Before + After: History in the Making

The narrative of this historic plantation dates back to the late 18th century—and so does the tale of the matching entryways. The original house, constructed in 1784 by the Upshur family, consisted of a single room with a single porch. Abel Parker Upshur, a prominent Eastern Shore judge who served as Secretary of the Navy and later as Secretary of State under President John Tyler, expanded the structure in 1829. A series of additions followed, and the original structure eventually became the living room. Somewhere along the way, a second entrance was created adjacent to the first in the same Georgian style. However, each new space that was added to the brick-ended clapboard structure affected the overall flow and feel of the home.

The project team set to work with a list of goals that included a complete restoration/ renovation of the original historic house, the removal of any recent additions that were out of character with Vaucluse’s heritage, and the construction of new additions that would provide more living space for the Rogers while making the most of waterway views. In essence, explains Muse, the home has two fronts—one from the drive and one from the water. Over time, a number of outdoor areas had been built and torn down around the house, so the design team decided to create twin porches to give the homeowners something that would last.

Sunlit dining areaWhen it came to the original kitchen—a small, barely functional space—the homeowners wanted more. The team addressed this by adding what Muse refers to as a one-story hyphen, a connecting space from the dining room that leads into a spacious kitchen with both modern conveniences and nods to yesteryear. Based on the historical design of kitchens as outbuildings, the room has a brick floor and exposed beams to help echo elements of the original structure. In addition, an enclosed porch acts as a breakfast room bay.

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