1917 Gawthrop House in West Chester
The owner of this 1917 classic center-hall Colonial moved to the area from the Pacific Northwest, where her small home made up for its size with unforgettable views and unrelenting sunlight. Now, in her stone Chester County estate, this renovation and new addition aimed to honor the home’s history while replicating the daydreamy feel of her beloved West Coast residence.
The goal of this design was three-pronged: create a functional, sun-drenched kitchen and mudroom; retain second-story views; and preserve and replicate the details and proportions of the original 1917 structure. To meet the challenge of creating a one-story addition that doesn’t obstruct second-story views, a hip structure on the standing-seam roof was employed. This solution adds an aesthetically and architecturally gratifying addendum to the home without compromising the views of the home’s original top-story rooms.
The addition was strategically built toward the south of the home to take advantage of the consistent sunlight and backyard views. Banks of six-over-six windows, a glass door that opens to the back terrace, and a cupola at the peak of a voluminous cathedral kitchen bay roof usher natural light into this transcendent space. Elsewhere in the kitchen, bright white woodwork, an opalescent marble island countertop, and glazed brick backsplash provide ample spaces across which light can dance, even after sundown.
The 1917 portion of the home has been meticulously maintained by both current and past owners, and it was crucial to honor their careful preservation and the craftsmanship of the first builders. Traditional woodworking and the utilization of a well-seasoned stone mason and other distinguished craftsmen carry the home’s fine heritage of mastery of detail into the new addition. From period-appropriate light fixtures to properly sized and proportioned window panes, everything in this addition was closely considered from both an historic and utilitarian perspective. The result is a space that both remains true to its history and rises to the demands and epicurean expectations of luxurious twenty-first-century living.