Converted church in Westport, MA

Converted Church by Alyn Carlson, Westport MA, photo by Paul Clancy

Alyn Carlson has been fixing up this old Massachussetts church up for 28 years. That worries me for myself – is that how long it takes? Oh god, I hope not; I’m on Year 7. I love her place, though. I’d copy Alyn and hang the ribs of a boat in my place too, if the whole thing didn’t already look like an upside down boat. As you can see here, converting churches doesn’t always work out very well, but I really like this one – in fact this is one of the first ones I’ve really liked. The solution of dividing the space vertically by adding a floor often causes problems because it interfers with windows, but Alyn’s solution of cutting out around the 2-story windows is very clever. And I really like the plywood wall and the firepole. I think one reason this place works is that she has the knack of combining older features with modernist elements – the modern makes the place feel less like a vintage wooden schoolhouse (as I found out myself). Because there’s just something forbidding about living in school – everything becomes homework by definition. Alyn’s also a graphic designer and painter and I really appreciate her permission to reprint these excellent photos, all taken by her boyfriend Paul Clancy.

Converted Church by Alyn Carlson, Westport MA, photo by Paul Clancy

Converted Church by Alyn Carlson, Westport MA, photo by Paul Clancy

Converted Church by Alyn Carlson, Westport MA, photo by Paul Clancy

Converted Church by Alyn Carlson, Westport MA, photo by Paul Clancy

Converted Church by Alyn Carlson, Westport MA, photo by Paul Clancy

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