This place is dope. Be sure to check the full gallery.
(NY Times) When most people find an interesting piece of architectural salvage — an old stained glass window, say, or a few pieces of 18th-century Portuguese tile — they might make an effort to carve a tiny space for it at home. When Mr. Archer, 62, finds something intriguing (and it’s usually a very large something), he often builds a new wing around it.
His house, which he bought 30 years ago for $135,000, was once a 3,000-square-foot, two-story box. Now it is somewhere between 11,000 and 13,000 square feet, with wings flying every which way, a pterodactyl of architectural detritus.
Among its components are a spire from a 19th-century mental ward for what Mr. Archer claims were the sexually insane and four levels of leaded glass windows from a Gloucester mansion that form a wall in the dining room.
The library extension was built to accommodate a fireplace, more leaded glass and a chandelier, all from a house in Manchester. (The chandelier, for which he paid $2,500, was black with dirt when he acquired it.) The music room, which can accommodate 125 for concerts and frequently does, was built to house Mr. Archer’s Mason & Hamlin piano, for which he paid $40,000 to restore — although it should be noted that his memory for what he paid for any given item is dreadful.
When he was on the board of the Danvers Preservation Commission, Mr. Archer, who seems to have a finger in every artistic and architectural endeavor in town, fought to save the Danvers State Hospital. A mental institution built in the 1870s, it was not merely a Gothic masterpiece as far as Mr. Archer was concerned, but “a testament to the human condition no less formidable than the Hermitage or Buckingham Palace.”