Finished spaces took over an underused level

The basement — once the domain of coal bin and laundry room — did double duty as both utility area and a place to watch movies and store fine wines. New partitions created an exercise room, a media room, and a wine cellar, and an existing soapstone slop sink anchors a laundry area with new counters, washer, and dryer. One small mechanical room housed the boiler, and another held the electronics and home network. To accommodate this rearrangement, the basement stairs were relocated to the center of the house. Bruce was adamant, however, about retaining an outside staircase directly into the underground level. "You ever come in from a walk in the rain with three golden retrievers?" he asked. "The first thing they do is shake. It'll be great to have a place for our three wet dogs to dry off."

Colonial Revival: an American Hodgepodge

If you asked any kid in America to draw a picture of a house, chances are he or she would come up with something that looks like the Winchester project house. In fact, the Colonial Revival style so dominates the American landscape that its symmetrical facade with shuttered windows and a columned portico has become the iconic representation of the American home. That was the point of the style when it was first conceived in the 1880s: to create something that clearly read as American. Born out of the patriotic fervor and nostalgia of the 1876 American Centennial, the style's name is a bit of a misnomer. Colonial Revival designs hark back to house forms of both the pre- and post-Revolutionary periods: English and Dutch colonial from the 17th and 18th centuries, and Federal and, particularly, Georgian of the early 19th century. Colonial Revival style at its broadest takes many forms. They range from the ornate mansions of the late 19th century to the more modest profiles that popped up through the first half of the 20th century. A hodgepodge in even its most recognizable forms, it borrows a number of elements from its predecessors, including portico entryways, fanlights, transoms, sidelights, gable and gambrel roofs, and multipaned sash windows. Often these features are enlarged, exaggerated, and grouped in ways they never would have been on the original houses they mimic. Some architectural historians believe that Colonial Revival was a backlash against more ornate Victorian-era styles, such as Italianate or Gothic Revival. Whatever the impetus, as the recent proliferation of neo-Colonial McMansions in our wealthier suburbs proves, this familiar style remains embedded in the American psyche.

— Alexandra Bandon
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