Saved a Beauty

Westwood, MA

Project Details

The morning this project was born, the tear-down crew was literally pulling up to the front door of this classic Colonial Revival estate.

What the crew didn’t know was that their neighbors Julia and Eric, had been admiring the home as they drove to and from their own home nearby, and thankfully they took notice when it became clear what was in store.  

“When I realized what was about to happen, I turned around and drove up to the driveway and stopped the work in its tracks,” she says.  

For the Landmark Services team, it was the beginning of an ideal partnership. 

“Here was a client who shared our love of old New England architecture and had a vision of what the house could become, even through the decay,” says Mark Landry. “This is the kind of work that gets us out of bed in the morning.” 

That’s not to say it was an easy job. The exterior was in poor condition — roofs were leaking and the rooftop balustrade was threatening to tumble to the ground. Window frames and decorative porch columns were rotted, and most of the siding was in poor condition.  

Things weren’t much better inside. The sleek, white 80s style kitchen was completely insensitive to the style of the home and, worse, had merely covered over the failing infrastructure.  

After stabilizing the house and its systems — Landmark installed all new wiring, plumbing, HVAC, and insulation — the 80s kitchen was replaced with a period-sensitive design from Frank Shirley Architects. The original cast iron cook stove was meticulously restored, making it the focal point of the new period-style kitchen.  

“A detail like an original cook stove tells a story about that particular home,” says Landry. “Saving and restoring it is a way of honoring the house and allowing the owners to feel a connection to its past.” 

That philosophy carried over in other ways as well. The original butler’s pantry was restored with materials salvaged from the house itself. The back stairs were reconfigured to better accommodate the new usage while matching the original details carefully. The large, stately ballroom was updated with new wiring, plaster, lighting, and media system — as well as custom millwork and repairs to its original decorative plaster ceiling.  

The result is a home that has an abundance of historic features and character while providing its owners with the benefit of modern systems — and the community with a piece of its past that was close to being lost. 


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