A Summer House – Do we still possess the skills?

By Dr. Christopher Cooper

We have many resources to our architectural past. This summer house is a beautiful example of a late 19th century garden feature. The Historic American Buildings Survey in 1933 documented this wonderful summer house (located in Mount Holly, NJ, on the Ashhurst Estate) – with a single photograph and a complete set of detailed drawings and measurements.

This would be such a wonderful addition to any garden – is there anybody out there up to the challenge to build such an amazing folly? Do we still possess such traditional skills to take on such a challenge? I have included below the complete set of measured drawings for those up to the challenge.

Summerhouse 4

Summerhouse 1

Summerhouse 2

Summerhouse 3Resource Guide Ad

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful! In my case, I believe we have the skills… but so many lovely projects and so little time 😦

  2. Thank you Chris for igniting a spark. Since the moment we saw this posting and this beautiful summerhouse, we knew that it must be built! And prove to ourselves that we have the skills to build it, traditionally and beautifully. So we have spent the last few months pricing the project, weighing the pros and cons, and figuring out the best way to proceed and we are almost ready to build. Now, we just need to set aside the time with our busiest work months ahead. We are going to build a replica of this summerhouse because we also need to believe not only do we have the skills but that there is still a market in our modern, industrialized/technological culture for a bit of handmade “folly”. We will keep you posted!

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