House Lust: A Fixer-Upper in Narragansett Gets a Facelift
Sweenor Builders is tackling the renovation, which will be aired on a forthcoming season of "This Old House."
We all need a happy story right about now. And, lovers of old houses, this one’s for you: This blue 1887 Victorian in Narragansett Pier — weathered, structurally deficient and, for a period, abandoned — will be saved. And how.
In February, a young family purchased the home, a one-and-a-half story Queen Anne with a turned-post veranda sited about two blocks from Narragansett beach, for $490,000; the sale was brokered by Lila Delman Real Estate. Sweenor Builders, out of Wakefield, was enlisted for the renovation, and the firm is well-versed in period-appropriate restorations. Its resume includes the McKim, Mead and White-designed summer home, Stone Lea, on Ocean Road.
They’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of them, with plans to address structural damage, rot and widespread deterioration. The firm will maintain exterior historical details, including decorative columns and shingles, eyebrow siding and the sunburst clapboard gable. A new addition will add a master suite to the three-bedroom home as well as a two-car garage and mudroom. The Narragansett Historic District Commission will consult on the project, and “This Old House” will cover the restoration for its forthcoming season on PBS.
The property is known locally as the Miller Homestead, where Narragansett Historical Society consulting historian John Miller’s grandparents lived between 1890 and 1948. (John had suggested the home as a potential site for the Historical Society’s permanent facility, but the price point and renovations were prohibitive. The organization has since arranged a long-term lease for the windmill building on Clarke Road and is grant-writing and fundraising to cover the cost of renovation. Contribute if you can!)
“This Old House” has chronicled five Sweenor Builders projects to date, including a new Idea House in Narragansett and a net-zero renovation in Jamestown that was featured in Rhode Island Monthly‘s March issue. To learn more, visit sweenorbuilders.com or thisoldhouse.com.