A modern family touches some history when it updates this old house.
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The farmhouse where Maria Alonso and Terry Horton live with four lively children and two large dogs is set in an emerald oasis in bustling North Wilmington, shaded by centuries-old trees and rooted in family history.
“In the years after the Civil War, this was a working farm,” Horton says. “The farm is gone, but the land is still green—and it adjoins preserved lands with more green.”
Horton grew up in Brandywine Hundred, not far from the house. An internist who helps people with substance abuse, he and Alonso lived in Manhattan, where they enjoyed city life.
After their twin girls were born, they decided to head to Delaware to be close to family. As Alonso searched for homes online, she came across an old homestead across the road from where Horton’s grandfather once lived.
When she showed her husband the picture, he smiled. He had cut the grass there as a young boy. Horton’s grandfather had worked on the house.
“So we got in the car, drove over and knocked on the door,” she recalls. “This lovely couple answered and told us the history of the house.”
“We immediately felt a strong connection,” Horton recalls. “We knew it was the house for us, even though it would require lots of work.”
Indeed. Renovations and additions over the years had blurred the classic simplicity of the farmhouse. The kitchen, baths and systems were in need of updating.
To come up with a plan to bring the home back to its 19th century sensibilities—and forward into the 21st century—the couple turned to Cara Carroccia, a Philadelphia architect and Wilmington native who focuses on historic properties. Boss Enterprises of Wilmington completed the restoration work.
Page 2: Connecting, continues...