NEW CASTLE — When Brenda Kelly Kramer had an 1890 cottage put back together piece by piece next to her house in Chappaqua, she left rafters exposed on each side of the upper floor to show the red and blue color coding that kept the pieces in order while the roof was disassembled, moved and reconstructed.
Downstairs, a strip of wood across the floor shows where the bottom level was cut in half so it could be trucked through Chappaqua.
The house spent its first 120 years on Taylor Road, originally as a coachman’s house for the estate known as Annandale belonging to Moses Taylor, a prominent banker and grandson of the founder of Citibank who once owned a large swath of Chappaqua. It arrived at Kramer’s house in January, and was put together over the next several months.
“We had all the rafters on the lawn,” Kramer said.
Now the Dutch Colonial cottage, reborn as an addition on South Place three miles away from where it was first built, is nearly done and Kramer, an interior designer, is working on the final touches. Kramer has decided to decorate the house with a Bermuda theme with sea-glass blue popping up on chairs, a bar sink, lamps and elsewhere. Bottles of island sand wait to be used in the decorating. Pictures dotted around the cottage evoke a vacation at the beach.
The cottage was to be torn down by a developer who had built a larger, modern home on the Taylor Road property. When Kramer said she wanted the house, he gave her the time to figure out how to move it.
Kramer said as she has been working on the restoration, she has talked to many people who felt they had a connection to the house, even if it was just admiring it as they drove by.
“It was sweet, this little sweet cottage,” Kramer said.
After it was put back together, it still needed a lot of work to upgrade the plumbing and other systems, add an energy-efficient heating system and enclose the walls. The contractors on the job had experience with the difficulties of rebuilding a house without plans and with old materials.