Seaside Gem

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Returning a coastal bed and breakfast dating back to the 1880s to a single-family home while remaining faithful to the home's original design.

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Project Info

Architect: Anthony Barnes, principal; William Wheeler, project architect; Barnes Vanze Architects, Washington, D.C.
Contractor: Mark Sweeney, Classical Endeavors, Ellsworth, Maine


  • Return a bed and breakfast to its original use as a single-family home

  • Enhance water views

  • Gut and rebuild damaged portions of the structure


This 1880s summer cottage near Bar Harbor, Maine, had been used as a bed and breakfast for decades until new owners asked architect Anthony Barnes to help transform it back into a single-family home. The home’s footprint could not be enlarged due to shoreline protection restrictions, but that footprint included additions made over the years that were now unsound, not easily accessible from the main house, and blocked sea views. Crews created larger arched openings to the kitchen and dining room by cutting through the 2-foot-thick stone walls. Second story additions provide a master suite.

Judges’ Comments

The jury praised the architects’ strategy, which dramatically transformed the floor plan while remaining faithful to the intent of the home’s original design. “One of its strongest attributes is that it makes the most of its setting,” one judge said.

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