucester PSD 4 Interior Living
Gloucester PSD 6 R Mudroom

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.

Gloucester PSD 7 L Office
Gloucester PSD 7 R Office
Gloucester PSD 8 L Primary Bedroom
Gloucester PSD 8 R Primary Bedroom Sitting
Gloucester PSD 9 Primary Bath
Gloucester PSD 7 L Study
Gloucester PSD 7 R Study
Gloucester PSD 13 Exterior View

The main view from the house is over a deck, sweeping lawn, and field of flowers.

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.

Gloucester PSD 14 L Exterior Rear
Gloucester PSD 14 R Second Floor Porch
Gloucester PSD 12 L Landscape
Gloucester PSD 12 R Landscape
Gloucester PSD 15 Exterior Rear Dusk
Brace Rock PSD Landscape

As Seen In...

PSD's "Brace Rock" project is featured on the cover and in Northshore Home Summer 2022 issue.
Northshore Home

Personal Approach, by Mary Grauerholz, Summer 2022.