By Emily Laux
Owners Jenny and Tim Robson live at 123 Compo Road South with their four children and two dogs. The house, built in 1853, was 2,500-square feet when they purchased the property in 1999.
123 Compo Road South: “We just didnt even consider tearing down this house.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
In 2002, they added 1,000-square feet to one side of the house to create a new kitchen, larger family room, and master bedroom suite upstairs. The family lived there throughout the project, which took nine months to complete.
The 0.50-acre property includes a separate garage with a small upstairs apartment that was built in the 1920s for the ownerҒs chauffeur.
Revival Q & A
WN: Do you believe you savedӔ your house from being torn down?
JR: I suspect we saved the house from being torn down, since thats what has happened since 1999 in our neighborhood. The house behind us җ an old converted barn was torn down in 2001.
WN: Why didnt you tear down this house?
JR: We just didnҒt even consider tearing down this house. We really wanted a house that had some history. And we loved being surrounded by barnsthe Gault barn across the road is magnificent, and itגs been a real source of inspiration for us.
Jenny Robson: No financial benefits but plenty of others.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
WN: Have there been financial benefits to restoring rather than tearing down?
JR: Probably not.
WN: What was the biggest surprise during your project?
JR: We discovered there was no foundation at all under the part of the house we were adding on to. It was a 1960s addition, so it should have had a foundation. That brought us over budget a bit.
WN: Have there been non-financial benefits to restoring rather than building new?
JR: Oh, yes, many. The previous owner told us this wonderful story about a man who arrived one day in the 1980s at the house in a Cadillac convertible wearing a big ole Stetson hat. He had been born in what is now the laundry room. Those kinds of stories really keep things in perspective for us.
WN: Are there other benefits?
JR: Well, we have this apple tree. The man who built this house was a hardscrabble farmer who grew apples, and the tree is a reminder of that.
WN: Do you eat the apples?
JR: Oh yes! Our apples are cookersӔ and theyre ready in July. In fact, I just ordered a special apple-picker for next summer. And last night for dessert we had apple pie that I had baked and frozen in August. ThereҒs not a snip left.
WN: Final question: do you have any ghosts?
JR: Well, Im much too practical to have ghost. And besides, I have four kidsҗif the ghosts are here, theyre probably hiding until the kids go off to college!