While Patrick Ahearn’s background lends to his ability to be versatile in project type and location, his prestige most notably stems from his endeavors to preserve the historic Edgartown Village on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Patrick has vested his career in recreating the historical stories inherent in Edgartown’s private residences and public buildings in such a way that also addresses the needs of the contemporary landscape and lifestyle. With over 160 houses and public buildings in Edgartown Village designed in renovation or new construction, Patrick is celebrated for significantly enhancing the overall streetscape and public realm while esteeming the aesthetic and history of the locale.
His work on The Boathouse in Edgartown is an example of a project driven by the overriding urban design goal to create a catalyst for the revitalization of Main Street, the harbor, and the Edgartown Village commercial district. The Boathouse achieved these goals and in doing so has become an anchor at the harbor’s edge for the village’s revival. The lively public restaurant “Atlantic” on the first floor, widening of the brick sidewalks, newly planted trees, street furniture, new public access to the water front and docks, and a significant amount of outdoor dining at the water’s edge has added life to the village experience. The architecture of The Boathouse recalls the shingle style of such notable buildings as the Newport Casino designed by McKim, Mead, and White as well as other seaside shingle style commercial structures. With the success of The Boathouse architecturally and from an urban design perspective, many other shops and restaurants have seen a renaissance and revitalization. No longer is Main Street lined with t-shirt shops. Instead, a rich and varied mix of quality retail shops, new street trees, plantings, and lighting captures the essence of living rich and dynamically in an urban island village core. In addition to The Boathouse, Patrick’s other urban design projects in Edgartown include the restoration of the Edgartown Yacht club, the Edgartown Tennis Club, a pro bono revitalization primer for the re-imagined Edgartown Village created for the Edgartown Board of Trade, and numerous retail shops.
Needless to say, Patrick has been an active member in the Martha’s Vineyard community as a licensed architect, but his contribution is more than his mere role as an architect. His involvement in the island community and culture is extensive, which allows for his unique understanding and architectural perspective in such a community. Some of Patrick’s contributions include his roles as a trustee of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, a trustee of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, a member of the Island Affordable Housing Fund Board, and a major donor to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Fund, Martha’s Vineyard Hockey, the new YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard, and numerous charities spanning from the Sheriff’s Meadow open space initiative and the Edgartown beautification committee.