Historical Preservation - 405 Magazine

Historical Preservation

An older home presents many challenges, but the opportunities to coexist with living history proved irresistible to intrepid homeowners Blair and Maggie Humphreys.

THREE YEARS AGO, the charming features of this historical two-story Gatewood home drew Blair and Maggie Humphreys in. After their purchase, they sought to preserve those details during the renovation of their ‘new’ 1920s-era home.

Most homes of the age were equipped with tiny, utilitarian kitchens and some items, such as call buttons to ring the butler, suggest that the kitchen was an area reserved for staff. A still-functional elevator, running from the foyer to the master suite, ensured immediate service. The Humphreys have kept the elevator, but they don’t use it. “The elevator works,” Maggie notes, “But I’ve heard from other homeowners who have them that there are only a couple of people who can still service them if they break down, so we don’t want to chance it!”

Absent a kitchen staff and butler, the young parents of a toddler son (and come May, his baby brother) rely on their own resources for keeping a busy household fed. To do that, they took out several walls that divided the original kitchen into multiple compartments, such as a breakfast nook and a mudroom.