Tag Archives: Martha’s Vineyard

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 Carnegie: Vineyard Trust’s Restored Landmark

The Carnegie: Vineyard Trust’s Restored Landmark

Of the Island, for the Island

Vineyard Trust is the hidden treasure of Martha’s Vineyard. The Trust owns and oversees 20 historic properties on the island, referred to as “landmarks for life.” These landmarks are not just preserved for people to look at from afar, they are historic sites used and loved by islanders and visitors from all over the world.Vineyard Trust’s flagship venue, The Carnegie, originally called the Carnegie Library, was named for philanthropist and summer resident Andrew Carnegie who funded the library’s construction in 1904. The library was built on land donated by Caroline Osborn Warren, a member of the prominent Osborn whaling family, and remained the town’s public library until 2016 when the property was sold to Vineyard Trust for $1.

Paramount to Vineyard Trust’s mission is to ensure the properties they revitalize and maintain are central to the island community – and continue to serve their originally intended use. In preserving the Carnegie, the library’s original learning function was both maintained and celebrated.

After an exciting restoration we were honored to lead, The Carnegie now serves as an island visitor center with reading rooms, galleries, and a permanent exhibition, Living Landmarks, which “illustrates the story of Martha’s Vineyard through the lens of the 20 landmarks in Vineyard Trust’s care.”

In addition to the beautiful interior learning space where events are hosted from April to October, The Trust also offers two separate walking tours that explore Martha’s Vineyard’s architectural and maritime history.

This week marks Vineyard Trust’s most important annual fundraiser, Taste of the Vineyard. This much anticipated two-night event raises money to restore and maintain all of the Trust’s historic landmarks. The first night is the lively Gourmet Stroll, and the second night is the upscale Patrons’ Party and Auction. (Side note: If you’re reading this before 5 pm on Saturday, June 15th, you are still eligible to bid on a 1965 Mustang – a highlight in this year’s auction. See auction link for details).

Like all Vineyard Trust properties, the Carnegie is of the island, for the island. It is a beautiful landmark both inside and out, preserved for future generations to engage and learn about the important past, present, and future of Martha’s Vineyard.

Bidding Open for 1965 Mustangs

Bidding Open for 1965 Mustangs

Taste of the Vineyard Patrons’ Party & Auction Benefiting the Vineyard Trust

Saturday, June 15th, Patrick is pleased to offer a choice between two 1965 Mustangs from his personal automotive collection for auction at the Taste of the Vineyard the Patrons’ Party & Auction. The Taste of the Vineyard, or “The Taste” as it is affectionately known, is a grand 2-night affair that kicks-off the Island’s social season in early June each year, starting with the Gourmet Stroll on Thursday, June 13th. The Taste is not only the most anticipated event on Martha’s Vineyard, but it is also the most important annual fundraiser for the Vineyard Trust as the proceeds are used to restore and maintain the twenty landmarks in the Trust’s stewardship.

We are happy to announce that the Patrons’ Party & Auction is sold out – HOWEVER – for all you car collectors out there that aren’t local to the Island, you will have the opportunity to bid by emailing bid@mvpreservation.org prior to the start of the event on Saturday, June 15 at 5 PM.

Each car is valued in excess of $50,000 and the winning bidder can select either the Raven Black Convertible or the Wimbledon White 2 + 2 Fastback with their winning bid.

Raven Black Convertible

The Raven Black Convertible is a documented car that has been part of a private collection for the past seventeen years. Prior to that, the car was displayed at a nationally known automotive museum. This rare original color combination of raven black with a matching black interior is complemented by a new tan power convertible top. The car’s options include a V8 engine, automatic transmission, ultra-rare factory air conditioning, power steering, rally wheels with dual redline tires and has been recently fully serviced.

Wimbledon White 2 + 2 Fastback

The Wimbledon White 2 + 2 Fastback is also a documented California car for the first fifty years of its life. The car is presented with all of its original papers including its original California license plates. The fully restored car is equipped with a V8 engine, automatic transmission, power steering, rally wheels, dual redline tires, and completely detailed engine bay.

Either car would be a wonderful family addition for island summer cruising.

Now, which one will you choose?

Details for Bidding on the Mustangs at the Patrons’ Party & Auction

Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019 5:30—10:00 PM

Submit Bid: Please email your bid to bid@mvpreservation.org

Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 15th

Value: Each car is valued in excess of $50,000

Minimum Bid: Bidding starts at $25,000

Payment: Credit card is required for a hold

Timeline: The bid will be taken to the live auction and you will be notified within 24 hours

Announcement: The winner will be announced Saturday evening, June 15th during the event

An Insider’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

An Insider’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Getting to know the Island

It’sEdgartown Light no secret – we treasure the island of Martha’s Vineyard. People often ask us to describe what it is that makes the island so special. Is it the natural beauty, the culture, the unique, local businesses? The answer is yes, all of this and more.While each season is lovely, summer is an especially magical time on the island. With warm weather on the horizon, we want to give you an inside look at the places we recommend our friends and clients explore when they first come to the Vineyard. These are some of our favorite spots to eat, learn, unwind, and soak in all that makes the island unique and endearing. We provided links for more information and see below a map listing all of the locations.

After arriving by airplane or ferry, the first stop is Edgartown – a village steeped in history and classic architecture. There are many stellar lodging options and we especially like the Hob Knob Hotel, the newly redesigned Harbor View Hotel and The Sydney, a boutique inn we recently finished. If guests prefer renting a house, a great real estate resource is Point B Realty on Winter Street in Edgartown.

If yours is an early arrival, we suggest stopping at Rosewater Market for a cup of coffee and pastry. From there, walk to The Carnegie, a restored Vineyard Trust property which we recently just helped transform into a visitor’s center with a Living Legends exhibit showcasing The Trust’s 20 working island properties. Next, head to Edgartown Lighthouse, a magnificent and historic working lighthouse that marks the entrance to Edgartown Harbor. If you’re an art lover, walk to the nearby Eisenhauer Gallery and North Water Gallery to see some fabulous local and contemporary artwork.

By now it’s time for lunch. If you prefer to eat on the go, the Quarterdeck on Dock Street is a great option. Or, for something more leisurely, try the Atlantic Fish & Chophouse, which offers terrific food and harbor views. After an energizing lunch, we recommend a walking tour through Edgartown’s historic district, which dates back to 1641. Be sure to check out the Old Whaling Church, one of the “finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in New England.” More walking may call for an ice-cream break – in which case we recommend stopping at Mad Martha’s.

After unwinding back at the hotel, a favorite choice for dinner is Alchemy where the food is delicious and the environment is high-energy fun. Alchemy is a great spot to end your first day in Edgartown, and it’s also walking distance – always a bonus.

There is much to do and see outside of Edgartown, so we highly recommend exploring the unique beauty offered throughout the island. Heading up-island is a must. The term up-island dates back to the Vineyard’s whaling days and refers to the western parts of the island including West Tisbury, Chilmark, Menemsha, and Aquinnah. When you go, be sure to stop at the island’s oldest retail business, Alley’s General Store, the “purveyors in almost everything.” Then make your way up to Aquinnah for breathtaking views of the clay cliffs and historic Gay Head Lighthouse. If you’re a beach-goer, visit Lobsterville Beach while you’re there. (Sidenote: there are many stunning beaches up-island, but most require a town sticker, so plan accordingly.)

Lobsterville Beach

Next, head to Menemsha harbor for a fabulous sunset. If you like seafood, pick up lobster and steamers at Larsen’s for a beach picnic you’ll never forget.

Oak Bluffs is another great area of the island to explore. We love showing people the colorful nineteenth-century gingerbread cottages on the Martha’s Vineyard Campground. With whimsically painted filigree trim, they’ve been called an “immaculate dollhouse village conjured from a childhood fantasy.” If you’re visiting the island on August 14th, head to the annual Illumination Night to see the cottages beautifully lit with Chinese lanterns. Across the way is the beloved Flying Horses Carousel, the country’ oldest working carousel, and always a favorite stop for both young and old.

Illumination Night - Oak Bluffs

Boating is also a big part of summer life on the Vineyard, so we highly recommend getting out on the water. You can stay local and explore the inner and outer harbors or Edgartown with Catboat Charters, or choose a more adventurous day trip over to Nantucket on the Inter-Island Ferry from Oaks Bluffs to Nantucket. Being on the water is always a good choice. After all, “it’s only an island if you look at it from the water.” (Chief Martin Brody, Jaws)

Martha’s Vineyard offers endless culture and beauty – and thankfully remains unspoiled in many important ways. There are no chain stores, traffic lights or parking meters. There are miles of walking trails and pristine beaches. We could, of course, go on with other favorite views and haunts, but we will save those for another time. For now, this is a great insider’s start to exploring the culture, beauty, and diversity of Martha’s Vineyard. We hope you find it as endearing as we do.

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.

Atlantic Drive, Edgartown

Atlantic Drive, Edgartown

Designed to Optimize Ocean Views

South Beach, located in the Katama region of Edgartown, is one of the most spectacular and scenic beaches on Martha’s Vineyard. Situated on the southern side of the island, South (or Katama) Beach is a three-mile barrier beach with surf on one side and a protected salt pond on the other. It directly faces the Atlantic Ocean and represents a picturesque view for visitors and homeowners. Running parallel to South Beach is magnificent Atlantic Drive, which begins and ends at points often referred to as the “left” and “right” forks of South Beach. We have had the pleasure of designing several homes along Atlantic Drive, all of which presented similar location challenges. The shared objective for each similarly scaled program was to maximize ocean views, and the common challenge was adhering to strict, 30-foot height restrictions. This was particularly demanding given that each property was separated from the ocean by the drive as well as tall, rambling sand dunes.

To overcome this challenge and capture water views from as many primary rooms as possible, we designed each of these homes with an “upside down” layout. Sometimes referred to as “reverse living,” an upside-down house positions the main living areas such as the kitchen, dining and family rooms, along with the Master suite, on the top floor. These upper-level rooms all enjoy exceptional water views and continuous coastal breezes. To harmoniously connect the upper living areas to the pool and outdoor spaces, we introduced full-length decks and hidden outdoor stairways.

Although the first-floor living spaces of these upside down homes do not access ocean views, we were careful to seamlessly integrate them into the home’s overall functionality and vertical living style. Open floor plans with easy outdoor access and inviting stairways to the upper levels ensure that the space is vibrant, inviting and fully connected.

Each of the homes we designed on Atlantic Drive shared similar programs and objectives, and it was extremely important to us that each had a unique and independent solution. We looked to McKim, Mead & White as a historical reference for the first home we built, and for each of the following four we created a specific script and storyline. Additionally, we made certain that each home had optimal sunset views to the west and was carefully situated as not to obstruct another’s view.

When building near the water, a non-traditional, upside down layout can effectively optimize distant views that might otherwise be missed. On Atlantic Drive, our inverted home designs creatively solved our design challenges while enhancing our clients’ visual and living experiences.

Christmas in Edgartown Walking Tour

Join Patrick Ahearn and the New England Chapter of the ICAA during the 36th Annual Christmas in Edgartown for a historic walking tour, as Patrick discusses the history of Martha’s Vineyard architecture and how the town of Edgartown has evolved over the years. The tour begins at 2:00 p.m. and will conclude with a festive reception at the Carnegie Library.

 

Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Location: Carnegie Library, 58 North Water Street, Edgartown, MA 02539
Tickets: $40 for ICAA-NE Members, $60 for Non-MembersPurchase tickets here.
 

About Christmas in Edgartown

December 7-10, 2017

Voted Best of the Vineyard for the third year in a row, Christmas in Edgartown is a weekend festival you don’t want to miss! Every year through the various events, Christmas In Edgartown helps raise over $50,000 for island-wide charities and non-profits. Come be apart of the holiday magic!

Find more information and events here.

New Chair of MV Preservation Trust

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Patrick Ahearn FAIA was recently appointed the new chair on the Board of Trustees of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.

For more than 40 years, the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust has acquired, preserved and managed the endangered historical landmarks of Martha’s Vineyard, restoring living institutions to their rightful place in Island life. The Preservation Trust is a private, not-for-profit organization supported by contributions from the public and through the management of its historic properties.

All of these irreplaceable landmarks were badly deteriorated, and in many cases, threatened by demolition when the Trust undertook their restoration and permanent care. The Preservation Trust’s uniquely active Board of Trustees has assumed a leadership role as stewards of the Island’s architectural legacy. Through the commitment and generosity of the Board, members, and supporters, we are able to keep these landmarks, which are so essential to the unique character of Martha’s Vineyard, in the mainstream of Island life.

As an advocate for preservation and after restoring multiple properties owned and maintained by the trust pro-bono, Patrick is thrilled for the opportunity to contribute as the Chair on the Board of this wonderful organization.

For more information, visit their website here.
For a complete list of properties owned and maintained by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, click here.

Patrick Presents HGTV Dream Home 2015 to GMC

This May, GMC, the sponsor for HGTV Dream Home 2015, is hosting an event for their corporate and local Boston dealers. Prior to the tour, Patrick will be giving insight on the architecture of the home as well as his influence on the Vineyard over the past four decades.

Every home Patrick designs begins with a narrative on how the home could have developed over the years.  Patrick explains, “The concept of scripting allows one the opportunity to embrace the client’s more utilitarian program with a sense of history or timelessness that results in houses that look as natural and authentic as possible.” Patrick will be sharing his narrative with GMC.

Here is a sneak preview:

“A hunter or fisherman would build a cottage – that first piece is at the center of the home. Then, a boat shed is built to the left of this structure, two stone chimneys to heat the main building are put in place, porches are enclosed over time and you see how the design begins to fill out.”

The Dream Home is just one of many timeless pieces that Patrick has designed on Martha’s Vineyard. With each of his 137 houses and public buildings in Edgartown Village, Patrick’s improvement of their aesthetic by virtue of the human scale and classic forms worked to serve beyond the buildings’ specific function and enhanced the greater public realm in their collective whole. The human experience in Edgartown Village is characterized by a nostalgic era full of lovingly restored family homes, shops, and restaurants that capture the historical essence of the locale yet live the way people want to live today. Patrick’s vision for establishing a sense of place for Edgartown Village was realized with The Boathouse and Atlantic Restaurants as catalysts in the revitalization of Main Street, the harbor front, and the Edgartown commercial district. Edgartown Village epitomizes Patrick’s design philosophy as it responds to the collective whole with human scaled architecture, resulting in the intersection of aestheticism, function, and vitality. Sidewalks were widened, tree and lightscapes created, street furniture installed, new public access to the water front and docks and additional outdoor dining at the water’s edge followed, all breathing vitality into the town, and creating a “sense of place” where one did not exist previously.

Patrick is looking forward to the opportunity to share his inspiration and thoughts when designing the Dream Home and Edgartown Village. Be on the lookout for GMC’s Spring 2015 issue! Patrick is featured in an article discussing his inspiration for the HGTV Dream Home 2015.

View the HGTV Dream Home 2015 here. View The Field Club Recreation Facilities here.

 

Best of the Vineyard 2015

Vote PA: Best of the Vineyard 2015

Patrick Ahearn Architect is nominated for “Best Architecturalahearn_field-club_11 and/or Residential Design Company” in the Best of the Vineyard 2015 by Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. Patrick has designed over 200 properties on Martha’s Vineyard including homes, restaurants, the Field Club, and this years HGTV Dream House.

Last year, Patrick won Best of the Vineyard 2014. Let’s keep it up! Last day to vote is APRIL 5, 2015.

Instructions:

  1. Go to http://bestofthevineyard.secondstreetapp.com/l/Best-of-the-Vineyard-2015/Ballot/Services
  2. Register/Login
  3. Pick the category: Services
  4. Under “Best Architectural and/or Residential Design Company” vote Patrick Ahearn

Thank you for taking the time to vote!