Tag Archives: Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

Architecture at MV Food & Wine Festival

Architecture at Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

Last weekend marked the eighth year we’ve enthusiastically supported the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival, a wonderful autumn event held in the village of Edgartown. Described as a “festival with a mission,” this annual celebration takes place over four days, attracts 1,500 worldwide visitors, and financially benefits important organizations like Island Grown Schools and Agricultural Society’s Farmer’s Program.

The first of our two engagements took place on Friday at Edgartown’s historic Harborview Hotel, where we spoke to a distinguished audience gathered for Perspectives on Architecture, sponsored by the Boston Design Center. Here, we shared the story of our early years in Edgartown and how our love of this seaside village evolved into thirty years of passionate work, helping to enhance and revitalize the town’s architectural aesthetic. We, along with designers Peter Niemitz and Rachel Reider, shared our perspectives to an audience of architecture enthusiasts, decorators, builders, and brokers who afterward enjoyed a lively reception filled with conversations about the many noteworthy ongoing and recently completed Island design projects.

The view from the Harborview Hotel.

Our next event, a guided Walking Tour of Edgartown, took place the following morning with spectacular weather and a spirited group of attendees. The walk began at Edgartown’s Rosewater Café and proceeded down historic South Water Street along Edgartown’s harbor. Here – where we have completed over 200 projects from grand restorations to careful reimaginings of Captain’s homes – we shared the history of Martha’s Vineyard architecture and how the village of Edgartown has evolved over the years.

Saturday morning, we began the Walking Tour with coffee at Rosewater.
On our way to South Water Street on a beautiful fall day.

Our first tour stop was at a harborside compound – sometimes called the James Cagney House – which epitomizes urban island village living. The original Greek Revival house, built in the 1920s, suffered significant neglect and was reconstructed on the existing footprint to preserve the original character and scale. While touring this significant project, we had the chance to discuss the design philosophy behind the new carriage house and visit the restored boathouse with its magnificent, spar-varnished mahogany bar.

Tour attendees file in the first house on the tour – a re-imagined Captain’s house and carefully restored boathouse that opens onto the edge of Edgartown’s harbor.
After walking through the house, we gathered outside on the bluestone pool terrace.
Tour-goers asking questions while others continue to explore the property.
Ahearn discussing the careful restoration of another historic Captain’s home on Edgartown harbor.
Heading down the cobblestone drive towards the water to see the rear.
Ahearn shares the history and challenges associated with this project.
Ahearn directs the tour-goers’ attention to point out specific elements on the home.

With a highly engaged audience (some of whom traveled from Minnesota and California), the conversation was lively, and the questions were astute. We were even lucky enough to have one of our clients on the tour who graciously offered an impromptu visit to her home, the historic Captain Rufus Pease House while sharing some creative details about its significant restoration.

Next stop, a house built for the island’s first blacksmith in 1682.
Ahearn shares the design direction of the restoration as well as the challenges.
Last stop on the tour was a home built in 1938 for Captain Rufus Pease.
The homeowner joins Ahearn in presenting her home to the attendees.

The walking tour concluded at The Carnegie, a historic landmark and village gem we had the honor to recently restore. The 112-year-old building, once the town library and now owned and operated by Vineyard Trust, is now a heritage center that showcases the Trust’s 20 historic Island properties. During the reception, our guests had the opportunity to mingle, sip Prosecco and learn more about the Trust’s mission and Island-wide properties. Before leaving, each attendee received a copy of our book, Timeless, as a parting gift.

The newly restored, historic Carnegie building on North Water Street in Edgartown.
The newly restored, historic Carnegie building on North Water Street in Edgartown.

We were thrilled to meet so many wonderful people at both of these sold-out weekend events and delighted to again help support the Festival in a meaningful way.