A House Restored by Lee McColgan ~ Book Review

April 10, 2024

About the Book 

Shop Class as Soulcraft meets A Place of My Own in this lyrical meditation of a woodworker steadfastly repairing a historic home.

Old houses share their secrets only if they survive. Trading the corporate ladder for a stepladder, Lee McColgan commits to preserving the ramshackle Loring House, built in 1702, using period materials and methods and on a holiday deadline. But his enchantment withers as he discovers the massive repairs it needs. A small kitchen fix reveals that the structure’s rotten frame could collapse at any moment. In a bathroom, mold appears and spreads. He fights deteriorating bricks, frozen pipes, shattered windows, a punctured foundation, and even an airborne chimney cap while learning from a diverse cast of preservationists, including a master mason named Irons, a stone whisperer, and the Window Witch. But can he meet his deadline before family and friends arrive, or will it all come crashing down? McColgan’s journey expertly examines our relationship to history through the homes we inhabit, beautifully articulating the philosophy of preserving the past to find purpose for the future.

My Thoughts

I am definitely not a huge non-fiction book reader but this one was pretty interesting. The author shares the renovation of a historic home. It is written in an easy and engaging writing. It was interesting to read how the rennovations steps went. He describes how it wasn't an easy task and all the difficulties he had to overcome. He describes details such as the iron work, the windows and wood of the house. He also has reflection periods where he vocalizes his feelings towards his progress. I enjoyed that there were black and white photos throughout the book to see the progress unfold. 

Overall I enjoyed this book even though its isn't in my typical wheel house. If you enjoy shows about house restoration you may just enjoy this book!

I received a copy of this book for review. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion

About the Author

Lee McColgan has worked on Boston’s Old North Church, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, and other buildings. His work has appeared in Architectural DigestBoston Globe, and Wall Street Journal. He lives with his wife in the Loring House in Pembroke, Massachusetts.

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