Massachusetts Historical Commission - 2009 Preservation Award Winners
Philip Munroe House Cambridge
 
Historic New England

Rehabilitation & Restoration

Built in 1887 for grocer Philip Munroe, this Second Empire-style, two-family residence was designed by Cambridge architect James Fogerty. The building is a contributing resource of the Maple Avenue National Register Historic District, known for its restored historic buildings. The house is one of the more prominent buildings in the area, abutting the Maple Avenue Tot Park. Prior to its restoration and rehabilitation, the house was in significant disrepair due to decades of neglect: the site was overgrown, many basement and first-floor structural components had been damaged by termites, and hasty repairs over time had led to the degradation of the building's historic character.

Extensive exterior rehabilitation in 2010 included restoration of the slate roof, the Queen Anne-style front porch, and the stained-glass front entry doors. Vinyl windows were replaced with historically accurate wood windows, the original color scheme was reinstated, large obstructive bushes were removed, and asbestos siding and rotted wood sheathing were replaced with new but appropriate wood clapboards. Chimneys were repointed and reconstructed where necessary. Additionally, the 1919 garage was made structurally sound and repainted. Interior restoration preserved the original floor plan, the architecturally significant stairwells, and marble fireplace mantles. While lead paint was removed, historic interior doors were saved and restored, and original trim was saved where possible. The project utilized both the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Tax Credit and the Federal Historic Tax Credit and also earned a Silver rating under the LEED for HOMES green rating program.

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