The Alexandria Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce that our April 2014 Preservation in Progress award goes to Mark Gravel for his rehab of the quintessential Craftsman Bungalow at 2403 Albert Street. The home was built in the mid 1920s, and features architectural elements that are characteristic of the Craftsman style so popular at the time. The home was in poor shape prior to the recent restoration, but luckily nearly all of the original exterior details were intact and able to be restored. These include the exposed rafter tails that run along the deep overhanging eaves of the roof and knee braces that run along the gable side of the roof; original four-over-one wood sash windows; a prominent exterior brick chimney; and the broad front porch with prominent triple tapered wood columns atop brick bases. Now properly restored and freshly painted, these original Craftsman elements retain architectural integrity and return curb appeal to this historic cottage.
Behind the restored façade, lies a modernized interior that features rejuvenated historic accents. All wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems have been updated to meet current codes. The walls and ceilings were originally ship-lap wood plank laid horizontally between wood framing and covered with cheese-cloth wallpaper, typical of the period. In the 1970s, the wall paper was covered with sheet paneling and the ceilings with acoustic tile. These coverings were removed and sheetrock has been installed. The kitchen and bathrooms have been completely renovated, but maintain a vintage charm. The original tongue-in-groove pine flooring was in poor condition, but after sanding and refinishing, they have once again become a beautiful asset to the home.
These major renovations were completed using state historic preservation tax credits. You can find more information on historic preservation tax credits under the “Resources” tab on our website at www.alexandriahpc.org. In a matter of months, a vacant, dilapidated eyesore was transformed back into a charming Craftsman home. The revitalization of this single structure is a visible improvement that affects the entire block, proving the power of preservation in progress!