Historical Preservation

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An important facet of sustainable architecture includes using building materials that are not harmful to the environment, as well as reusing materials whenever possible. Salvaged wood can be upcycled and used in many applications that meet both of those criteria. Considering the beauty, uniqueness and historical quality of reclaimed wood, you should not overlook its usefulness.

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In an era where energy-efficiency is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, when it comes to lighting a home effectively, modernizing the lighting in an historic preservation can be a challenge for both the homeowner and the architect. In order to protect the integrity of historic preservation in New England, finding a balance between the natural daylight and historic light fixtures with modern upgrades is essential.

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TMS Architects recently had the opportunity to work again with  Rob Karosis to photograph an unusual architectural project that Shannon Alther, TMS principal, worked on recently.  The homeowners of this beautiful home and barn had lived in the area for years and were thinking seriously about downsizing…apparently all they really needed in a new locale was access to the internet and an airport.  However, the more they thought about leaving the area, the pull of family and grandchildren was hard to ignore so they came up with an ingenious solution in lieu of leaving the family home.

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In 1986, Tom Hanks and Shelley Long had audiences in stitches in The Money Pit, a film about a dream house that becomes a renovation nightmare. That story, of course, is just fiction – or is it?

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When designing a transitional room, finding the right balance of new and old furnishing while maintaining an uncluttered space can be a difficult accomplishment. This can be especially true when you are trying to add task or ambient lighting.

New updates to timeless schoolhouse lights are an excellent way to add a vintage appeal to any room, especially when incorporating them with historic architecture. Light-diffusing shades and the smooth, clean lines of the pendulum-style lights are a classic way to add light to areas that are in need. Today’s schoolhouse lights offer bands of color, various geometric shapes, to add interest, and fancier fittings that would work in a number of transitional rooms.

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Between the facades and shimmering storefronts of new developments, historic homes can still be found in cityscapes across the nation, and globe, because of the variety of benefits provided by historic preservation.

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Having just moved a large pink dollhouse, made for my daughter by her grandfather, J. Dennis Robinson’s recent post for TMS Architects was very poignant.  The pink dollhouse has seen better days and needs some refurbishing but it was a labor of love and evokes so many good memories.  Dennis Robinson is absolutely right….architecture can be found in a pink dollhouse, a model of Portsmouth’s South Church, a hand-made wooden fire station, a home or skyscraper…all were designed, built and are repositories of very powerful memories. 

Dollhouses are not just for girls. My grandfather made one for me when I was a boy. It was a realistic, hand-made, wooden fire station almost three feet tall. It had a tower and two arched openings for my fire trucks. Grandpa Jake painted every red brick on the firehouse and installed every tiny shingle on the steep sloping roof. The model is still up in the attic of my parent’s home.

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Home Renovation

Historic preservation is about more than keeping a beautiful building alive; it’s about strengthening our present community by remembering and honoring our past. It gives us the opportunity to not only tell our children and grandchildren about the places that made us the people and community we are today, but to show them in person.

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After stepping inside the Portsmouth Music Hall, you’re immediately greeted with a burst of color. What’s beautiful about this experience is not only the various tones and shades seen throughout the historical landmark, but the fact that these colors tell the story of the Music Hall’s past and present as an enduring cultural center for the community.

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J. Dennis Robinson, historian and TMS Architects’ guest blogger, brings us an interesting piece today about Edward Tuck, founder of the first graduate school of business at Dartmouth, and leaves us with an interesting question to ponder…is an obelisk architecture?  Read on and let us know what you think!

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