A historic farmhouse anchors this fully renovated generational retreat.
by Nancy A. Ruhling
Photographs by Amber Jane Barricman
John and Anne Cogswell have visited the Cape ever since they were children. When they came upon a historic property near the beach, they knew they wanted to transform it into a destination where three generations of their growing, close-knit family could make new memories.
The property, set on three-quarters of an acre in Dennis Village, boasted a c. 1825 farmhouse as well as a cottage and attached barn that were added over the centuries. “It needed a lot of attention,” says John, “and we knew we’d have to renovate to meet our needs.”
The Cogswells commissioned McPhee Associates, a custom design-build firm in Dennis, to transform it into a compound for themselves, their two married sons, and their five lively young grandchildren. Because the home is in the Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District, the owners wanted the renovation to not only satisfy preservation rules but also do the past proud.
“It’s a very unusual property because of the configuration of the structures,” says Kendra Seifert, architectural designer for McPhee Associates. “The middle section, or so-called barn, didn’t fit the Cape aesthetic. After working through the design, we realized that rebuilding this area from the ground up was necessary.”