Historic Homes Feature: Opening Up a Minimal Traditional Classic

802 Peterson Street
The Markley House

802 Peterson St 2.jpg

Built in 1939 by Ferdinand Markley, co-founder of Markley Motors, this house is an excellent early example of the “Minimal Traditional” style. The gable-and-wing roof, tight eaves, and double-hung, multi-pane windows are typical of WW2 era vernacular home construction, which was heavily influenced by early "Cape Cod” style homes.

The recent addition of a sympathetically-styled front porch provides an inviting transition from the tasteful and understated landscaping of the front yard, into the eclectically-decorated interior
Drawing by Kathy Bischoff

Drawing by Kathy Bischoff

The Markley family lived here for nearly 20 years, but subsequently, the occupancy has been more changeable. Prior to 4 or 5 years ago, the house had been a rental property for over 30 years, and so required extensive repair and updating for a private residence. The current owners, Audreylyn and Matt, have replaced the entire roof, all of the plumbing and ductwork, and most of the electrical wiring. Opening up the first floor into a bright, cheerful living space required removing some of the walls and significantly changing the traffic pattern; but the retention and restoration of the original windows retains much of the traditional flavor in this stylish interior. Details are always worth a close examination - as you enter the foyer, look for a small archway, which is the entrance to a doggie hideaway under the main staircase. Proceeding through the archway, into the front parlor, the open plan will invite you into the heart of the home - the kitchen, which features a large island, custom built by Matt and his father. The upstairs bedrooms are still works in progress, as the owners find new ways to create usable space from the many small closets, nooks, and voids inherent in domestic architecture. There is yet a legacy apartment in the cellar, occupied by Matt’s father, Ron. The back yard features a gorgeous pergola, with a massive masonry fireplace - a perfect spot to relax with friends and family.

Author: Bill Whitley