Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty looks at some vernacular history of Cape Cod and a special home – now being sold through local specialists, Robert Paul Properties – that marks the development of a much-loved and almost three-hundred year old style in the twenty first century.
Cape Cod has an architectural style all of its own. But it became so popular that now examples can be seen all over New England and beyond. Cape Cod was the jumping off point for the Pilgrim Fathers. The style of the Pilgrims’ first houses became the Cape Cod cottage style. As such it is as old as America. Great design needs little change over time and little has changed with the look of these houses over the years apart from the size, an extra floor or two and the addition here and there of a gambrel – or mansard – roof.
In many ways the Cape Cod cottage was America’s first modular home – it grew with its family occupants. As the family enlarged and expanded another bit was added to the house. America borrowed many architectural styles from other places around the world. But the Cape Cod cottage has become as American as apple pie.
Many of these cottages have now been extended and adapted to suit modern needs. But the success and popularity of the vernacular style does not wane and new homes following the design tradition are constantly commissioned by owners keen to experience and identify with the Cape Cod lifestyle.
And so we come to 19 Magnolia Ave, West Hyannisport, Massachusetts. This house demonstrates perfectly how little the style has strayed from its roots but how far it has come as a modern home.
A house that works like this is usually a collaboration of commissioning owner, architect, builder, interior designer and even subsequent owners. Here the architectural firm, Archi-Tech Associates in Cotuit, worked with equally local builders, Kendall and Welch from Osterville. Together they built a wonderfully comfortable and classic shingle-style beach house in the Cape Cod tradition that works on a number of all-important levels.
Situated on 1.3 acres and within a short stroll of the private beach, the house has been given a light and airy feel with 9ft ceilings and well-placed French doors and transom windows to make the most of the fine ocean views and garden.
Living in Cape Cod is a unique and special experience. The look of the architecture and landscape, the feel of sand on bare feet and the smell of the fresh Atlantic salt air all combine to create something magical. Experience the magic. Visit 19 Magnolia Ave.