The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 13, 2004


This Old House comes to Carlisle

This Old House is busy planning for a major redo of Harold and Judy Lane's 1849 historic house and barn located at 730 Concord Street, on the corner of South Street. With producers, architect, and Carlisle's own Norm Abram in attendance along with lots of interested town's people, the Heald Room at the Town Hall was overflowing at the February 5 meeting, with many in the hall.

The audience was treated to an historical architectural discourse on this 19th century example of a "big house, little house, barn and back house" structure. Architect Jeremiah Eck told the board that he had no intention of tearing down the structure, intent on keeping the spirit of the "big house, little house." He said he "wanted to bring new functionality and aesthetics to the existing structure, as it was long in the tooth, and in need of renovation. The challenge was to keep the spirit of the structure, but to bring it up to date, so that people would want to live in it."

His plan is to have three major parts. In the old house, he will keep the front entrance, add a new master bedroom downstairs, and upstairs have two rooms for children. The center of the house is in the worst shape he told the board. Here major reworking will be done, to include new kitchen, dining room and mudroom, along with a different roof line. Thirdly, the barn would remain a barn, with the back portion turned into a living area, with a small guest room.

Although the original 1849 house was part of a 75-acre farm, it is now sited on a non-conforming lot of only 1.25 acres and is in need of a special permit to make renovations. The footprint of the structure is not increasing, living area is increasing by only 18%, well within the 50% maximum, and it is not increasing the set back violation.

The renovation to the barn is under the by-law that refers to Distinctive Structures in the town, which was written to preserve the look of historic barns such as this one.

Asked by abutter Chip Dewing of 36 South Street what the ultimate intention of the restoration would be, produced Russ Morash of This Old House said, that they would start working on it in March, fix it up, then sell it, and return it to individual ownership.

The board granted the permits necessary to go forth with this plan with the following conditions:

Construction would start within a year

Approval goes to This Old House, and not owner of property

Needs to meet all state and town requirements

Must remain a single family house

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito