by Kelly McCoy
For some, historic preservation is a passion. For this Greenwich, Connecticut couple it is also a business. “We don’t just restore historic buildings in a museum-like way,” explained Greenwich, Connecticut Developer Christopher Franco. “We adapt them so people are comfortable and want to live in them.” This is an understatement for Harbor House @ Greenwich Point, the unique renaissance of the seaside Harbor House Inn, which dates back to 1895.
Franco and his wife, Rachel, both grew up in Greenwich and have a passion for preserving, restoring, and transforming the area’s historic properties. When the Harbor House Inn was up for sale, they took the opportunity to design their vision of a stunning condominium residence for active empty nesters. In the end, they made it their home, along with five other buyers. With local architect Krist Dodaro, they designed six three-bedroom homes inside the 14,000sf structure, each with three-and-a-half bathrooms and easy access to beautifully crafted shared spaces.
A rooftop relaxation deck offers sweeping views of the ocean, while its styling is reminiscent of a widow’s walk recalling the architectural details of seaside homes when the original inn was built. A grand hallway and staircase meet residents as they enter, while the lower level offers a Wine Room, complete with a dining area for 12 guests adjacent to wine storage for each resident.
“The Wine Room can be reserved by residents when their entertainment plans require more space,” said Franco. “We also have a small, well-equipped gym so that couples downsizing don’t have to worry about changing their fitness regimen.” The intent was to create the ultimate in comfort and convenience for those wanting to downsize without sacrificing the advantages of a larger home.
The windows are a signature of the building
“This building is all about the windows, “ said Franco “We wanted big windows and high ceilings to give the feeling of grand Paris apartments. We wanted to replicate the intricate cottage-style windows that were a signature of the building from hundreds of years ago, while creating environments where homeowners were excited to live.”
The developers were thrilled to be able to work Marvin Windows into their budget for the project, citing their energy efficiency and historic replication capabilities as a powerful combination for restoration projects. Along with the signature look on the outside, the windows were essential to creating light-filled spaces that would appear larger than their square footage, to create a gracious living environment in which active empty nesters would feel excited about their new lifestyle.
“Our team was inspired to replicate the original signature cottage-style windows with elongated diamond lites on top,” said Steve Hoyt, who leads the Marvin Commercial Solutions Team for A.W. Hastings, the company representing Marvin Windows and Doors in New England and Eastern New York. “While the new windows are a reminder of the original grandeur of the building, they are now also energy efficient and easy to maintain.”
Hoyt’s team is the fulcrum between the custom manufacturing team at Marvin Windows in Warroad, Minnesota, and the local Marvin dealer who was onsite to ensure the project was delivered as promised.
Kelly McCoy is owner at The McCoy Group in Ogunquit, Maine.