Marston-Lawrence Farm – DBA

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O’BRIEN HOUSE

Originally: Marston-Lawerence Farm
House Restoration
Yarmouth, Maine

Services:
Preservation, Restoration

 

The Marston-Lawrence Farm is a perfect example of the connected farm type, so common in the rural areas of New England.  Located in Yarmouth, Maine, the construction of the house began in 1790 and continued over the next 100 years.  Unique to New England, the connected farm type is unusual in that the house is connected directly to the barn. The evolution of this unusual architectural style has been in debate among architectural historians for decades.

The first portion of the farm, commonly referred to as the “Big House” by architectural historians, was constructed in 1790 and served as the living quarters of the family. The residence is a classic two and a half story timber frame colonial residence.  In 1862 Captain Levi Marston acquired the property and immediately added the “Little House,” which sits perpendicular to the Big House.  This addition was the working heart of the farm and housed essential activities where crops and raw materials were processed for consumption or sail.   After a year of ownership he constructed the barn and ell.  The ell is a series of service spaces linking the main house to the barn and typical housed workrooms for tasks such as butter and cheese making, milk cooling, and home-industry crafts including clothes making and quilting.  A large 900 gallon wrought iron cistern that was used for water storage still sits underneath the kitchen.

The Marston-Lawrence farm is now owned by the O’Brien family who intend on preserving the historic character of this unique farmhouse while updating the living quarters to be a functional twenty-first century living space.  In the first phase of restoration, the beams and joist ceiling of the “Big House” have been exposed and restored in the 1790’s portion of the house to display the historic bones of the structure.  The 20th century stair hall has been removed and replaced with a more suitable staircase leading to the second floor with a library overlooking the stairwell below. As work has progressed, the original plaster containing horse hair, which was historically used for reinforcement, has been uncovered.

Restoration has been taking place over the course of this winter and is scheduled to be completed this summer.

  • Davis Buckley Architects and Planners
    1612 K Street, NW, Suite 900
    Washington, DC 20006
    T: 202-223-1234
    F: 202-223-1212

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