Northshore Magazine

July 2012

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 141 of 155

" they must have looked at 40 houses before they saw this one," says Rob Mac- Neille, principal architect of the Essex de- sign-build firm Carpenter & MacNeille. He recalls how Nicolay and Natalia Bogachev, originally from Moscow but now at home in Luxembourg, hunted for a pied-à-terre when their children began attending boarding school in Massachusetts. "They looked all along the coast, north and south of Boston," MacNeille says. "They knew they wanted to be on the water, but beyond that, had no precon- ceptions. When they saw Selkirk, they fell in love. He adds in a wry tone, "Of all the houses they toured, they fell in love with the one in the worst shape." Perched on a granite ledge beside the Annisquam Lighthouse at the edge of Ipswich Bay, Selkirk is a poetically perfect example of late 19th-century New England Arts and Crafts architecture. When the Bogachevs first saw it in 2003, the house was in near-original condition—the best and the worst thing about it, according to MacNeille. "The good thing was that no one had ever messed with a very beautiful, unusual house," he says. "Everything about the design shouts 1890s to me," MacNeille explains. "It has the steeply pitched roofs, multiple gables, exposed rafter tails, and irregular mass- ing of the best Shingle-style and Arts and Crafts vacation homes of the time. Annisquam was as fashionable then as now, but we don't know much about the house's origins, except that it was a summer home most likely built around 1895." But there was bad news: "The bad thing was that the house needed everything," MacNeille says. While Selkirk still boasted lovely archi- tectural details like the graceful finial and drop pendant decorating the arch over the front door, the old summer place was drafty and cold, with a barely winterized basement and a hodgepodge of leaky re- placement windows. The main rooms were camp-like, with unplastered studs and raft- ers, painted a utilitarian, unvarying white. MacNeille says, "We left the original footprint alone and added what was needed. Besides winterization and system 140

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