Historic Brick Street


The challenge
1890s restoration. This Victorian gem adorning Traverse City's historic Sixth Street, needed tremendous attention to make it both functional and livable. No stone went unturned as we remediated, ameliorated and transformed this historic dwelling, enhancing ties to its period while introducing function and workflow into its timeless interior.

The solution
Enormous sliding doors which didn't function and were frozen in their pockets were freed and reimagined as the floor plan was reconfigured in a manner true to its history but updating from a period where live-ins, guests and inhabitants were assigned separate quarters requiring their own spaces and purposes. Getting from there to a family home involved bearing walls in the complex (read: Byzantine) web of bearing often employed in these old Traverse City treasures. Roof loads sat on stem walls, bore on 3rd-floor joists which terminated on walls that didn't bear on the bearing walls beneath them and were offset yet again in the basement. Navigating this structural artistry while keeping the integrity of the third floor and roof during construction required deliberate methods. A main floor bearing wall supporting, collectively, half the house was replaced with a 4,000 pound wide-flange steel beam the length and depth of which is seldom seen in residential construction had to be received, moved into place and set while shoring supported – summarily the entire house – while this beam was woven through the structure and set without a crane.


870 East Eighth
Traverse City, Michigan

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