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  • Writer's pictureJohn Mastera, Architect, AIA

A Village Design Icon: Queen Anne - Pelham Manor, NY

Updated: May 18, 2022

From old and stuffy to new, light and modern - the seeds of this iconic design existed in this old Queen Anne residence that had been neglected until the Mins purchased it. From there we transformed it into a modern living work of art that harkens back to the traditional detailing of the Victorian Age.

We creatively transformed the faults of the house into a unique architectural creation. A new stone Porte Cochere with limestone arch was built that welcomes visitors to the home and weaves the house to an adjacent two car garage. To marry all of this with the main home, an ingenious two story mahogany office “hinge” was designed.

From there, a new and modern kitchen was built, with a circular breakfast area with skylight roof above, family room spilling out into an outdoor living room with a fireplace that looks over the completely renovated and relocated pool. Air, light and an active lifestyle became the nature of the house.

Hemmed in by a stone ledge at the back of the property and a decrepit shed. We asked ourselves, “How would we like the client to live back here?” They are a very intelligent, ambitious and active family. So, for them, we transformed the ledge into a backdrop of a spa & terrace perched on the cliff with water spilling off of the edge of the stone facing the pergola at the house.

The pool below the spa became a focus of water art, fun and relaxation with water spilling over a stone ledge at the back and water slide formed into the side of the cliff taking you from the top of the ledge down the cliff edge to the pool . Previously unusable areas became functional art. Overlooking the end of the pool, the old shed was turned into a Cabana and recreation room - a “Victorian young lady” accenting the home with a flowing skirt apron over the main window.

From the Mins:

“It was a pleasure to witness such a professional creative practice - his ability to study the history of the building and shape the new additions in ever more creative ways, adding modern style to the old style. His designs exude a wonderful sense of warmth and intimacy while providing formal and informal places that extend us out into the site, which he too designed. While he could have gone off and designed this without us, he included us every step of the way to arrive at a design that was perfectly customized for our family. It was a wonderful process and result.”

What are your thoughts? Do you like our creative take on Victorian architecture for the modern world? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram or leave your comments below.

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