Cool House #1
David Bates / May 3, 2013-12:26 pm
(This is the first story in a new theme. I see a lot of cool houses out there, so I’ve decided to write about them whether they are on the market or not. If you see a cool house and you want to know its story, just email me)
A number of years ago, Jonathan Bekemeier and Lisa Sulda, were renting in Cambridge.
Like a lot of buyers, when they started their home search they had dreams of buying something a little out of the ordinary. Having marketing and advertising backgrounds, they weren’t afraid to take on something that challenged their creative spirit. They considered buying an old home and renovating it. They also considered buying a gas station and turning it into a living space.
Then a friend in Malden who owned a firehouse told the couple that another firehouse was coming up for sale in the town. Designed by Tristram Griffin, an architect known for the Queen Anne style, the firehouse had been built in 1898. It was not on the historical record, but the firehouse had impressive curb appeal and more than 6,000 square feet of space.
It took eighteen months and a host of public hearings, but in the end the couple was able to outwit, outlast and outplay a number of developers and secure the firehouse for single family living. Over time, they have renovated much of the space — and the space they have renovated is beautiful. Jonathan comes from a family in the business of antiques, and everything which adorns the interior, from the Stickley Furniture to the fire extinguisher lamp, adds to the classic feel of the space. Lisa picked out some amazing paint colors that synergize and soothe. Friends tell them the only firehouse accoutrement they don’t have is a Dalmatian, the dog often considered a firehouse mascot.