If you’ve been to Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard then you’re probably familiar with the Old Sculpin Gallery. Its quirky, gabled tower was most likely born of necessity. According to the Gallery website, the building has served in its 240-year history as a boat-building shed, sail loft, whale-oil factory, and a grain store. I can imagine all of those uses benefiting from the height the tower affords. The distinctive form, then, may result from the structure's original function. The use of cedar shingles with minimal trim and double-hung windows reflects local building practices that continue today. Now, as a gallery, this former work building welcomes new generations to appreciate its heritage. Rooted in purpose and regional building customs, it’s one of my favorite examples of the New England vernacular.
by Katie Hutchison for the House Enthusiast