C.M. Flinn House
Before. The C.M. Flinn house was built in the late 19th century in the Italianate style with elaborate ironwork and plaster interior embellishments. The home was expanded and remodeled in the 1920s by local architect J. Bryant Heard removing some of the Victorian taste and replacing it with the more fashionable Colonial Revival elements of the time. The home stood for many years on this city's main street as a reminder of simpler, but more elegant times. By 2006, it was in danger of being torn down after a massive fire ravaged the four levels of the home. Since it was of masonry construction, many of the interior walls were brick which kept the structure from collapsing upon itself. However, there was a gaping hole in the slate roof allowing water to undermine the foundation below.
Our firm was engaged by the clients after the project had come to a stand still. They purchased the home in 2007 to bring it back to its former glory by utilizing both state and federal historic tax credits. They initially worked with a contractor to gut the entire house; they had to jack the center support back into place and build an interior skeleton to stabilize the masonry walls. The roof was replaced using SIP (Structural Insulated Panels) which created a future expandable space. The patterned slate roof was restored along with the bracketed soffits.
After. When our firm came on the scene the exterior was mainly complete with the exception of windows and final painting. The house had a new configuration as well. The basement was to be a lower level apartment, which is perfect because it is bathed with light on three sides and has tall ceilings that create openness. The upstairs main level consists of a music room, dining, double parlors, butlers/laundry room, new kitchen that overlooks the rear yard with three en suite bedrooms on the second level. The interior was just studded walls and an incomplete stairway.
The task was to complete the interior sensitively, but not create a false sense of history at the same time. The clients were not replacing the lost plaster medallions or cornices, so the house would be simpler than before. A problem was created by the interior skeleton, which made some of the interior walls, door and window openings thicker than the original house. The solution was to panel the door openings and create deeper window pockets which added architectural interest. All casings were replicated using the original pattern. The clients had salvaged maple flooring from a school being demolished which was used on three floors. They also created intricate tile designs in all the baths and kitchens using natural stone that they installed themselves. Even though the kitchens are new, they were designed to give the appearance of turn of the century styling. Both were painted with milk paint and the main kitchen has a quarter sawed oak hutch that was aged slightly to add to the ambiance.