historic preservation new england

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The new owners of this historic residence wished to retain its formal aesthetics but recognized that their young and energetic family needed some additional casual space.  The kitchen and the spaces in the rear ell did not meet the owners’ needs and the second floor master bedroom also served as access to the second floor spaces in the rear ell.  All bathrooms were antiquated and the home also lacked direct exterior access to the large back yard and swimming pool.

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After taking a breather from the publication of his latest book, Smuttynose Murders, and spending some time on the Isle of Shoals, local historian, J. Dennis Robinson returns to the pages of TMS Architects’ blog, with a piece on Dover’s Woodman Museum.  There is still time to visit this wonderful piece of New Hampshire history before school vacation ends! 

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Create the Outdoor Room Your Garden Desires this Summer

Outdoor rooms and gardens are the perfect way to extend your home to the outdoors. Whether you have an existing garden in which you plan to create a living space or you are starting with little to no landscaping, design options abound that will allow you to make the most of your outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining.

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Just when we least expect it, a new blog post for TMS Architects arrives from our guest historian, J. Dennis Robinson.  The subject of this one was timely as it had been in the local papers and was wonderful to get more information about this particular building on State Street in downtown Portsmouth.

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In a delightful departure from some of TMS Architect’s other projects, TMS Principal Bill Soupcoff had an opportunity to work with  long-time clients on the renovation of their  Beacon Hill pied a terre.  The couple are owners of a successful inn on the seacoast of New Hampshire and wanted a small apartment in Boston where they could decompress and enjoy the cultural opportunities offered by the city.

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Rooftops, pavings, and other hardscapes can negatively affect landscapes and the environment. An unfortunate side effect of these impermeable surfaces, rain runoff, can deprive garden beds of natural irrigation and prevent groundwater tables from replenishing. It can cause erosion, slides, and even flash floods. Stormwater can pick up contaminates and lead to increased pollution of streams, rivers, and oceans.

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TMS  always learns something interesting about Portsmouth when we publish a post from  J. Dennis Robinson, our guest historical contributor.  Last time we learned about the building that presently houses our offices when it was part of the Eldredge Brewing Company ; this time we learned more about its earlier history in the textile industry.

In our last history installment we learned that the site of the modern TMS Architects offices was once a brewery. Heman (not Herman) Eldredge and his sons ran the Eldredge Brewing Company on the same spot off Bartlett Street in the second half of the 19th century. Although their brew, including Portsmouth Ale, was hugely popular, the Eldredge brand was drowned out by the even greater success of the Frank Jones Brewery just across the tracks in the city’s West End.
But there’s more. The brewery was built on the site of an equally important, but now forgotten, textile factory. Yes, during the 1800s, Portsmouth was also known as a key city for the production of stockings. Who knew?

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Passive home designs work with the environment rather than against it. By taking advantage of location, orientation, and local climate, a passive home is designed to maintain comfortable temperatures while reducing energy consumption.

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Sustainable building materials can be just as beautiful and functional as they are eco-friendly. As more and more homeowners and builders go green, brick masonry construction is becoming an important player in green building and sustainable home design. This is because bricks are inherently green and result in gorgeous structures that last for generations to come.

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The photo we pinned of the exterior of our project called the New Hampshire Hilltop Home has been pinned to multiple Pinterest boards. The well-liked pin has us pondering wooden shingles, and the way they exude both a historical and modern look.

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Saving water (and money) is easy with a residential rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater is great for watering all gardens and plants, including edible ones. The two most common home rainwater harvesting systems are rain barrels and cisterns. Rain barrels are easy to install and use and do not require any type of permit. Large cistern systems that hold more than 100 gallons and involve pumps will warrant the help of a professional to obtain the proper permits.

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Houzz has become a go-to resource for homeowners, designers, and home improvement professionals. It’s a place for finding design inspiration and opportunities to collaborate. It’s a place for finding the right professionals for a home design or renovation project. It’s a place for designers and home improvement experts to showcase their work.  Houzz has rapidly expanded to become one of the world’s leading online platforms for home remodeling and design with a community of over 25 million design enthusiasts, professionals, and homeowners.

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Has the fireplace in your home seen better days? Do you have a historic home that needs a pop of new life as the weather cools off? If you’re still staring at that old, plain fireplace with a grimace, you can get an architect to give it a face-lift. But until you find the right architect to work with, view a few of these fireplace designs for a bit of inspiration.

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When you have great focal points in your landscape, garden lighting will help draw the eye and showcase these features. Your home’s first impression is reliant on its curb appeal, which includes a beautifully landscaped yard, a well-kept exterior and attractive lighting to enhance an historic or modern home. Not only will you impress your guests with stunning lighting, you’ll also increase your home’s resale value.

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Historic homes generally don’t have a lot of natural light, but this is all part of the charm that draws us to them in the first place. With the vast choices available today, it’s possible to bring modern lighting into a historic home without compromising the architecture’s character.

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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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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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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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Preserving the history of a period home requires special knowledge of the architectural era during which it was built — from design practices and traditions to decorative approaches and popular accents and touches. If your home holds a particularly important architectural pedigree, even the specific shade of color employed in the home’s exterior and interior design becomes integral to honoring its original character.

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Ceilings are often referred to by interior designers as the fifth wall. Homeowners often neglect this space, but ceilings are another blank canvas with tremendous design potential. Ceiling treatments can help solve design problems, such as making a room feel bigger or cozier.

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