Maria Lightfoot fell in really like with the assets the moment she saw it. The 2,800-square-foot Colonial Revival at 912 South Gaskins Street in western Henrico County was cozy and inviting, and it sat on a bucolic 2¼-acre great deal that integrated a pond and sweeping sights of meadows and previous-expansion trees.
“Every see was beautiful,” she reported.
Even so, she knew she’d want to make modifications to the dwelling, if she and her partner, Mark Lightfoot, bought the property. She envisioned increasing it with a sizeable Fashionable-design addition that provided an open floorplan and a lot of ground-to-ceiling windows hunting out onto the pastoral location.
“I said, ‘This is attractive, and I want to are living inside/outdoors,’” Lightfoot stated. “It was my desire.”
The Present day twist wasn’t stunning. Lightfoot grew up in Midcentury Modern day homes designed by her father, the Austrian-born architect Leopold Bruno Boeckl, and her very own get the job done as an inside designer favored the Modern-day aesthetic. The challenge was getting the right architect to assistance convey her vision to lifetime. “I’d prepared on performing with my father, but he had a stroke,” she claimed.
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After purchasing the home in 2018, they hired Dan Ensminger, principal of Henrico-dependent Ensminger Architecture, to help convey their eyesight to daily life. “Dan recognized what I wanted to create,” Lightfoot stated.
Ensminger’s design and style for the two-story addition would add 2,000 sq. toes to the home, with a multipurpose space and a two-automobile garage on the very first floor and an open up dwelling and eating area on the second.
“We added a two-tale glass box onto a bucolic cottage, in essence,” Ensminger explained.
A house with an surprising historical past
This is not the to start with time the property was substantially altered. The framework was constructed in the early 1800s and served as a 2½-story horse barn on a thoroughbred racehorse farm owned by John Wickham, the lawyer who defended Aaron Burr all through his demo for treason. “Before that, the land was portion of the Tuckahoe Plantation,” stated Ralph Higgins, whose terrific-aunt, Ellen Harvie Smith, purchased a 50-acre portion of the horse farm around 80 decades back.
The horse barn was unstable by the late 1940s, so Smith had all but the reduce level dismantled. She stored the bricks onsite, though, so when Higgins’s sister moved to Virginia from Florida in the early 1990s, he instructed she use the bricks to construct a house atop the surviving portion of the barn.
“We took the first brick and created it up 2½ tales, like the barn,” claimed Higgins, a landscape architect whose initiatives involve doing work on the masterplan for the Innsbrook Company Center.
Later, Higgins’s sister added a wing on to the residence that enhanced the property’s quantity of bedrooms from two to 3.
Ensminger and Lightfoot put in six months tweaking the design and style, and it took a further year to build the addition. Operate wrapped up in 2020.
These days, the addition is stuffed with sunlight, and the views of the meadows and trees are remarkable – just as Lightfoot envisioned. It is also an curiously aggressive mixing of aged and new. When the addition’s building supplies are primarily Contemporary, Ensminger used aged bricks for some of the development as a way to tie with each other the old and new.
Inside, the furnishings are eclectic, with loved ones heirlooms, art and home furnishings combined in with Modern day and Up to date pieces. Amid the more mature items: paintings by Lightfoot’s grandfather, Herbert Boekl a stitching device at the time owned by Lightfoot’s mom and a Biedermeier cupboard that had to be restored right after the Nazis destroyed it in Environment War II.
“It’s Present day, but it’s warm,” Lightfoot reported.
Intrigued in seeing the Lightfoots’ home in person? You’re in luck. Fashionable Richmond, a nonprofit business that organizes excursions of Modern-model residential and business structures, will host a tour of the house on June 15.
“Modern Richmond’s target is to share high-high quality Fashionable style and design with the Larger Richmond local community, and this dwelling is striking,” stated Mimi Sadler, an historical architect and Modern day Richmond’s plan director. “Dan is very talented, and I love the way his design combines the aged and the new.”
For additional information and facts, visit modernrichmond.org.
Editor’s note: This is an installment in the “Great Properties of Richmond” sequence.