Friday, November 19, 2004
This Old House team reaches filming midpoint
With the "for sale" sign in front of 730 Concord Street, one might think that the This Old House project was nearing completion. Not so. In fact, the film crew has captured only about half of the planned 26 shows. Six shows have aired to date, and broadcasts will continue to run weekly for the next five months.
Realtor Laura Baliestiero, the Coldwell Banker broker representing the property, says she has already had a few inquiries about the property even though the price hasn't been finalized. "We're working towards the asking price," Baliestiero said. "It'll be somewhere in the vicinity of two million dollars."
The television show purchased the property for $645,000 last spring. Baliestiero, the top seller of Carlisle real estate according to MLS data in terms of volume, appeared in the third "This Old House" show this season. At the time, she called the property "a challenge."
Since that time, the This Old House crew has reworked the interior structure of the building according to the plans of architect Jeremiah Ek. For example, the plans required the removal and upgrading of the ell section of the building to allow for a top-of-the-line kitchen, enhanced dining area, and an entirely new master bedroom suite. The interior of the barn will become family living space with dramatic and soaring open spaces and windows. Only the upstairs area of the original Greek Revival house remains relatively intact with space for two bedrooms. Construction, about two thirds complete, will probably end by January, 2005.
A troupe of 17 designers will then embark on completing the interior. The Carlisle property will open to the public in the spring as a "Designer Showcase" for about six weeks.
Show producer Deborah Hood explained, "The last three episodes will concern themselves with the rooms: the finishes, the interior design, furniture, the paint."
Board of Appeals reviews project
In the second This Old House show, show host Kevin O'Connor met with Terry Herndon of the Carlisle Board of Appeals. The two discussed the town bylaws that do not permit the size of the building to increase by 50% and the ability for a homeowner to convert barn space into living space.
"This is all the movies," quipped Herndon. "The board had met weeks before. I wouldn't have talked to them before a hearing." Although the show's content made it seem that the board still was going to meet, Herndon explained they were actually reviewing the decisions already made at the meeting.
Some This Old House viewers in town learned from the show that Herndon works as an inventor. In fact, he has spent the last three years developing a device for medical use to drill tiny holes into an individual's nail bed and allow for application of medicine. This could enable the painless treatment of common nail fungi, and has promise for such diseases as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Bypassing the skin barrier (stratumcorneum) — the area that peels after a sunburn — turns out to be far less invasive and eliminates patient suffering from the pricks of needles. Herndon has already obtained one patent for the device and has applied for another.
The town has had a starring role in many of the This Old House episodes. A visit to Great Brook Farm and Mark Duffy highlighted the fact that 25% of the town remains open space. And some of the town residents are stars in their own right. For example, color consultant Bonnie Krims of Westford Street will provide advice to the This Old House team about midway through the broadcast season. And, of course, we cannot forget Norm Abram — whose residency in town is a well-kept secret — a master carpenter and a frequent contributor to the current show.
What is it like to be a neighbor to This Old House? The Carlisle Historical Society, located next door at 698 Concord Street, provides an occasional parking spot for visitors at the site. Charlie Forsberg, president of the society, believes the work helped raise the visibility of the home of the society. "Everyone knows where the This Old House property is located," he said. "Now we can tell people we're just next door."
In fact, 2004 seems to have been the summer of the barn: both This Old House and the Carlisle Historical Society were working on restoring their barns at the same time. Another neighboring house just two properties down added a new barn structure.
With respect to stars in town, don't be surprised if you run into O'Connor at Ferns one morning. He stops by to pick up coffee whenever filming in town, and finds himself easily recognized.
"It's a great rural town," said O'Connor. "I love it." He noted somewhat wistfully that he wished he could hang around longerand could afford to buy the property at 730 Concord Street.
You can watch (or tape) The New This Old House Hour on the following local stations at these times:
Thursdays, 8 p.m.
Fridays, 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Fridays, 4 a.m.
Saturdays, 5 p.m.
Saturdays, 2 p.m.
Sundays, 10 a.m.
Visit This Old House
© 2004 The Carlisle Mosquito