The original plan was to restore and add on to an old farmhouse overlooking the Potomac River and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal in Washington’s Palisades neighborhood. But once demolition started, the structure nearly fell apart, having been badly maintained over time. Thus, we decided to replace the entire house, reusing and recycling as much of the old one as possible.
We deconstructed the old house by hand, setting aside the materials for later uses in the new house, which was designed to emulate the feel of the original. This time, we added a sweeping, wrap-around porch with dark trim and sinuous shingle detailing that visually ground the house to the site.
More curved porches extend from each of the three stories, bringing river views into the principal rooms. The top floor, then, is a huge, one-room aerie running from an arched window at one end to arched porch doors on the other.
By now, several neighbors have forgotten the house is new—they think it was merely an alteration of the original. And our client is quite content not to correct them.