Living Longer

Living Longer

Architect Eric Reinholdt updates an ancient house style for a difficult building lot and a tight budget.

By Virginia M. Wright
Photographed by Meredith Perdue

[dropcap letter=”T”]he longhouse is embedded in architect Eric Reinholdt’s aesthetic. As a boy growing up in Cooperstown, New York, he learned about the Iroquois’ communal dwellings from his father, a museum education director. Long, narrow houses are deeply rooted in his Norwegian and German heritage too.

It made sense, then, that the form sprang to mind when the wooded lot he and his wife, Laura, purchased in the town of Mount Desert presented challenges. “Most of the site is wetland, so there’s very little buildable area,” he explains, “and because there’s only one spot from which we could enter from the road, it also dictated the house’s orientation.”

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