Andy Carpentier in Living Room, Sonora Cabin, photo by Kat Alves
October 2, 2018

Peek Inside These Houses Opened Just for Preservation Magazine

Whether it’s on paper or in person, seeing inside a house not one’s own has a special kind of appeal, especially for lovers of old houses. It’s a fun way to envision what it would be like to live in a historic house of your own, or, simply, just to appreciate the way old buildings continue to be loved. Here, we rounded up four of our favorite houses covered in Preservation magazine with extra photos for your own virtual historic homes tour.

Starting off the tour is the first historic house we covered all the way back in the Winter 2017 issue of Preservation, a charming, robin’s egg blue cabin built around 1866 in the Sierra Nevada foothills. The Joseph McCullough Cabin presented some challenges to architect and owner Andy Carpentier, from malfunctioning plumbing to piles of 20th-century add-ons like vinyl asbestos tile. With a lot of dedicated enthusiasm and (rewarding) hard work, Carpentier transformed his home into a picture-perfect retreat with plenty of history still around.

Traveling to the East Coast, let’s step inside the Isabelle Bowen Henderson House and Gardens, first seen in the Summer 2018 issue. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, the house is now owned by Bowen Henderson’s grandnephew. Having so much family heritage in one place to keep alive hasn’t intimidated Russ Stephenson. Not only did he work to get the house listed on the National Register of Historic Places, he’s made sure that his great-aunt’s legacy is seen everywhere you look, from the beautiful gardens she planted that surround the Victorian-era house, to a map of the Carolina Colonies she painted in the house’s front room.

Another house with family ties is the Kuhne-Drews House in Charleston, South Carolina. The circa-1915 house was built by the great-grandparents of English Kuhne Drews, who began a massive undertaking in 2015 to repair the house’s many problems. Even though Kuhne Drews was advised to tear the house down, she knew that the house, with all of its family history, was worth trying to save. She moved into the American Foursquare with her husband in 2016 and decorated the interior with family heirlooms that look right at home.

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Sometimes, a house is just so extraordinary that it becomes a work of art. Anthony and JJ Curis understood this better than most when they purchased the W. Hawkins Ferry House in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan, in 2015. Built in the early 1960s for W. Hawkins Ferry, a philanthropist and art collector, he used the house to display pieces of his art collection that guests at one of his many parties would be sure to notice. Though it had been changed over the years, the Curises were able to piece together how the house looked originally, thanks to a box of old Polaroids, original plans, and a team of artisans who helped decipher the changes. Even though the house was built to be on display, the Curis family finds it a cozy and, well, homey spot to live.

Meghan White is a historic preservationist and a former assistant editor for Preservation magazine. She has a penchant for historic stables, absorbing stories of the past, and one day rehabilitating a Charleston single house.

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