Leaving their old stomping grounds in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in search of more space and freedom to work, artist couple Jason Reed and Jean Blackburn leapt at the opportunity to convert an old firehouse into a single-family home with an enviable amount of studio space. In 2000, they purchased the Barrington Firehouse, built in 1931, and hired a contractor to carry out their design vision. The three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath residence boasts two floors of living space with an additional 1,900-square-foot basement—ideal for a creative workspace or an art gallery. "It was an odd thing that we were perfect for," says Reed. "It’s hard to find a space that offers that flexibility of having a home and an art studio—a real studio, where you can throw paint, torch copper, or have a kiln. There’s nothing you can’t do in the building in your work as an artist."
The home is a rarity that reminds Reed of the wealth of empty factory space found in Williamsburg when he first moved there in 1984, when it was a predominantly Polish and Italian neighborhood. While you have the benefit of the backyard and garden for spray painting, he describes, you can drag your work back into the Brooklyn-esque space of the studio, which features high ceilings, white walls, and polished concrete floors. The rest of the home pairs minimalist with industrial elements while referencing the building’s historic roots, as with the fireplace in old chief’s office. The town of Barrington itself offers a downtown area, acres of beach facing Narragansett Bay, and a 15-minute commute to the arts haven of Providence, Rhode Island.
Now on the market, the residence has been reduced from $799,000 to $749,000. For more information, visit the property website.
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