1890s Renovation

1890s Renovation 1890s Renovation 1890s Renovation 1890s Renovation

Lexington, MA Home Renovation Storyline

The homeowners asked Feinmann to restore the façade of their 1896 Victorian house to its exact original condition. Since photos and blueprints are typically not available for a house of this era, this type of restoration is often done by guesswork. But in this case, we were fortunate enough to have a set of hand-architectural drawings bound in a leather scroll, which our client provided. This proved to be a benefit and a challenge.

Renovations over a period of many decades created a façade that was almost unrecognizable to the original structure, based on the architectural drawings. However, it soon became clear that restoring the façade to meet the original design specifications would cost much more than the homeowners had budgeted.

We decided to use the drawings as a “template,” making strategic design changes where necessary for major cost savings. Some of these changes concerned the bay windows. With the second floor bay, for example, we simplified the construction elements but achieved the same character. The porch restorations saw some minor design changes as well. The front porch was only slightly reconfigured – again to avoid the expense of an exact replication – but we were able to bring back its original grandeur and scale, key to the home’s charm. Much of our work on the façade involved the details: brackets and panels, shingle work, moldings to create “ribbon boards” at the different floor levels, and molding details to match the original look of the house.


  • 2006 Chrysalis Award
    Exterior Renovation
  • 2006 QR Master Design Award (Qualified Remodeler Magazine)
    Exterior Renovation
  • 2006 Best of the Northeast Design Awards (Professional Remodeler Magazine)
    Exterior Renovation
  • 2006 NARI CotY Award (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)
    Contractor of the Year
  • 2006 EM NARI Award (Eastern Massachusetts National Association of the Remodeling Industry)
    Best Exterior Renovation over $100,000

Our Client Said

“Over a period of six years we have done three distinctly different projects with Feinmann. They listen not just to what we say, but what we mean to say and actively seek the optimum balance between our dreams and practical realities. They have our complete trust.”