The Main House | Exterior
Hi, friends! We are continuing our tour of Lombardy here on the blog with a walk around the exterior of the main house. In our last two posts, we took a look at the exterior and interior renovations of the mid-18th-century guest house. If you would like to read up on Lombardy’s fascinating history, check out this post! Now, let’s head over to the main house!
Showing Her Age
Designed in 1929, the Colonial Revival house is a well-built structure with beautiful views overlooking the Miles River. Constructed by skilled craftsman and quality materials, Lombardy is an architectural gem. Unfortunately, when we bought the 9,000-sq.ft., white-clapboard house with the Mount Vernon porch in 2003 the 75-year-old grande dame was definitely showing her age. For starters, the riverfront veranda had been enclosed with screens, seriously compromising the rear elevation of the house. Also, when the original Chippendale railing deteriorated, it had been removed. In addition, a wood stove with a somewhat skinny brick chimney had been added to one wing of the house. Here’s a glimpse of what we bought…
More Than a Face Lift
As with all of our renovations, David Neumann at Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects (NLB) in Washington DC helped to guide us through the restorations. We wanted to be sensitive to the architectural integrity of the home and we trusted David and his team to make the necessary changes. Our friends and partners at NLB are known for skillfully interpreting the language of traditional architecture. We needed to bring Lombardy into the 21st century while being respectful of the property’s historical relevance. After completing the renovations of the guest house, barn, and then rebuilding the carriage house, restoration of the main house began in 2006.
Here we go! Part of the renovation included lead paint abatement and removing asbestos shingles. It was quite a process!
For the most part, the original footprint of the house remained unchanged. Covered porches were added to the two hyphens. A before picture of one of the hyphens is shown in the middle below.
We added a bit of square footage to the kitchen and library wings with the addition of bays. Middle and right – Chippendale railing, which had been part of the two story veranda originally, was installed on the porch roof.
The curved breezeway that connects the guest house to the main house was removed and rebuilt. By adding height to the breezeway, we were able to add transom windows to both buildings.
Renovations to the main house took about 18 months. Below and right…my boys and Brooks just as construction on this phase was coming to a close, ca 2007. In this photo, the pool was still located off of the library wing (on the left). From here, we moved straight into the next phase of the project. The pool and a new pool house were constructed adjacent to the kitchen wing and guest house – a move which has worked out beautifully!
Here are a few recent photos from this past weekend.
Finally, if you would like to see more of our home tours, go to this page!