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50 Southern Ave | Essex, Massachusetts

By Fred Light
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http://www.RuthPino.com - Located on Cape Ann, the historic village of Essex flourished for three centuries as a shipbuilding center. Today it is famous for its many antique shops, fine restaurants and New England charm that are sought out by visitors from all over the globe.
50 Southern Avenue was build in 1785 by William Gilbert—a blacksmith—and includes a barn, which had been built on the property some 100 years earlier. Gilbert built a traditional 4-over-4 Cape-style house on a foundation of massive granite blocks. A major change was made to the home in the mid-1800s when a carriage house and tack room were added between the original barn and the house, connecting the two.
Most of the home’s original features remain, including wide pine flooring, original beams, fireplaces and trim. Over the last 16 years, the current owners (only the fifth family since the house was built), have made extensive enhancements: creating a contemporary kitchen with breakfast room and larder; new bathrooms; a spectacular loft bedroom as part of a stunning master suite in what once was the carriage house. The current owners also have done all of the “hidden” structural and systems work in both the house and the original barn. And they recaptured and expanded the lovely perennial gardens installed in the early 1930s by a Boston family (the Morelands—the third owners) who originally bought the property for a summer residence.
The current owners’ goal has been to preserve the unique qualities and ambience of this property to reflect the contributions of earlier generations, while providing the very best of contemporary living for a discerning 21st century family. This home succeeds on every point.