the original “kragsyde,” designed by
Boston architects Peabody and Stearns, was
built in 1882 and torn down in 1929.
the elements, to which architects now turned for
inspiration. The Shingle Style was a merging
of the Queen Anne style (deemed acceptable
for its English historicity) with humble materials such as shingles and stone that symbolized
simpler, more democratic times.
Which isn’t to say that these new houses
were not grand — anyone able to commission
an architect to design one would most likely
be more of a plutocrat than a democrat. But at
least the rich could seem, and possibly feel, less
highfalutin in the shingled “cottages” they built
along the seashore. Driving home the point that
this was hardly everyman’s architecture, many
of the most beautiful Shingle Style buildings
weren’t houses at all, but secondary structures:
stables, laundry buildings, gatehouses, coach-men’s and gardeners’ cottages, icehouses, and
even bowling alleys built on large estates. There
were country clubs, yacht clubs, casinos, fishing and shooting clubs, and chapels, and a few
exclusive hotels as well.
Shingle Style houses have since developed
a devoted following, especially among architects,
perhaps because relatively few were built (high
style comes at a high price). Architect Robert A.
M. Stern, for one, has made a career out of resurrecting the style for a monied clientele.
One of the most iconic Shingle Style
houses of all, “Kragsyde” — built in 1882 in what
is now Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts,
and torn down in 1929 — captured the imagination of one couple, Jane Goodrich and Jim
Beyor, who, 100 years after its construction,
began building a replica on Swan’s Island in
Maine. Using original plans they’d discovered
in the Boston Public Library, it took them 20
years to complete “Kragsyde II.” An American
original reborn, it has the signature summertime
feel, but this incarnation has heat.