Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in some of LandVest’s properties? We invite our owners to tell us a bit about their experiences, what they love about their homes and a bit of their history. A family from Connecticut purchased and renovated Captain Abbott’s House, a beautiful and historic home, in Andover, MA as their two sons would be attending Phillips Academy for four years. This is the final story in our interview with the current owners:
KS: The existing house (the third house to be built for an Abbot on the site of 56 Central Street) was completed in 1796 for Captain John Abbott. The house includes “Indian shutters”, shutters on both in inside and outside of the windows for protection from possible attacks. The present dining room was originally the winter kitchen with its hidden pass-thru and oversized “walk-in” fireplace, one of eight fireplaces in the house. The corner cabinet in this room was built around 1740 and is from the second Abbott house, which was torn down.
LV: How did you adapt the property during your ownership?
KS: The restoration of the remainder of the house and two barns was a detailed but joyful task. We took great pains to reuse original door hardware and the old soapstone sinks where possible, to restore or match “dental” and chair rail moldings, to reclaim heart pine flooring, to integrate the carriage barn into the main house, and to structurally rebuild and restore the freestanding barns. At the same time, we brought the whole property to 21st century functionality by adding entirely new central heating/air conditioning and commercial dehumidification systems, phone, cable, CAT-5 and data and wiring for video conferencing, an interior/exterior French drainage system, and installing new water/sewer, electric and natural gas utility services. As owners of 56 Central Street, we were proudly presented with the Historic Preservation Awards by the Andover Historical Society for exterior preservation of the granary or corn barn in 2006 and for the preservation of the house and grounds in 2010.
LV: What is it that made you the happiest owning the Abbot House over the years?
KS: Our family time in the grand and gorgeous historic gem which is 56 Central Street has been filled with joy and laughter. Our boys walked back between classes at Phillips Andover for lunch and had friends over for cooking parties on weekends in our chef’s kitchen; there were plenty of notably competitive touch football games on our large, flat back yard, regatta crews were hosted annually and the three-story, 5,000 square foot Dutch Barn offered opportunities for Halloween parties and dances. Our boys enjoyed the best of both worlds: a superb educational experience and a warm and eventful home life. As our boys are now grown, we no longer have a need for this wonderful place filled with so many memories. We are proud to be able to pass on a fully restored 56 Central Street, as an historical Andover icon to only the fifth family of residents. It was our pleasure to have preserved it for the succeeding generations to follow.
If you missed the other parts of our interview with owners of The John Abbott House, click on the links below: