We have always loved old buildings. We grew up in a 100 year old suburb steeped in the values of community, family, and legacies. Buildings, and especially homes, are a legacy and we believe those buildings deserve our respect. Houses reflect the stories of the families that have called it home, and we are committed to uncovering those stories. The idea behind History Attic began as a college thesis project. Since then, we have been researching the lineage of homes in Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania.
As sisters, we bring our own sense of family to finding the stories of the generations who have left their mark on our historic structures. We also blend our skills and background in research with an artist's eye for detail to give you a one of a kind story of your home.
We stumbled upon the name "History Attic" when asked by one of our client/friends "Why do you love researching old homes?" We both kind of shrugged and said in unison, "it's kind of addicting".....get it?? Attic? Addict-ing? Well anyway, here we are ready to go!
We hope you enjoy what we've found, we look forward to hearing from you about your historic home! Thanks for stopping by.
I have always been drawn to old things, things with character and patina. I feel more grounded in a place that has a past. My boys are the fifth generation of my husband’s family to live in our house, and that sense of legacy and richness of history is priceless to me. For me, a sense of place is important in today’s increasing mobile and virtual world.
Growing up in an original suburb of Philadelphia, I was enamored with the uniqueness of each house in the neighborhood and wondered about the people who originally built them. As a young adult, I visited a local historical society and was amazed at the range of historical documents that were available. Over the course of several months, I pieced together the story of my home, and then started researching for family and friends. I took an Entrepreneurship class during my undergraduate studies and developed a business model for “house genealogies” for my final thesis. I continued researching as a hobby off and on, but raising a family occupied my time and my career lead me down a different path.
I’ve spent my entire career in a highly regulated industry in a role that required diligent record keeping and document traceability. I realized the skills I learned perfectly compliment what I love most about house histories - the research. I am known to start a jigsaw puzzle and not walk away from it until it’s finished. House research is the same, I cannot leave a project until all of the pieces are put together, are supported by credible sources, and tell as complete a story as possible.
So, I am the researcher and the writer, the yang to my sister’s creative and social side. As a photographer, she is able to see the details and show the physical beauty in the places we research.
They say one decision can change the whole trajectory of your life. Mine was answering an ad for a photographer for a high end real estate agent after graduating from Arcadia University with a BFA. Those days film photography was the only option and the "art of photography" was still in a pure form, which is how I approached and still approach capturing homes.
The areas I cover are mostly Bucks and Hunterdon Counties, they are steeped in history and historic homes. From day one, I felt so at home walking into these homes and estates that many, many others inhabited before me. I love all the details in older homes, the worn steps, the original hardware and the wavy glass. So along with capturing the homes for the listing needs, I'd always grab shots of the details. I would wonder how many footsteps it must have taken to wear down the treads on the steps and how many hands turned the old fashioned knobs.
When my sister developed her thesis, she needed a searching buddy, so off we went. I was capturing historic homes for my job and finding out the history of others as a hobby with my sister, a complete circle I would say. I still capture real estate, but after opening my own imaging company years ago, I’ve added architects, builders, interior designers and more to my client list. And funny enough, I still find my work is predominantly capturing historic beauties. Fate? Just the luck of the draw? Whatever it is, I’ll TAKE IT!
I am a VERY visual person. My part in History Attic is to provide the owners with the visuals and…well, PHOTOS! The hair on my arm stands up when I find an photo of a former owner, or one of the town or property from long ago. When we have the pleasure of meeting our clients for the first time, they will see Chris, notebook in hand, focused on asking the right questions, while I'm the one running all over the place like a maniac with camera in hand. We are certainly the ying to each other's yang.