I love antique or historic houses. I love the context of them in a neighborhood. I love working with long-term, multi-generation owners who are now sellers--and who are worried and wondering who is going to love their house as much as they do. I especially love it when my buyer is the visionary one who will restore it.
I love our antique historic house in Florence Village Center and I don't just talk the talk of "historic". When my wife and I bought our house in September 2001, it was a massive fixer-upper. We had contractors there almost everyday for 14 months. When we finished the reno, we opened as a B&B called Sugar Maple Trailside Inn. We also won the Historic Preservation Award from the city AND believe it or not, producers at HGTV called us to be on one of their renovation shows--Restore America. The episode lives here as a link. It is only 5 minutes long, but very cool and informative!
If you didn't know, Florence Village Center is one of only a few genuine, intact Civil War-era industrial villages in the Northeast. Our house is part of a group of nine built to provide free housing for the nine different department heads of the Florence Sewing Machine Co. to entice them to stay on with the company during the war instead of joining the army.
I grew up in Holyoke. One of the five books I have written is about my former hometown. That book was specifically laid out to highlight the notable architecture of Holyoke. The book was very well received, and it is now in its 6th printing. Though I don't live there anymore, I am still involved in historic preservation in Holyoke. In the late 1990s, I was a founding member of Save Historic Holyoke which lead efforts there to preserve buildings, not demolish them. Today I lead bike tours for the city's museum, Wistariahurst. One tour is of the historic district on Fairfield Ave and other is of the industrial district. See links here, and here.
Today in Northampton, I serve on the city's Historical Commission. I just recently got off the board of trustees for Historic Northampton, Inc., which is the city's historic society.
In my real estate practice, it is widely known that I specialize in the sale of houses near rail trails and greenways--but I also specialize in historic houses. Especially those either in town or in village center locations. Over the years, I've sold some of the most important historic houses in the Valley, and have sold them to people who love these houses as much as their previous owners did.