195 Third Beach Road, Middletown, RI
Size: 1,648 square feet
School may be out for the summer, but this converted Rhode Island home offers some compelling reasons to pack up your bookbags and move into a schoolhouse. Built as a one-room academy in 1794, the Peabody School was modernized in the 1800s and eventually transformed into a summer residence in 1929. The two doorways that still lead into the home were originally installed as separate entrances for girls and boys, each opening into their own cloak room. Today, one of these remains as a coat room while the other has been enlarged and reoutfitted as a dining room.
Walking through the entry into the rest of the home, check out the old-growth heart pine floors and beams, and the tan burlap that adorns the living room walls—“a nod to the bulletin boards of early classrooms,” explains the current owner. The most major update to the old red schoolhouse came sometime in the ’70s: The addition of a kitchen at the rear of the home, and the insertion of a second story. Without the renovation, the single-family would lack one of its most unique features—a bright, airy bedroom with a ceiling that opens up in the center, revealing the inside of the belfry. Step up on your bed to pull the rope that rings the bell and wake everyone up with the old school alarm clock.
Outside, among the dogwoods, weeping willows, and a stone-lined stream called Paradise Brook, there’s proof of one more small renovation project: A petite barn has been repurposed as a bonus living room or private studio. When the doors are open and you can peer into the wooden retreat through the large screens, it’s absolutely magical.
For information, contact Kate Leonard, Lila Delman Real Estate, liladelman.com.
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