KENNEBUNK – The Taylor-Barry House’s cool history goes back to 1803, when it was designed by distinguished architect Thomas Eaton and built for a prosperous local merchant. That the property for three decades was later owned by the town’s Brick Store Museum, and open for tours, attests to its historical and architectural significance.

In 2002 the home returned to private ownership, and one could argue that its history has only gotten cooler in the years since. The sellers have not only completely restored the Federal-style house with the utmost fidelity to original character; they have also renovated and updated to provide every modern comfort. And in doing so, they have created a wonderful, family-friendly home.

There are five bedrooms and six baths (three full); 11 rooms, and a total of 6,176 square feet. More, there’s a handsomely hardscaped double-patio/outdoor kitchen with a gas grill and a circular fire pit. Ideal for entertaining, the patios overlook the 1.43-acre property’s long sweep of lush, tree-lined back lawn.

The dine-in, custom, chef’s kitchen is gorgeous, too. A Viking gas range is among the stainless appliances, and the granite counters include an island ingeniously designed with 10 little drawers on the surface, as an aid to organization.

There are eight working fireplaces (the one in the den/library is converted to gas); several of them marble, as in the master suite, whose touches include a daylight walk-in closet with built-ins, a lovely bath with jetted tub, and a laundry room. The formal dining room also has a marble fireplace, and a corner china closet of John Calvin Stevens design.

Another highlight is the ell’s huge, bright family room, with fireplace, and abundant built-ins including a window seat. There’s a rustic office tucked in, too. Note the lofty front hall’s stenciling and faux-distressed walls. This was done in 1820 by itinerant artist Moses Eaton, and it is recognized and designated for preservation by Historic New England.

The other feature so preserved here is a pair of horse stalls in the original barn, whose upstairs is now an expansive suite with a full bath and a sleeping loft, and whose first floor has been transformed into a dream man cave. The stalls are presently occupied by a arcade game machine, and a copper-sink pantry. One might say that their preservation and repurposing embody the historic/contemporary appeal and harmony of the Taylor-Barry House.

The home at 22 Summer St., Kennebunk, is listed for sale at $985,000 by Gail Arnold and Marissa Hyland of Kennebunk Beach Realty. Please contact Gail or Marissa at 967-5481;, or

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