Cape Cod Historic Homes | Blog
  • Historic Homes vs. the Flood Zone


    Image from the NFIP bulletin on Historic Structures
    Our forefathers had the good sense to build inland in many cases.  Unfortunately, rising sea levels and beach erosion have brought the sea to the house.  FEMA, in an effort to reduce the risk of loss of property or life, has established minimum requirements for renovating homes in communities that participate in the flood insurance program. Ahem, all of Cape Cod.

    For non historic houses in communities that participate in the flood insurance program, once the house has been "substantially improved", meaning 50% of its pre improved value, it must be brought into conformance with the National Flood Insurance Program requirements.  Note that in many places, "substantial improvement" is cumulative (though not in Massachusetts), so if you renovate your kitchen this year, and upgrade the heating system next... read more

  • 7 Things to Consider When Buying Your Historic Home on Cape Cod


    1.  How tall are you?  Do you clamor for an early period home with an enormous hearth complete with beehive oven?  These early gems have wide pine floors, multi paned wavy glass windows, iron thumb latches and built in cupboards.  But what they usually don't have, is high ceilings.  Many late 17th century or early 18th century homes have low ceilings.  So if you are a contender for the NBA, you may want to look at a later period style home or a vintage 1940's reproduction.

    2.  Basements.  Many of the antique homes on the Cape have what we affectionately refer to as a "Cape Cod" basement.  It is a circular pit lined with stone or, more commonly, brick.   At any given time it will fit your water heater, your... read more

  • Sweet Historic Cape in Yarmouth Port, Worth a Look



    We were told it was not a drive by and they were right.  There is so much more to this antique than you would imagine just looking at from the road.  We Just previewed this 1820 Cape, listed by Team Tom Dillon at eXp Realty, situated on over an acre on historic 6A in Yarmouth Port and wanted to let our old house enthusiasts know about this nicely renovated antique. 
    First, the house. Walking into the mudroom from the back door we looked right and saw the most charming laundry room. From the hallway we entered the kitchen. It has a bit of an industrial vibe with 6’ wide built-in Viking refrigerator, stainless steel open shelves, restaurant style center island and stove. One of the best features is that while you are waiting for your... read more

  • Royal Barry Wills Crush



    Looking for a house that is oozing with charm but also works well for today's living?  The classic Cape Cod homes that dot our landscape were an inspiration for the renowned architect Royal Barry Wills.  Though he also designed cutting edge modern homes, his traditional designs helped to catapult the Cape style home to the forefront of Colonial Revival American architecture during the first half of the 20th century.  Wills, born in Melrose Massachusetts in 1895, established his architectural practice in 1925.

    Historic New England has Royal Barry Wills archive

    A graduate of MIT in architectural engineering, Wills pulled inspiration from the language of traditional architecture for his cape style homes.  They evoke the feeling of... read more

  • The White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs



    This post should be subtitled "How did I not know this was a thing".  I was rummaging around my favorite book store, when I came across a jewel in their used book section.  The object of my desire was a worn portfolio of architectural essays, entitled "The White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs", which was barely held together with a clip.  I brought it home and upon researching further, found that the bi weekly series, edited by architect Russell Whitehead, had a long history in documenting historical architecture in the United States.


    The White Pine Series was born in 1914 and was supported by the Northern Pine Manufacturer's Association of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and the Associated White Pine... read more