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Mark IV House (1983)

Mark IV House - S. Fitzhugh St.

There is so much Asian art in this home that one would expect its owners to be from that part of the world. In fact, Bill is Irish—the brogue has faded a bit but still shows up occasionally on certain words. Kathy grew up in New York but her ancestry includes some Irish. Appropriately, they met in Dublin. The artwork, however, reflects all the places they’ve been.

During their marriage, they lived for a number of years in Shanghai because of Bill’s work as Sales Leader for W. L. Gore & Associates. During that time, they often traveled to countries along the western half of the Pacific Rim, all the way down to Australia, collecting art that now fills every room in the house.

There are personal family touches as well—Bill’s mother collected ceramic horses that are displayed on the stairway landing. When the couple approached their ruby anniversary, they commissioned a work from Brian O’Neill, an artist who lives next door (#235 was a house on last year’s tour) that would interpret their forty-year marriage. The result is prominently displayed in the dining room.

If you expect the interior of this house to be similar to every other house on the block, it’s not. A previous owner had a section of a wall built to separate the living and dining rooms. The Shortts aren’t sure they like it (what do you think?), but it does provide more space for their artwork. They have expanded the deck off the dining room into a beautiful space for warm sunny days, perfect for a family cookout, reading a book or taking a nap to dream of faraway places.