Angel Of The Sea

Originally the William Weightman house, the two buildings now called Angel of the Sea were originally one mansion in the center of Cape May. Moved to its current site in the 1960s, the building was split in two, and then continued a long decline into decay and disuse. In 1988, we were called on to begin the restoration and rejuvenation of these buildings. Our firm prepared the existing conditions drawings, assisted in compilation of historical data and created the drawings guiding the restoration of the buildings into a bed and breakfast inn and conference center. The completed project contains twenty-four suites, two conference facilities, grand dining hall, separate dining rooms, many verandahs, and a gift shop. The project has been published in numerous magazine articles and journals, and we received an award in 1990 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the restoration.

The Empress

This is a full, complete restoration and rejuvenation of a historic building in Cape May, New Jersey. The Empress, which was formerly known as the Bell Shields House, has eight guest rooms, each with private bath as well as a long list of luxury amenities all interwoven into the historic fabric of a restored Victorian stick style dwelling. An elaborate wrought iron stairway leads to a Victorian lounge in the lower level, with handmade porcelain tile imported from England on the floor. An antique ice cream bar area along with an antique box office lead into a fully modern theater to seat eight guests for private screening. Also included are fullyintegrated audio and visual systems throughout the building, computer hookups and all the modern day necessities.The design work included demolition of some unsympathetic 1930s and 1950s additions to the building and recreation of additions as would have been designed in 1880, the date of the original construction.

Incorporated into the project is all new wiring, individual HVAC systems for each room, fire sprinkler and suppression systems, new gourmet kitchen, period millwork replications. Each of the building’s special colored glass windows were cataloged and new glass was created to match the colors exactly and the windows were rebuilt as authentic reproductions of the original.

Main Line Restoration

Featured here is a whole-house renovation/restoration and addition to a historic building in Media, PA, which was once owned by the family of renowned turn-of-the-century architect Frank Furness. The renovations include fitting of all new plumbing and mechanical systems, renovation of the electrical systems, restoration of all the interior trims and mouldings, including full restoration of the dining room, which is an intricately handmade creation of Frank Furness using multiple species of wood to create geometric patterns, designs and hand carvings. A completely new kitchen was created and an addition that includes a bar area, exercise room, home theater, family room and two additional bedrooms adding to the existing six bedrooms to create a total of eight, along with restoration of the original greenhouse into an additional sitting area.

so restored was the swimming pool and pool cabana building and the exterior of the original stable and carriage house, which are now used as garages. Specialties in the house include plaster restoration, stone restoration, wood floor, millwork and casework restoration.

Southern Mansion

Featured here is the restoration and addition to the George Allen House in Cape May, NJ. The building is a significant contributor to the historic status to the city of Cape May. The restoration was undertaken as a full, complete rebuilding of all major components of the structure. The building was commissioned in 1863 by George Allen and it was designed by Samuel Sloan in the Italianate style. The restoration encompassed all of the exterior decorative elements and all of the interior building systems, such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning. The restoration included a conversion to a Bed and Breakfast Inn with individual bath facilities for each room, individual climate control for each room and working fireplaces in may of the rooms. During the restoration, the owners set up a compete wood working shop in the basement and many of the trees on the property were milled and used in the fabrication of the exterior trim and ornamentation. All this work was done on site. The addition was designed in the manner of an Italian villa as an extension of a wing off the back of the main building and the detail and sympathy to the original structure, but with differences so that future historians can differentiate original building from addition. All told, the building encompasses over 12,000 s.f. of space and includes the guest suites, banquet facilities, a large commercial kitchen for catering and extensive grounds for weddings and other large functions. The interior has been furnished with much of the original furniture, which was still in the house before the restoration was undertaken. The rooms and service are the equal of some of the finest hotels.

Historic Concrete House

The concrete house was built in Stone Harbor in 1909 as a model home for proposed development created by one of the founding realtors on the island.  Its location opposite the original train station ensured high visibility for vacationers arriving to the resort communities.  Unfortunately for the developer, the idea of a concrete house never really caught on.  Consequently the home remained virtually unchanged for its first 100 years of existence.  The current owners wanted to preserve the historic structure, which is a quite unique example of Egyptian/American architecture, yet needed to update the house to meet current lifestyle demands.  Therefore, we integrated an intermediate floor level to create three new bedrooms and two new bathrooms without substantially altering the exterior appearance.  As part of the renovations, a new roof was installed, the exterior stucco and concrete was repaired and new windows were installed to help ensure a long life into the future for the home.

Builder: Need Builder, Interior Designer: Need Designer