House Crush

Tickets and Ice Were Once Sold Here

We’re crushing on these reimagined wharf buildings down east.

A guest cottage hovers on fiberglass posts where an ice house once stood.

From our Summer 2022 issue

In the early 20th century, rusticators departing a seaside down east hotel purchased tickets from a booth perched on a stone wharf and boarded steamships heading south. After the hotel shut down, the ticket booth became an apartment building, a laundromat, and a summer home. When the current owner purchased it in 2017, storm surges periodically washed into the living room and JT Loomis, of Blue Hill’s Elliott Architects, noticed seaweed dangling from the plumbing beneath the structure. Working with Saco landscape architect Richardson & Associates and Charleston’s MK Construction, Loomis raised the wharf two feet and erected a new home atop concrete piers in the ticket booth’s footprint; a guest cottage hovers on fiberglass posts where an ice house once stood. Because the site is zoned for commercial use, “we could have built a 15-story building,” Loomis says, if that wasn’t preposterous. Instead, he sought to create “a descendent of the wharf building” in this simple gabled cottage with a wraparound ipe deck that visually diminishes its stature. In the southeastern corner, sweeping sliding glass doors invite the harbor into the living space — from a safe distance.