Place: Belfast, Maine
Client: Private Clients
Size: 1500 SF
Pearl Street is located in downtown Belfast. It is a small house built as a worker’s cabin in about 1850. It was completely renovated in 2010 by Coggan + Crawford from a real wreck. Many fixtures and some finishes were saved and reused in the restoration – doors, cabinets, sinks, tub, timber, boards, and tin ceilings were some of the elements reused or repurposed. We made an architectural rule: In rooms where walls had the original boarding we left them as part of the interiors. Structural members were left exposed. Locally sourced wood was used as a durable finish material on walls and floors. Furnishings were largely finds at yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and painted, though some pieces were site-built. Part of the consideration was energy efficiency. A tight envelope was employed with high insulation values, and a high-efficiency heating system was installed, thus providing long-term reduction in costs.
At 1500 square feet, it is a large house by 19th century standards, though small by late 20th century standards. As we move forward in this century, we will see a return of such smaller scale dwellings that embody the narrative of efficiency, reuse, and simplicity.