• This is the slideshow created for a talk I did at the 2017 Historic Homes Workshop in Tampa. The subject was designing a modern kitchen for historic homes, with an emphasis on 1920s era inspired kitchens as that is the time period reflected in many Florida neighborhoods. The slideshow is missing my witty commentary, but the images should still be interesting.

  • One of our customer favorites is the tropical Snack Shack that we built in Palm Harbor with combination bar and storage shed. The shed design was recently adapted for a narrow site behind a historic Craftsman style home in the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood in Tampa. The resulting shed was 8'x18' version with framing details that complemented the historic home. The shed was approved by the local historic preservation office.

  • One of the perks of being in the preservation business is seeing all sorts of great historic sites that aren't always available to the public. When we worked primarily as historic preservation consultants under our Preservation Resource, Inc. mantle, we got to crawl in attics and private rooms of house museums, disused hotels, and even airplane hangers. Now, as we focus on making outbuildings for historic neighborhoods, we get to see private homes that aren't open to the public (I never say no when invited inside for a moment). One of the recent highlights was seeing a high-style Craftsman style bungalow in the Old Northeast neighborhood in St. Petersburg that was under rehabilitation. Known as the Sargent House, 806 18th Avenue NE was recently designated as a historic landmark by its newest owners, Sharon Winters and Kendall Reid. Originally built in 1923 by LeRoy and Marjorie Sargent, the house is significant for its architecture as a rare example of higher-style Craftsman design and construction in the airplane bungalow type. (See the full report at: http://www.stpete.org/committee%20packets/Community%20Planning%20and%20Preservation%20Commission/2016-04-12%20Reports.pdf). A local landmark designation recognizes structures or places that have historic value or that exemplify cultural, economic, or social value to the city, state, or nation. The benefits of this designation include neighborhood stabilization, increased heritage tourism through the maintenance of our historic character, relief from some of the requirements of the Florida Building Code, and an ad valorem tax exemption. Historic Shed was hired to design and build a small storage shed to be placed behind the house. The simple shed incorporated elements from the house such as the gable detailing, roof pitch, and outrigger design.

  • It’s easy to fall in love with an old house. One look at the high ceilings, built-in cabinets, large windows and deep porches set along grand tree-lined streets and your heart is sold. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to know what to do when the house you fell in love with is in need of repair. To help smitten old house owners, Tampa Preservation, Inc., presents an annual Historic Homes Workshop to connect homeowners to experts who will share their knowledge of historic home renovation. The theme for this year’s workshop is Maintaining the Old House.  Twelve sessions offer help on topics including Restoring Wood Windows, Foundation and Roof Repair, and Exterior Details related to the structure and design outside the old home (courtesy of Historic Shed).  Other sessions, including Remodeling a Period Bath, offer ideas for inside the historic home. A special highlight of this year’s workshop will be a session at Schiller’s Architectural Salvage exploring the use of salvaged materials in home decor. “We get a lot of calls from people looking for professionals to help them with their historic homes, from design issues to contractors to do the work,” observes Becky Clarke, President of Tampa Preservation. “This event showcases local experts who will share their knowledge and hopefully give away some of their industry secrets.” Historic Shed will have a table in the vendor display area, so please stop by and say hello. Tampa Preservation, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, established in 1973., is dedicated to the preservation of the historic structures and neighborhoods of the Tampa Bay area and Hillsborough County, and to the education of the area’s school children and residents about their unique heritage. What: Tampa Preservation, Inc. Historic Homes Workshop When: April 27, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Where: 1706 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 33606 Cost: Free for Tampa Preservation, Inc. members, $5 for non-members More Info: To see the Workshop schedule and learn more, please visit the website at www.TampaPreservation.com

  • Below is the slide show presentation Historic Shed president and historic preservation consultant, Jo-Anne Peck uses to talk about making your historic home more energy efficient without destroying its historic integrity. The presentation focuses on practical, affordable things that home owners can do without resorting to expensive high tech or invasive methods. The presentation is geared towards homes in Florida so focuses on keeping the cool air in. Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Historic Florida Home from Preservation Resource, Inc./ Historic Shed  

  • Historic Shed will be participating in two events next weekend. On Saturday, April 14th, 2012 we will be a featured speaker at the Tampa Preservation, Inc. Historic Homes Workshop. The annual event is free and offers 12 workshops geared towards historic homeowners that want to renovate their home in an architecturally and historically sensitive manner. The workshops will be run three at a time, so you will be able to attend up to four sessions during the day. Historic Shed's topic will be "Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Homes", focusing on practical, inexpensive ways to reduce energy use. Other speakers will discuss Wood Window Repair, Restoring Wood Floors, Researching You Home's History, Florida Friendly Landscaping and much more. For more information, please see the Tampa Preservation website. On Sunday, April 15th, Historic Shed will be a featured speaker during day 2 of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Miami. We will discuss Florida Building Codes in relation to small homes and cottages. These events are very informative and popular, so register soon if you are interested. We are looking forward to being a part of the event and meeting other tiny building aficionados, including author and workshop leader Derek "Deek" Diedricksen and Tiny House blogger Alex Pino. For more information  and to register see: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/blog/3-guest-speakers-confirmed-for-the-miami-workshop. Tiny House Workshop press: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/fl-tiny-houses-040812-20120406,0,2438495.story?page=1

  • When I was a child my mother bought a "School Memories" book that allowed you to record specifics for each school year. There were spaces for teacher's names, student height and weight, and a place for the annual school photo - wallet sized.  There were also places where you wrote your favorite food, favorite subject, and other hopes and dreams for the year. In Kindergarten my mother dutifully interviewed me and filled in the blanks. In future years I took it over and filled in the blanks myself, giving great thought to my answers each year, if not to my penmanship. I remember coming across the book several years after I stopped filling in the blanks during my senior year of high school. I don't remember most of the answers to the questions in the book, except for the one that asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I enjoyed reading as my aspirations went from Artist to Librarian to Teacher to Scientist and back again to Artist over the years. By this point in my life, I had decided that someone who that wanted to be a Librarian-Teaching-Scientist-Artist should study Architecture. What else could possibly blend all my interests? I applied to architecture school and found that it stimulated all my diverse interests, except that I was missing one major element that seemed critical to my studies - I had no idea how to build a building. I didn't think this would be a problem when I entered school, but surprisingly it's the one thing they don't teach you in architecture school - they teach lots of abstract theory of design (I had Freshman assignments to design "aleatory space" and to draw the inside of an egg), but not how to actually construct a wall. It turns out that I had a practical side that needed to know the nuts and bolts before the theory could interest me. This problem got worse each year in college, and even though I spent my summers working in the construction industry, I ended up switching from the 5-year full Architecture degree program to the (less abstract) 4-year Building Science degree program. This left me again with a blank line to fill in regarding what I wanted to be when I grew up - without the architecture degree I could not sit for my licensing exam and ever become a real Architect. When I graduated, we were in a building recession and jobs for my degree were few and uninspiring (one of my few interviews was for a construction manager position in a drywall company - even the interview was boring). So I did what most lost college graduates  do - I went to graduate school. During one of my summer jobs I had gotten access to some of the grand Victorian homes in my hometown and had been amazed at the architectural details (none of which were taught or even discussed during architecture school) and had gotten a case of Pretty House Syndrome. So I decided the next stage in life would be studying Historic Preservation. Now, I must admit, I had no idea what one did with a degree in historic preservation, but it seemed preferable to estimating endless sheets of drywall. It turned out that while I didn't love abstract architectural theory, I loved learning, studying and theorizing about historic buildings. I loved learning how preserving historic buildings  protected community identity, fostered good neighbors, was true sustainable building and made economic sense. And because I'd been so focused on learning the nuts and bolts of how to build during architecture school, I found that learning how to treat and repair historic buildings came naturally. Since then, I've been able to use what I learned both in college and grad school to be a teacher, an artist, a scientist and spend lots of time in libraries. And it turns out that being a historic preservationist suits me. This blog post is part of Let's Blog Off, a twice-monthly event where bloggers from all aspects of life blog on a single post topic. This week's topic is "What did you want to be when you grew up?"

  • Tiny House Abner Doubleday birthplace

    For those of you interested in the tiny house movement, there's no shortage of historic precedent for small, attractive homes. The average size of an American single-family home has grown exponentially over the years, but most of our ancestors managed to live in what we now consider pretty small homes. Take this small house in Ballston Spa, NY as an example. The house was the birthplace of Abner Doubleday, the man whom the invention of baseball is falsely attributed and who served a very significant role in the Civil War. According to the Wikipedia entry, the Doubledays lived in a single room with an attic loft at the time little Abner was born here in 1819; whether the house was a duplex as it now appears or a single-family residence is unclear. Either way, the house appears to have originally been only a single room deep and is quite small for a modern-day family. Abner Doubleday was a graduate of West Point and a career US Army Officer that fought in the Mexican-American War, the Seminole Wars and the American Civil War. He fired the first shot in the defense of Fort Sumter in 1861, starting the fighting in the American Civil War. He also commanded troops during the Battle of Gettysburg. More about his well-documented career can be found online. The idea that Doubleday invented the game of baseball in Cooperstown, NY in 1839 was proposed in 1908 by Albert Spalding and a group of baseball businessmen to publicize the game. No documentation, including Doubleday's numerous papers, has ever linked him to the game of baseball, although the myth has made him a household name.

  • I am spending a week in my home town of Saratoga Springs, NY and have been busy snapping photos of small historic buildings (which are quite plentiful in this area) for my reference collection. Saratoga Springs has a long and interesting history of development including the Battle of Saratoga (the turning point of the Revolutionary War) and development as a health resort, gambling center, spa and horse racing center during the later half of the 1880s. Saratoga continues to be a thriving city attracting thousands of visitors for its spas, history, intense charm, arts centers and horse racing. The National-Register listed Congress Park is centrally located in downtown Saratoga on Broadway. It sports several mineral springs, historic sculpture and fountains, natural and manicured gardens and the historic Canfield Casino within its 17 acres. Here's a tour of some small structures and historic features in the Park.