Monday, October 11, 2010

ABC's Extreme Makeover Gives Cleveland-area Family Tudor-Revival Home

With thousands of onlookers lining the streets, the cameras of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" rolling, the principals of Marous Brothers Construction and their sister, Sue Marous, watched as the Paul Anderson's family arrived at their new home on Anthony Street in Willoughby, Ohio. The company was selected to be the builder and general contractor for the project, which took six days to complete with the help of an estimated 4,000 volunteers working around the clock. It was the 177th episode of the popular show.

PHOTO CREDIT: The News Herald.

Sue Marous said the company was "deeply honored" to have been chosen by producers of "Extreme Makeover" to build the 3,500-square-foot, English Tudor Revival style home for a family with special needs. The four-bedroom home replaced the family's modest 50-year-old, 1,200-square foot house. Chris Auvil, who serves as staff architect for Marous Brothers Construction, said the new home has many modern features including fingerprint readers on doors and bar-code readers on kitchen cabinets to identify various food items.

Though many modern examples of revival style homes fall well short in terms of historical accuracy, scale, proportion and visual appeal, we'd have to admit that--based on our initial impressions--this particular home is pretty well done. It certainly appears more authentic than most modern attempts, and although we might have suggested a few alternate choices in terms of some materials and details (like the white columns at the entrance) they basically got it right.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Condover Hall Set to Become Youth Adventure Center

Condover Hall, near Shrewsbury, is set to become a center for learning next year. The historic property was recently purchased adventure course provider JCA. Previously owned by Priory Education Services, the house was run as a school for young people with autism. That firm decided to sell the four-storey property due to mounting maintenance costs; it's been on the market for just over a year.

JCA officials say they were “delighted” to have purchased it. The company provides residential activity courses for youth and has 13 centers throughout the UK. The company already has approval from Shropshire Council to convert the courtyard building to a dining room and change the use of some of the buildings; external changes approved include adding outdoor games and activity areas, and demolishing an elevated walkway.


PHOTO CREDIT: Shrophire Star.

Happily, about 60 jobs will be created as a result of the project. The hall will also be available for use as a conference destination, featuring a movie theater, swimming pool, sports hall, computer center and multiple meeting rooms.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Lavenham: Where the 15th Century Only Seems Like Yesterday

There's a brief but enjoyable profile in the Sept. 19 Daily Mail about the picturesque town of Lavenham, which is set to be seen on the next Harry Potter film, The Deathly Hallows, scheduled for November release.

PHOTO CREDIT: Mail Online.

"Lavenham is regularly described as Britain's 'finest medieval town', though that doesn't really do it justice. The word ' medieval' triggers images of crenellated walls and towers, dungeons and long-drops - policed by custodians during the day, abandoned at night.

Lavenham is different. It has no castle, no swaggering architectural statement in stone at all - except the church of St Peter and St Paul, a flint-faced beauty with a 141ft tower, built between 1485 and 1525."
Featured in the film will be the Guildhall, which will be cast as the home of Harry Potter's parents. Owned by the National Trust, it's silver lime-washed oak timbers offer a mellow take on traditional Tudor half-timbering.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Hillingdon Council's North Planning Committee Considers Proposals to Knock Down Oakhurst

The fate of a locally listed, Tudor-style home in Northgate (UK) remains to be seen after developers launched an appeal ahead of a decision on plans to demolish the property. Although permission has already been granted to renovate and extend the property - which dates from the 1920s - the developer, Banner Homes, argues that it is in a very poor state of repair.

At least 54 residents have signed a petition that objects "to the wanton destruction of Oakhurst", which was built by local craftsman Frederick Tibbenham. It is also adjacent to another historic property, Tudor House.

PHOTO CREDIT: uxbridgegazette.co.uk.

"Banner Homes has shown scant concern for wildlife and have not given suitable justification to knock down this beautiful property," said petitioner Lesley Crowcroft. "Oakhurst and Tudor House stand together and it will be a great loss to the area if the building is demolished."

Ultimately, the committee rejected the scheme by a universal vote, despite the appeal being lodged in advance.

"We do appreciate the demolition of the house is controversial but the planning appeal system has been established to determine such applications and we await the outcome of the appeal," said Piers Banfield, spokesman for Banner Homes.
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