March 20, 2019
Three years after opening The Sydney, the owners of this eight-room boutique inn wanted to expand beyond the confines of their charming 1892 Victorian-accented shingle-style former captain’s home in Edgartown Village. They commissioned a new sixteen-guestroom structure, connected by a courtyard to the original, which they also wanted renovated.
The goal was not just to create a new building but to root its architecture in the tight historic fabric of the downtown district and to expand the liveliness of that district further inland from the harbor. The additional structure and its offerings needed to draw pedestrians up what had been a secondary street.
A welcoming and thoroughly local shingle-style aesthetic was conceived to meet this urban design goal. Edgartown’s classic brick sidewalks and capped-picket fences lead to the courtyard, which functions as an alfresco gathering area and cocktail bar for hotel guests and the public as well.
The aesthetic of the new building draws inspiration from the existing 1892 house, echoing its scale, the pitches of its rooflines, and its gables. The white paint used on the entirety of the older structure also reappears on the gables of the new structure, beautifully tying the two elements together.
The resulting ensemble feels complete and inviting in a way that this area of the village never had previously. In that way, it does for this section of town what the Atlantic and Boathouse did for the harbor front: It uses historically motivated architecture to help a neighborhood move towards the future.