“Chestertown House Wins Design Award”

       First Floor River Room                    View from the Chester River            Second Floor Master Bedroom

A jury of eminent architects from Washington, D.C. recently selected the Chester River home of Herb and Kay Wilkinson to receive a “Merit Award for Architectural Excellence”. The Wilkinsons’ house lies at the heart of Chestertown’s historic district at 203 North Water Street.

The award recognizes architect Peter Newlin’s design for a new addition to the Wilkinson’s historic house. “The Wilkinson’s original house is good architecture,” explains Newlin, “but they had no good views of the river. They wanted a new river room downstairs and a master bedroom above. We discovered we could create dynamic spaces for Herb and Kay if we used an octagonal form for the new addition. The octagon fit its historic context well, even with large contemporary windows. It gave the Wilkinsons generous spaces and sweeping views of the river.”


The jury agreed the “octagon is the key to this project. It provides . . . a light and airy structure in the master bedroom.” It is “a large addition, comfortably added to its neighbors.”


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The award, given by the Maryland Society of the American Institute of Architects in a statewide competition, honors the Owners, the Architect team (Peter Newlin and John Hutchison) and their builder. Architect Newlin put it this way, “We compose the design in cooperation with the Owners, and then we rely on the artisanry of our craftsmen to execute our plans with precision. The award lists Allen/Jones of Chestertown as the builder; Patrick Jones was partner in charge. 

Newlin adds, “Many craftsmen contributed to success: Allen/Jones’ lead carpenter Chris Holmes, for example; cabinetmaker Woody Labat [Trappe, Maryland], mechanical contractor Wayne Pinder [Kennedyville], and mason Jonas Miller [Hartly, Delaware] come to mind.”

Newlin heads Chesapeake Architects of Chestertown.  Established over two decades ago, the firm specializes in waterfront architecture.  Chesapeake Architects has won statewide, local and national awards for contemporary design, restoration work and energy-conservation.

Reprinted from the Star Democrat 10/26/01
Photographs - © Tyler Campbell
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