2441 Edgerton (1990)


A truly "remarkable renovation" is this transformation of a 60-year-old brick duplex into a single-family house. Owned and maintained by Parents' Volunteer Association for Retarded Children and Adults, Inc. Circle of Homes, it is now home for eight men. The remarkable part of the renovation is that all building codes and government requirements have been met leaving no obvious "institutional" signs.


Everyone involved in the renovation--the architects, the builders, the contractors, the interior designer, and a score of volunteer helper --have maintained the integrity of the home while including the required features that meet the needs of the present and future residents.


A sprinkler system is concealed behind custom soffits. Well-disguised interior steel doors close automatically if the temperature rises above a certain point. A ramp in the garage is invisible from the street. The office for the staff is tucked away upstairs, and the art work for the required fire escape plan was designed and cross-stitched by a parent volunteer.


In converting the house to a single residence, the interior wall separating the two sections was removed. Two kitchens were made into one. A computer room for the family was added. To provide enough space for handicapped accessibility, a window in the first floor bathroom was sacrificed, but only on the inside. The view from the exterior gives no hint that the window is false.


The furniture, commercial and durable in quality, was chosen for its comfort and attractiveness and all carpets and fabric are of built-in fire-retardant material. The fact that this severely limited the designer's selection could never be guessed from the final effect. Soft colors--Wedgewood blue, rose, gray--and lovely patterns are coordinated throughout the entire house, on the furniture, window treatments, floors, and walls.