Shingle Style Architecture at Elm Court

Project: Modular Mountain Retreat, Episode 11, Part 1



Bob makes his first visit to Elm Court, a historic home in Lenox, MA, that was abandoned for 50 years before being reclaimed and restored.

Sonya and Bob Berle, whose ancestors originally built the massive home in 1886, bought Elm Court to save it from continuing decay. Bob joins Bob Berle outside to take a tour of the exterior.

Elm Court is the largest Shingle Style home in the country. Berle points out what has been done so far, as well as what is still under construction.

Inside, Bob meets Sonya Berle for a tour of the magnificent foyer, learning how the house looked when the couple originally began the project. Next, the pair head to the basement to learn more about what had to be done to the infrastructure of the home before work could even begin upstairs.

The mansion's structured wiring and mechanical systems have a definite 21st-century feel. Back upstairs, Vila and Berle rejoin Sonya for a look at the library and the adjoining conservatory.
Part 1: Shingle Style Architecture at Elm Court
The last stop on Bob's Berkshire Hills cottage tours is the largest Shingle Style home in America, the Elm Court mansion, built by William Douglas Sloane and Emily Vanderbilt Sloane in 1886.

Over the years, Elm Court has seen some adaptive reuse but no outright conversions, and it remains a family home. Having begun as a 17,000 square-foot home, it is now 70,000 square feet in size.

The house, which has been occupied by as many as 70 family members, is currently owned by the great-great grandson of the original owners. He's started a painstaking restoration of the home to make it both livable and useful for the community.
Part 2: Elm Court Foyer and Fireplace
Part 3: Adapting New Technology to Historic Properties
Part 4: Elm Court's Library and Architectural Detailing
Beautifully sited on wooded acreage with breathtaking views of some of the most beautiful countryside in New England, this Arts and Crafts style bungalow certainly doesn't look factory-built. You'd never know it was a modular home unless Bob took you to the Pennsylvania factory where it was built, almost from start to finish.

The house goes down the assembly line from framing, through wiring and plumbing, all the way to the installation of flooring and priming for paint.

The house is trucked to its pre-fabricated foundations on the lot, and start all the finishing touches that will prove that a modular house doesn't have to be a cookie-cutter affair.

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