An architectural historian stops to admire Rockwell Kent’s former cottage and studio on Monhegan.
During a trip to Monhegan last summer, I was up before dawn to explore the island’s trails. Though I grew up on another Maine island — Mount Desert — I was completely entranced by the remote beauty of Monhegan. As I walked to see the remains of the D.T. Sheridan (a shipwreck on the southern end of the island), I couldn’t help but notice the former Kent cottage perched on the ledge nearby. As an architectural historian, I focus on the relationship between architecture and the environment, particularly in the decades surrounding the turn of the 20th century, and this house seemed so well attuned to its site. I was struck by how Kent’s design responded to the rugged shoreline in front of the house and how the evergreens have been preserved nearby, keeping that distinctly Maine balance between rocky coast and wooded forest.Willie