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Corbin Norton House, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Location
Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, MA — 2004

Hirschmann Windows and Doors

  • 54 Single-Hung Windows and 2 pocketing Double-Hung Windows
  • 8 Exterior Doors with beveled glass and removable Storm Doors
  • 42 Interior Doors
  • 10,000 bdft of hand selected Cypress
  • 12,000 bdft of Quater-sawn White Oak used for the natural finish work

Architect
Design Associates, Inc.
Chris Dallmus, AIA, 1994 restoration
Darin Mardock, AIA, 2004 reconstruction

Contractor
Doyle Construction, Inc., Contractor

Project Case Study
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Description

It’s a home with a storied history. 1891. Philip Corbin, turn-of-the-century hardware entrepreneur, builds the centerpiece of a Victorian seashore park on Martha’s Vineyard — both summer retreat and a showcase for his firm’s most richly decorated and innovative hardware. 1991. Purchased by Peter Norton, founder and CEO of Norton Utilities software company. In the 100 years between, the house was gradually stripped of her original Queen Anne beauty — all ornament, detail, materials, line and rich color lost.

In 2001, just years after an historic restoration by the architectural firm, Design Associates, Inc., and contractor Doyle Construction, the home was destroyed by fire. The owner was not deterred. Wishing to reconstruct the home in every detail of its original Queen Anne predecessor, Design Associates was tasked with assembling a new team and taking on a complete reconstruction for a second time.

Working intensively from photographs, Design Associates looked for examples of everything from roof pitches to brick patterns to newel post design. All Hirschmann windows and doors were scrutinized for historical accurateness, yet also needed to integrate modern conveniences and approaches such as self-cleaning glass, and stainless steel cable reinforced cotton sash cord wherever possible

“Hirschmann was invaluable on this project,” states Mardock. “Their shop drawings are very precise. Their craftmanship is top-drawer. They were a great assest in finding unusual hardware. And, they engineered and fabricated some of the more complex parts of the house.” Disappearing sashes provide balcony access from an upstairs bedroom. A combination pocket-swing double door brings Philip Corbin’s ingenuity back to life.

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