The Tavern
Built in 1782
Renovated by friends- 2015

George Senkler was a great guy.
He started Concord/Littleton Lumber and later sold it to his employees.
Married Brigitte and all that would bring to his life.

I was working on and living in a renovated barn in Concord and had a difficult time with an accumulation of mold from a long-standing leak, which my client had ignored.

George and Brigitte offered a bottom floor apartment in a building George owned in Carlisle. When he returned from Vermont he told me he wanted to sell it to me.

I had been lucky enough to meet Joe Shulman, who has been my accountant over the past five years or so. He is a great one. I’m not sure how good of a client I have been. He introduced me to his son Jason and we bought and renovated, what we started to refer to as “The Tavern.”

Tavern Original

Tavern New

At some point after the Revolutionary War it had been a bar and wayside inn. I had a lot of fun with the Historic District Commission when I had told them at a meeting I had found an inactive Liquor License and would be coming back with plans for a restaurant on the first floor! By the time I went to Fern’s for coffee the next morning, that rumor had swept through town and come back to me when I saw the Building Inspector!

Be careful what you wish for (:
From the 2nd or 3rd generation renovation you would never know what awaited us upon demolition. With an assortment of high school and college students over Christmas vacation we attacked.

There was a vaulted area above a false ceiling on the second floor. Crawling out there, we found a barrel area, which was stenciled with identification as a social club, established in 1837. The ceiling structure was not repairable so we stripped that out and found a gorgeous pine, post and beam frame, the original frame of the building. It was in great shape and the then Building Inspector, John Luther worked with us, using 4” rigid insulation for the ceiling, leaving the frame exposed on the 2nd floor. Rob Guay was the creative engineer who designed simple straightforward solutions for the many issues we faced.

Dave Pelletier, Ken Olsen, Rob Lilly and I pulled every trick in our considerable books to restore the building to a semblance of level order. There was an 8-foot area with 6 chimneys rambling through it. You could literally put your foot through the brick. The debris was so heavy we had remove half of it from an overloaded dumpster into another. Everybody strapped two stage filters on, eye gear and every manner of protection, mostly from the cold.

Rather than throwing out the old, we saved the original character of the building and highlighted its original beauty in the units. Some units feature 18’ high, post and beam, cathedral ceilings, foot wide pumpkin pine plank flooring; and antique brick walls and fireplace hearths. The original floors were repaired and re-sanded by Jim Tran from Quincy.
We tied those aspects of antique charm with modern amenities: a 21st century kitchen with stainless steel appliances; high tech heating and cooling methods; the latest bathroom fixtures and all the “bells and whistles” of modern lighting. Old meets new in the best possible way.
In the end had our neighbors, Dentist Wasseem and Jen Burgin (living in a separate residential unit) still talking to us. Jenn had to deal with a dust storm on a couple of occasions.

It is a cool place. There are four one-bedroom units. The pictures you see feature a gas fireplace, paneled with southern pine I had pulled from another vintage building in Newburyport. The ductless fireplace can heat the entire unit!

In the end, like so many projects, it became a labor of love. I was lucky enough to show my friend George the building, mid-framing. I know he would have loved the restoration of this gem to it’s original basics.