Ten years ago, we were contacted by a client in California who wanted to buy a modified ‘Purcell’ stock plan from us. After customizing the plan to his specifications, we sent off the drawings. The build went ahead, Craig was installed in his new home, and all was well — or so it seemed.
Flash forward to summer 2015 and a plague of wildfires and record drought that encompassed the Pacific Northwest. Craig contacted us again. This time, he had some awful news: his community of Middletown, CA had been devastated by fire, and his beloved home was no more. But his attachment to the place was strong, and so was his personal resolve. He wanted to order a fresh set of plans and build it all again.
Having sent off the plans again, I’m reminded of the story of the phoenix, the mythical bird that perishes in flames and rises anew from the ashes. Among other things, it’s a symbol of creative transformation. Where many people would see a house in ruins and give in to despair, Craig saw the potential for a fresh start. He had the opportunity to build any plan he wanted, but chose to recreate the original ‘Purcell’ design with only minimal changes. As he said, “This is the house I want to die in”. I’m touched by his attachment to the house that we created together. All the best to you in your once and future home, Craig.
(elevation drawings of Craig’s original ‘Purcell’ by John Gower)
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