Zarro Design Workshop Architects

Restoration, Renovation, Rehab

The Root Residence – First and Second Floor Renovation

137 W. Swissvale Ave., Edgewood, PA - 2006

The original Greek revival home is essentially a square with entry access at the mid-point. The house had been divided into a duplex with separate apartments on first and second floors. The addition of a small vestibule and corridor at the entry separated access to the two units. The first floor unit consisted of two zones divided by the central stair/corridor area. One zone comprised two rooms: living and formal dining. The other zone three rooms: a small kitchen, dining and family rooms. The second floor had identical layout.

The design solution turns the house into a single residence with a central grand stair and integrates the client’s desired Arts and Craft Style aesthetic into the Greek revival shell. A new open-plan kitchen/family room suited to entertainment occupies one zone of the first floor.

The narrow entry area suggests angling the landing area of the new stair leading into the family room. Columns replace the bearing wall. The kitchen extends into the now open-plan family area. The removal of walls on each side of the dividing fireplace and at the entry opens and unites the formal living/dining rooms with the kitchen wing.

The master bedroom on the second floor occupies the old kitchen and small bath. A new large bath with restored claw-foot tub occupies an old bedroom providing a ‘pampering’ bathing experience. The angled shower reflects the existing octagonal second floor porch. ‘Sistered’ floor joists at tub area resist the additional weight.