All posts by Mary Bergman

The Life & Work of Addison Mizner on August 23rd

Addison Mizner

 

We’re thrilled to partner with the Nantucket Historical Association to  present a lecture on The Life and Work of Addison Mizner with author Richard René Silvin. Join us Thursday, August 23  at 6:00 PM at the Nantucket Whaling Museum to learn more about the noted (and elusive) society architect of Palm Beach, Addison Mizner. Tickets available here.

Addison Mizner (1872-1933) spent his early life in Spain and Central America. His father was US minister to Guatemala, and young Mizner was heavily influenced by Spanish culture and heritage. He spent ten years as an apprentice before unleashing his talent on the architecture scene. Mizer’s first major commission was the Everglades Club, one of the world’s most exclusive golf clubs. Mizner went on to design many buildings in the Palm Beach area and was a driving force in the development of the city of Boca Raton.

Richard Rene Silvin

Richard René Silvin’s fascinating life has taken him all over the world. Born in New York, he grew up attending Swiss boarding schools. He earned a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from Cornell University, after which he spent 25 years in the investor owned hospital industry. He was the head of the International Division of American Medical International, Inc. which owned and operated hospitals in ten countries.

Silvin survived a late-stage cancer and retired from his role at American Medical International, only to begin an exciting second career as an author. Silvan has published five books, including a memoir about his friendship with the late Duchess of Windsor and a history of Palm Beach as seen through the eyes of Mizner. His latest work is about the SS Normandie, the French Lien’s magnificent 1930’s flagship.

Silvin has lectured widely on hospital administration and comparative international care systems. He is currently the vice-chairman of the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Get your tickets online here or by calling the NHA, 508.228.1894.

Support the NPT at the August Fête & Nantucket Summer Antiques Show

 

August is finally here, and with it comes our most-anticipated event of the year, the annual August Fête!

This year’s Fête takes place on Thursday, August 9th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and explores the School Street neighborhood. You’ll get a chance to tour four historic homes and enjoy a tented reception on the lawn of the Old Schoolmaster’s House. With refreshments and libations from the Nantucket Catering Company and Spanky’s Raw Bar, entertainment from the Shep Cats, and our thoughtfully curated Sense of Place exhibit and auction, you’ll have a fantastic time celebrating Nantucket’s architectural history.

22 Fair Street, one of the historic homes you’ll tour at the August Fete.

There’s still time to get your tickets. Give us a call at 508.228.1387 to reserve yours today. New this year is our pre-check in, where we are encouraging guests to stop by the NPT offices on 11 Centre Street Monday-Wednesday this week to pick up your buttons that will let you in to the reception site and all the open houses. Skip the line and spend more time enjoying yourself at the 2018 August Fête.

The festivities continue Friday, August 10th with two events at the Nantucket Summer Antiques Show to sponsor the NPT’s Mary Helen and Michael Fabacher Scholarship.

Shop with award-winning interior designer Susan Zises Green at 9:00 AM and learn how to make the most of your antique show finds. Tickets are very limited and $100 per person. Includes 10:00 AM preview shopping and brunch, as well as admission to the Antiques Show all four days.

At 10:00 AM on Friday, the annual Strawberries & Cream Preview Brunch is a fun way to kick off the Antiques Show weekend and get an early look at all the vendors. Tickets are included with Fête leadership, $40 in advance, or $45 at the door.

Call us at 508.228.1387 to reserve your tickets today for all these exciting events.

August Fête Open Houses Sneak Peek!

Each year, the open houses are the highlights of the August Fête. This year, we’ll be exploring the School Street neighborhood in the Fish Lots. Here is a sneak peek at two of the houses that will be open for guests to tour.

Henry Coffin, Mariner | 22 Fair Street c. 1749-1756

The land at 22 Fair Street was originally owned by James Coffin (1640-1720) son of Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens Coffin. James Coffin was granted ownership of the 4th Fish Lot in 1717 but died three years later. His youngest son, Jonathan Coffin (1692-1773) appears to have inherited much of the 4th Fish Lot at age 29. Jonathan Coffin then granted the land to his son Henry Coffin (1716-1756) when Henry was a 33-year-old mariner. Henry Coffin married and had five children. A deed from 1808 in which Henry Coffin’s two oldest sons sold their interests in a piece of land “and a dwelling house” describes the property—including the house—as having been formerly owned by their late father from 1749 until his death in 1756.

 

Thomas Macy | 3 Tattle Court c. 1690-1700

The house at the end of Tattle Court was once the residence of Thomas Macy, which accounts for the earlier name of the court, Macy Lane. One of the oldest houses in the Fish Lots and perhaps on island, it is believed to have been moved from the original settlement at Sherburne and rebuilt at its present location soon after the neighborhood was laid out in 1717. Like most Nantucket houses from the early period, it faces south. The house was labeled “old and vacant” on the Sanborn Insurance Company map dated 1904 but was restored mid-century by Stewart and Maude Mooney.

A Place to Call Home with Gil Schafer | July 19th at the Great Harbor Yacht Club

Click here to purchase tickets.

In Gil Schafer’s bestselling first book, The Great American House, he uncovered just what makes a house a home. Architecture, landscape, and decoration all work together to create your own oasis. In his second book, A Place to Call Home: Tradition, Style, and Memory and in the New American House, Schafer shows how “traditional and classical principles can blend with a sense of place to create beautifully realized homes in a range of styles, all with the satisfying tensions of fancy and simple, past and present.”

A Gil Schafer designed space.

Schafer is known for stunning homes that fit seamlessly on the land they occupy, both in design and scale. A Place to Call Home highlights some of Schafer’s different projects, and the distinct landscapes they occupy. We quickly learn that the character of the landscape informs the style and scale of the house.

Every part of Nantucket tells a story.

 

Nantucket is a place like no other, where we are acutely aware of the relationship between the past and present as we move through the island. Whether it is the historic buildings of downtown, the wild open spaces of the moors and south shore beaches, or the quaint rose-covered cottages of ‘Sconset, we exist in that very space Schafer writes of—“the satisfying tensions of…past and present.”

We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a fascinating afternoon with award winning architect Gil Schafer III, one of the world’s leading experts on contemporary classical architecture.

There are a still a handful of tickets left. Call our offices at 508.228.1387 or purchase online by clicking here. 

2018 Preservation Awards Ceremony

Last week, we gathered to honor the 2018 Preservation Award recipients at the Governor’s room of the Great Harbor Yacht Club.

Thanks to all who participated, and to Mark Hubbard for the beautiful pen-and-ink drawings of the award winning properties.

The Architectural Preservation Award 
The Hospital Thrift Shop
17 India Street

 

With limited resources, the Hospital Thrift Shop (HTS) embarked on much needed maintenance of the Macy-Horsfield House at 17 India Street. The almost all-volunteer organization sought to make the building safer for its many visitors. The house (built in 1792) had been the victim of years of water damage, resulting in a rotten sill, a moving rubble foundation, and a building that bowed out into the driveway. The HTS consulted preservationist Brian Pfeiffer, who connected the organization with craftpeople on the island (Matt Anderson, Pen Austin, and Mike Gault) and at the North Bennet Street School (Michael Burrey and students) who used traditional building methods and materials to repair the integrity of the timber frame, the rubble foundation, the sill, and the plaster walls. This level of stewardship by volunteers is highly commendable and a great reminder that proper maintenance is the root of preservation.

 

The Caroline A. Ellis Landscape Award
Mariann Berg (Hundahl) Appley
69 Main Street

The house and gardens at 69 Main Street (Mitchell-Beinecke house, ca. 1821-1833), now under the stewardship of Mrs. Mariann Appley, are an important part of the Upper Main Street landscape. The house is a reminder of the wealth whaling brought to Nantucket, while the gardens are illustrative of the island’s reinvention in the 1960s and 1970s, as spurred, in large part, by former owner Walter Beinecke. As part of the 1962 restoration, Beinecke added a formal garden, a greenhouse and the Georgian-inspired tool-houses connected by a bench and arbor, in keeping with the character and period of the restoration. Mrs. Appley purchased the property in 1979. She is accomplished gardener and long-time member and former President of the Nantucket Garden Club. Understanding the importance of the both the house and grounds at 69 Main Street, she will be placing a preservation easement on the interior, exterior, and gardens of the property. Not only has she been a careful steward of the property’s landscape, but the easement will ensure it is protected for decades to come.

 

The John A. and Katherine S. Lodge Stewardship Award 
John Ray House | 8 Ray’s Court
The Harris Family

 Since 1945, the John Ray House (c. 1753) at 8 Ray’s Court has been thoughtfully cared for by one family. Purchased that year by Rachel Carpenter, the house passed to Rachel’s nephew, Don Harris, and his wife, Beverly in 1975. Don, who passed away last year, grew up spending summer at the house and relished its history. Preservation of the house was extremely important to him, and Don and Beverly soon became fixtures at many preservation-education programs so they could gain knowledge about the house and its proper care. Much of the everyday maintenance of the house and repairs have been completed by them. The Harris family has also been willing to share the house—opening for others to learn, including the Preservation Institute Nantucket students. Today, due to the family’s preservation commitment, the John Ray House remains a fine example of an early Nantucket house that has evolved overtime and yet retains its architectural integrity. Before his death, Don wrote of the house, “Everything in the house breathes the past.”

Traditional Building Methods Award 
Wayne Morris, Mason

The NPT is pleased to recognize mason Wayne Morris in honor of his more than forty years of service to the island’s historic structures. He is well known among island craftspeople and tradespeople for his hard work, fairness, expert ability, and his willingness to think outside the box. Mr. Morris has worked on numerous buildings on the island, both private and public. Many of these buildings are an integral part of this community and include landmarks such as St. Paul’s Church where he worked on the new addition; the Coffin School on Winter Street where he replaced damaged brick and developed appropriate mortar; and the Maria Mitchell Science Library on Vestal Street, where he repaired the stucco wall system.

 

 

New Construction Award
Nantucket Yacht Club Dormitory | 4 South Beach Street
Emeritus Development and Nantucket Yacht Club

Designing a large commercial building in a historic district is not an easy task and poses many challenges. The Nantucket Yacht Club (NYC) and Emeritus Development were able to successfully complete large-scale, new construction that fits into the historic surroundings. The Yacht Club Dormitory at 4 South Beach Street is a 6,000-square foot building and contains sixteen dormitory units. Emeritus addressed the challenge by breaking up the massing, employing a low roof, and adding ornamentation like a shingle flare, to evoke the architecture of the early twentieth century. The structure also took its design cues and scale from the adjoining NYC. In addition to sensitively fitting into the streetscape, this building addresses the island’s critical housing need and will provide employee housing that will contribute to the vitality of the downtown year-round.

August Fête in the Fish Lots!

 

This year’s August Fête will be held in the Fish Lots…but, where, exactly, are the Fish Lots and where did the name come from?

The English settlers who purchased the west end of the island from Thomas Mayhew formed a Proprietorship that allowed each of them an equal share of house-lot land from Capaum Harbor to Hummock Pond. The remainder of the island was held in common for pasture, hayfields, timber rights, and other purposes. However, the settlers soon realized they would need to turn to the sea, and the larger harbor, to seek their fortunes.

The Fish Lots, created by the Proprietors in 1717, was the second major division of land at the site of the present town—bounded on the east by Quanaty Bank, on the west by Pine Street, and divided east and west by Fair Street. The lots comprised 27 sections—one share for each of the 20 original landholders and one half-share for each of the 14 half-share tradesmen. They have long been called the Fish Lots because their proximity to the harbor made them a place where fisherman dried codfish on wooden racks. Later, these lots became home to mariners, craftsmen, and tradesmen.

Today, there’s no codfish drying occurring in the Fish Lots, but there will be a great party on School Street on Thursday, August 9th. Tickets are available now, get yours online by clicking here or by calling the NPT offices at 508.228.1287. You’ll get a chance to see inside houses in the School Street neighborhood, and learn more about the people who lived in the Fish Lots.

Nantucket’s Literary History Part 4

This is the last in our short series highlighting the homes and buildings that inspired a few Nantucket writers. What part of Nantucket inspires you?

5 Quaise Pastures Road: Frank Conroy

Award winning author and director of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Frank Conroy lived on Nantucket on and off from 1973 to 2004. Conroy died in 2005, but left behind a beautiful book of essays on his island life, Time and Tide.

Conroy came to Nantucket in 1955 as a college student, living in shared housing arrangements in very much the same way students today do (and one imagines, always will). His acclaimed memoir, Stop-Time was published in 1967.

Conroy moved to Nantucket in the 1970s, where he wrote magazine articles, played jazz piano, and worked as a scalloper. He taught writing at many colleges and universities, served as the director of the literature program at the National Endowment for the Arts, and was appointed director of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 1987.

Conroy’s Nantucket home was unique. Architect Jock Gifford (now of Design Associates) completed construction on Conroy’s Polpis barn-style home in 1973. Set back on a secluded parcel of land overlooking Polpis Harbor, it was the perfect spot for a writer and musician.

The outside oak lumber for Conroy’s barn came from a Pennsylvania sawmill, and the inside exposed chestnut beams were taken from a 160-year-old tobacco barn in PA. When the Inquirer & Mirror visited Conroy at home in 1974, he kept a photograph of friend and fellow author Norman Mailer hanging from one of the antique beams.

The Conroy house was sold in 2012. It has since been demolished.

Nantucket’s Literary History Part 3

Gilbreth Family. Courtesy NHA

 

92 Hulbert Ave “The Bug-Lights”: Ernestine Gilbreth Carey & Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr.

The twin lighthouses that dot the extension of Hulbert Ave are officially called the Nantucket Cliff Beacons but more often called the bug-lights (1838). These structures were the unlikely summer home of industrial engineers and efficiency experts Frank B. Gilbreth, Sr., Dr. Lillian M. Gilbreth, and their 12 children.

Originally located on Cliff Beach, the lights worked in conjunction with the range lights on Brant Point and buoys to guide vessels into the channel. The bug lights were decommissioned in 1908.

Courtesy NHA.

The Gilbreths purchased the property with the keeper’s toolhouse and the smaller light in 1921. By 1952, the keeper’s toolhouse was replaced with a larger cottage. The larger light tower was moved (by horse!) to the Gilbreth property. The towers were converted to dormitories for the many Gilbreth children.

Frank Jr. and Ernestine wrote two books together chronicling their unique family, Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes. Frank Jr. authored other books inspired by his life on the island, including Innside Nantucket and Of Whales and Women. Ernestine wrote Jumping Jupiter and Rings Around Us.

In 1991, Frank Jr. wrote “We have lovingly preserved [the bug lights], but I can’t overstress how well the structures were built and how amazingly sound they are today. In the seventy years we’ve had them, not a single shingle has needed to be replaced on the sides of either structure.” The bug lights and cottage are still in the Gilbreth family today.

Courtesy NHA.

Nantucket’s Literary History Part 2

In honor of Preservation Month & the upcoming Nantucket Book Festival,  this week we’re taking a look at some of the architecture of Nantucket’s literary history. Our short series continues…

7 Silver Street: John Guare

From 1975 to 1978, 7 Silver Street (ca. 1830s) was the home of playwright and author John Guare. Guare wrote Landscape of the Body and Marco Polo Sings a Solo during the years he owned 7 Silver Street.

The 1970s saw a bustling theatrical scene on the island, with many of Guare’s plays performed at the island’s local stages. Guare’s time on the island informed his “Nantucket” series of plays: Gardenia, Lydie Breeze, Women in the Water, and Judith.

Guare met his wife Adele Chatfield-Taylor, an architectural preservationist, in 1975 on Nantucket.

Guare came to Nantucket in the 1960s while a student at Yale Drama School, as a caretaker for C.L and Marion Sibley at 111 Main Street (1746). He returned to the island throughout the 1980s to work on his plays.