Historic home is restored in downtown Westborough

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By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer

Open house to be held Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

12 Grove St.

Westborough – Furniture maker Michael Fitzpatrick has done it again. For the third time, he has meticulously restored an antique house in Westborough. His latest project, the Robert Breck Parkman House, is located at 12 Grove St. The Federal-style brick house, built in 1825, is on the National Registry of Historic Properties.

Fitzpatrick and his wife Dr. Jean Keamy, an ophthalmologist, bought the approximately 1,700 square foot property in June 2016.

According to Fitzpatrick, the house had been empty for six or seven years. Before then, for many years, it was the site of a dental office. First, by Dr. Donald Cutone, who owned the house, and more recently, by Dr. George Ghaly.

Fitzpatrick and Keamy bought the house from Dr. Cutone’s widow. It had no kitchen and no full bath. Although it was laid out like a dental office, they saw that it had amazing bones.

“I had a vision and drew it out. I asked architect Paul Apkarian to have a look. He totally turned it upside down, and he was right,” said Fitzpatrick.

For the past year-and-a-half, Fitzpatrick and carpenter Craig Bolstad painstakingly restored and modernized the house. Over the summer, Fitzpatrick worked with his apprentice Dmitry Chichinov, an engineering student at UMass Lowell, on the finish work, including doors, moldings, built-ins, and vanities.

From the top, where Fitzpatrick replaced the roof, to the bottom, where he installed a new foundation, no inch of the house was left untouched.

The first floor of the house features a kitchen with a vaulted ceiling, white cabinets, upscale appliances, and leather-finish granite countertops. Off the kitchen, there is a mudroom, with a rear door to a deck.

Fitzpatrick reused, recycled and donated materials that he collected while gutting the house. Using his fine furniture making skills, he crafted kitchen shelves and some of the bathroom cabinets from the home’s old chestnut beams.

The original curved staircase was completely disassembled, repaired, and then rebuilt. The curved mahogany railing is installed atop the original balustrades.

Upstairs, LED lights illuminate the hallway. Fitzpatrick built a beautiful white cabinet with a strip of these lights inside, which can be dimmed to a nightlight.

There are two bedrooms, with vaulted ceilings, a full bath, and laundry machines.

The floors are white oak.

“This is the first house that I’ve done in 35 years where I haven’t done the floors myself,” Fitzpatrick said.

He restored the front door based on the original paint lines.

“We took it apart and could see where the windows stopped, where the window sills were located, and the angles,” he said.

Even the Victorian doorknob was brought back to its original splendor. Fitzpatrick also repaired the original mortise lockset.

“I am filing a skeleton key and it’s almost fitting,” he said. “I’m almost done.”

Westborough artist Deb Schradieck complimented Fitzpatrick’s work on his Facebook page.

“No one could have done it better. (The house) is barely recognizable from its previous configuration and condition. Thank you for preserving yet another beautiful historic building in our downtown!”

Fitzpatrick and Keamy plan to rent the house. For more information, contact Fitzpatrick at [email protected].

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Michael Fitzpatrick
The curved mahogany railing is installed atop the original balustrades.
The house was completely gutted during the initial phase of the project.
Skeleton keys
Original beams were re-purposed.

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