Tag Archives: Cape Cod

Independence Day 2019

Independence Day 2019

Celebrating on Cape Cod and The Islands

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade….with illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.” John Adams to his wife Abigail of the Declaration of Independence.

Today marks our country’s 243rd birthday, and we will celebrate with fanfare and family fun. Many of us will attend parades, host cookouts, and watch beautiful fireworks displays. It is a wonderful time for Americans to commemorate our country’s freedom – and what better place to celebrate than Cape Cod and the Islands?

While we are partial to Martha’s Vineyard (our second office is located here), celebrations on Cape Cod and Nantucket are wonderfully festive and perennially well attended. Though we can’t cover them all, we will highlight a few events and fun facts for this special holiday.

If you are visiting the Upper Cape, you may be interested to know that Falmouth is the hometown of Katherine Lee Bates, who wrote, “America the Beautiful.” Falmouth is also a great place to watch the fireworks; in fact, it was voted one of the 10 best fireworks displays in the country by Travel and Leisure Magazine. Their display goes off over Falmouth Heights Beach at Dusk.

Fun fact: In 1781, Massachusetts was the first state to recognize Independence Day as a holiday.

If you are celebrating on the Lower or Outer Cape, from Wellfleet to Chatham, there are several fabulous parades to choose from. One of our favorites is Chatham. In addition to its village charm, Chatham happens to have one of the oldest Independence Day Parades in the United States attracting over 20,000 people each year. This year’s parade starts at 9:30 AM on Main Street. In the evening, Wequassett Resort & Golf Club presents a spectacular fireworks display from a barge in Pleasant Bay (shared with the private golf course, Eastward Ho! Country Club). Their Family Gala celebration offers “family-friendly waterfront dining on the terraces and lawn with great music, dancing, and a sumptuous buffet.” For those looking for a more intimate setting, you’ll find the best seats are from the water as hundreds of boats line the horizon to watch the show.

Fun fact: Our flag’s current design was chosen in 1960 (only the number of stars have changed in our flag’s design history).

If Osterville is your destination, you will have many options for local parades and fireworks to enjoy. Parades in surrounding villages are staggered beginning at 9 AM in Barnstable, 10 AM in Centerville, 11 AM in Cotuit and Hyannisport, finishing at 2 PM with the Hyannis Inner Harbor Boat Parade. A favorite area fireworks display is in Hyannis beginning at 9 PM over the harbor. If you miss that one and have a boat, you can enjoy Oyster Harbors Club’s fireworks from the water on July 5th.

Ray Ellis, the artist, with his painted cow in the Edgartown parade in 1999

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be on Martha’s Vineyard celebrating July 4th, you can expect fantastic weather and boundless holiday festivities. Starting at 2 PM, Vineyard Trust will host concerts and a clambake on Main Street in Edgartown. The iconic afternoon parade featuring marching bands and classic cars takes place at 5 PM, followed by a magnificent fireworks display on the harbor at 9 PM. Fireworks are launched from the water between Chappaquiddick and Edgartown so find some space at Fuller Beach, on a dock along the harbor – or better yet, on a boat – and enjoy this amazing show.

Watch the parade go by while enjoying a BBQ provided by MV Clambake on the lawns of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House

Each year, the traditions of July 4th bring us together with others to create rich and meaningful rhythms in our lives. We are grateful for all the men and women who have helped keep America the land of the free, and we wish you all a safe and spectacular holiday.

The Evolution of the Cape Cod House

The Evolution of the Cape Cod House

Born from Necessity and Today a Timeless Design

Sometimes the most iconic, charming styles of architecture are born from necessity. An excellent example of this is the original Cape Cod style home. In the late 17th century, Puritan settlers brought the concept of an English cottage to Massachusetts, making necessary style adaptations for the harsh New England winters. This simple, highly functional design was later coined a “Cape Cod House” in 1800 by Yale University President Reverend Timothy Dwight IV, and its name and iterations remain decidedly recognizable today. The original Cape Cod house was a cozy, one-floor rectangular structure with low ceilings and a large central chimney, which provided warmth to all of the adjacent living spaces. Built from accessible wood such as pine and oak, the façade was highly symmetrical and covered in cedar shingles or simple clapboard. The gabled roof was designed to minimize the weight of New England snowfalls and most homes had shutters, which could be closed in the winter to help protect from the outdoor elements. The original Cape style house became popular with settlers because of its easy construction, manageable size, and heat efficiency. While some generations of settlers remained in their original, stout Cape, those with the financial wherewithal appreciated the relative ease with which they could add on to the home as their families grew.

Commonly known as the Vincent House, this home was built in 1672 and is the oldest surviving residence on Martha’s Vineyard. It was home to the Vincent Family for eight generations and is now owned and maintained by the Vineyard Trust as a museum.

The early 20th century saw a revival of the Cape Cod style, spearheaded by the influential Boston architect Royal Barry Wills who reintroduced the Cape as a modern living option. Famous for his elegant simplicity, Wills was described as someone who “wanted only to design the indigenous New England Home supremely well.” Wills appreciated the strikingly symmetrical and unadorned Cape but realized that – while his clients admired the imagery of the Colonial era – they wanted modern amenities and space in their new home. Garages were added along with second-floor dormers. These dormers not only provided necessary light, they changed what was once unused loft (attic) space into livable rooms with cozy nooks and crannies.

This book features examples of the firm’s work from its founding to the present, with an emphasis on more recent houses that have been built throughout New England.

The housing boom of Post World War II saw a second revival of the iconic, adaptable Cape in locations such as Levittown, New York, the nation’s first planned suburb designed to house returning GI’s and their families. Over the years, the original “Half Cape” grew into what is called a “Three Quarter” and “Full Cape” with added wings and additional multi-paned, double-hung windows flanking the front door.

Today, our firm works with many classic homes and the iconic Cape remains a favorite. When designing or restoring a historic home, we often talk about the storyline or script that we create for each project. As detailed in our book, Timeless, this real or imagined narrative can describe a home’s origins and how the addition of different architectural elements came about over the years. The Cape Cod house lends itself well to this storytelling given its historic, humble beginnings and adaptability throughout the centuries.

One of the most popular homes we’ve designed on Martha’s Vineyard, the HGTV Dream Home 2015, tells the imagined story of a turn of the century Cape once used as hunting and fishing camp in Edgartown’s Katama plains. When designing the house, we created a storyline inspired by the island’s history. We imagined finding the simple, clapboard Cape nestled on the plain near two similar, smaller structures once used for curing meat and storing gear. In our narrative, we attached the three original buildings using porches and breezeways to create a single, light-filled Cape with shingled wings and an open, modern floor plan. The implied history of this new design captures the romance of the Vineyard while maintaining the Cape’s original symmetry, charm, and clean lines.

Once a study of simplicity and function – born from necessity – the unadorned Cape has evolved into a classic icon whose architectural adaptability and grace continues to stand the test of time.

HGTV Dream Home 90 Second Tour

 

Want to know what it feels like to live in a HGTV Dream HomehgtvTour designed by Patrick Ahearn? Take one or more of the video tours for a full experience of the different spaces! The front entrance opens up to a great room, dining room, and a spacious kitchen. The right wing of the home holds the master living space including: a master bedroom, master bath, dressing room, closet, and a master patio. The left wing consists of the guest room and bath, kid’s bedroom and bath, laundry room, and a garage which will hold a 2015 GMC Acadia Denali. To wrap it up, there is welcoming back patio great for entertaining!

There is still time to enter. Sweepstakes is open until February 17, 2015. Don’t miss out! Head on over to HGTV to enter.