MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury residents and those driving north on Route 7 have been watching the yearlong renovation of 29 North Pleasant St., a yellow house just north of Charter House and the Middlebury Inn dating back to 1901. The building was vacant for several years, in part because it was very energy inefficient.
Renovating a 100-year-old building without gutting or damaging the interior is challenging. In the case of “Doc Walker’s House,” the interior had many features that deserved preservation. So when Carolyn Schmidt and Randy Kritkausky of Whiting bought the house, they searched for a local contractor who could preserve the overall historic nature and architectural details of the building, while addressing the specifics of insulating walls, replacing drafty windows and siding, and making extensive changes in the electrical, plumbing and heating system. The project was completed by Wright Hartman Construction and a considerable number of local subcontractors. They patiently worked to “modernize” the building and turn the living space into two separate apartments, without destroying its historic feel. The owners joined the Acorn Energy Solar One community project, so that a portion of the house’s electricity would have local green solar roots.
“We would like to share our experience preserving a historic home and making progress towards a high level of energy efficiency with others who may be contemplating, or hesitating to embark on, a similar path,” said Schmidt. In order to do this, the owners will hold an informal open house on Saturday March 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 pm. Wright Hartman and several of the subcontractors and craftsmen will be on site to explain the specific decisions (materials, sequencing of work, etc.) involved in this project of energy efficient historic preservation. Refreshments will be provided.