Worst to First

Wondering how brick&batten began? Every weekend, my sister and I had the distinct pleasure of driving for miles to look at houses…beautiful houses, middlemanagement houses and broken down houses. Our father was a frustrated insurance man who dreamed of being an architect. He would spend hours drafting blueprints that would never be built…all the while mastering best practices for the perfect house.


When Mom was tired of hearing about the anatomy of a front porch, my sister and I were ready students. These lessons would spill into our weekends when we would take the show on the road and see it come to life. Sometimes willingly…sometimes not so willingly…but always present. We would listen as he talked about symmetry, scale and other seemingly boring topics. Always luring us with the possibility…the possibility buried in EVERY. SINGLE. HOUSE. And he was right. Our father would also dangle the possibility of buying the dump and threatening us with moving there.

This nightmare would prove true in the summer of ’89 when he sold our beautiful beach house and bought the “Ugliest House on the Island”. No one could argue this title…it was “The Old Grinaker House” a.k.a. “Someone died there and possible mold infestation”. This was the first time I thought my powerful father had bitten off more than he could chew…and it was going to ruin summers for our family indefinitely.

Coincidentally, this experience taught us something that would become the bench mark for our company…which is that EVERY. SINGLE.HOUSE has potential to be beautiful. From worst to first in just a few short months…and I was a believer. Our company, brick&batten, has one guiding principle…bring to life the potential in each and every property we design.