Gregg and Terri Scott, chosen to design the first two houses to be built by Mount Desert 365 in Northeast Harbor, sit on the stone wall in front of Big Fox, a formerly “ramshackle” house they rehabilitated on Fox Lane. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Designers chosen for first MD365 houses

MOUNT DESERT — A husband-and-wife team, architect Gregg Scott and interior designer Terri Scott, have been chosen by Mount Desert 365 to design the first two small, workforce-affordable houses it intends to build in Northeast Harbor.

The houses are planned for a quarter-acre lot on Summit Road across from Millbrook Road. MD365, the nonprofit organization formed to promote economic development and create workforce housing, bought the Summit Road property and four other in-town lots for residential development in the spring of 2017.

Gregg Scott is a senior partner of RLPS Architects in Lancaster, Pa. For the past 12 years, the Scotts have been part-time residents of Northeast Harbor, where they have renovated a half-dozen houses, most of them small. They began with a house on Delights Road.

“After that, we started doing other houses in the same neighborhood,” Scott said. “Terri and I always need fun projects to do, so it just sort of cascaded from one little design exercise to another.”

Among those projects was the extensive renovation of two houses on Fox Lane that Scott described as “ramshackle.”

Three years ago, the Scotts moved from their Delights Road house into one on Sinclair Road that they had renovated. And more recently, they rejuvenated a 1,245-square-foot cottage on Sylvan Road that was built in 1890.

“It was an absolute wreck, but it had good bones and a lot of visual character,” Scott said. “So, instead of tearing it down, we decided to breathe new life into it. We thought it had tremendous potential to be repurposed into a beautiful little three-bedroom cottage.”

That cottage is now owned by Island Housing Trust (IHT), which plans to sell it as workforce housing with covenants to ensure that it will be affordable in perpetuity for families with median incomes.

That is the same principle that MD365 is following, Scott noted.

“The goal is to provide very attainable housing to people who want to live and work on the island.”

Scott said he enjoys the challenge of renovating old homes or designing new ones in a way that makes use of every square inch of space.

“Our philosophy is to be conscious of what it is you really need in terms of living space vs. what you want,” he said. “When you analyze what space you use in your house 90 percent of the time, it’s not that much. If you apply that principle, you can do very nice houses in a very reasonable number of square feet.”

The Scotts call it “living big in small spaces.”

Gregg Scott said that, in renovating houses in Northeast Harbor over the past dozen years, “We started building the trust and confidence of people here that we do things the right way, that we’re respectful of the history of the village and that we’re very enthusiastic about the future of the village.”

In announcing the selection of Scott and his firm to design the Summit Road houses, MD365 Executive Director Kathy Miller said their work demonstrates that “good design can be affordable and sustainable by managing square feet, maximizing daylight and minimizing waste.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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