June 20, 2010

Open House: Roadside attraction

Harvey and Joana Oest wanted a house in Boothbay Harbor near the water and the village. They got it -- building on a lot THISCLOSE to busy Route 27.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

The views from the top deck of the Oest home, overlooking Boothbay Harbor, are nothing short of spectacular.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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The 5,100-square-foot Oest home hugs a busy main thoroughfare through town.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer


"OPEN HOUSE" is a monthly series in Home & Garden profiling eye-catching, historic or innovative homes around Maine.

TO SUBMIT a home for this series, contact Ray Routhier at rrouthier@pressherald.com or at 791-6454. 


LOCATION: Route 27, Boothbay Harbor, west of downtown, on the water

STYLE: Contemporary

OWNERS: Harvey and Joana Oest, who live most of the year in Cape Elizabeth

HISTORY: Built in 2009, the 5,100-square-foot home stands on a one-third-acre lot right on a busy state highway. The Oests were looking for a lot on the water, yet within walking distance to Boothbay Harbor's village, which is tough to find.

WHAT MAKES IT STAND OUT: Incredible views of Boothbay Harbor and beyond; one wall of the home is right on Route 27. That wall, nearly three stories high, has a 6-foot-round window in it with a swan design signifying the constellation Cygnus. To get to each of the three large decks, there is a massive wooden tower with cross-beam supports and a bell house on top. Atop the bell house is a swan weather vane, again for Cygnus.

SURPRISING FEATURES: Large exposed bolts, some painted black, can be seen throughout the house holding up giant wooden beams, including Brazilian cherry ones; glass block windows in the wall on Route 27 seem to change colors and dance with light as cars on the highway pass by; there's a urinal on the rooftop deck for convenience.


"I'm an engineer, after all," he said.

The beams, bolts and glass are carried into the house. In the entranceway, one can see a stairway of massive Brazilian cherry beams and glass side panels. The entry also includes a massive crystal chandelier.

The cherry beams are used throughout the house to support massive cathedral ceilings. The first floor includes a sitting room and a guest suite with a kitchen, two bedrooms and access to the deck.

The second floor includes the main living and dining areas, a formal sitting room and a master suite. Hung on the walls throughout are pieces of art collected from around the world, including Haiti and South Africa.

With so much vibrantly stained wood, many of the walls are a neutral sort of off-white. But there's a giant splash of color in the kitchen, where the maple cabinets are brightened with an orange dye.

There are also two dishwashers -- one just for small loads -- and the cabinets all close automatically and quietly after you leave them open.

"We wanted a place where we could entertain people, have the kids and grandkids," said Joana Oest. "And lots of room for everyone." 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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