A $ 1.2 million home for sale in Fall River is missing something some might find baffling – it was built without nails.
The house, called “The Rising Sun”, was built using a Japanese technique known as “kanawa tsugi”, which binds the wood in interlocking joints, rather than nailing it together.
It is a Japanese arts and crafts house that was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, who was a Frank Lloyd Wright influencer. Cram also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology until his retirement in 1930.
He is known for designing “the buildings of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the Gothic transformation of St. John’s Cathedral in New York,” according to the Cultural Landscape Foundation.
The Fall River House, built in 1894, has “exposed beams, beautiful woodwork, a central staircase with skylights, 4 working fireplaces, home offices on the 2nd and 3rd floors, as well as 6 bedrooms,” according to the listing.
It was built with 26 species of wood and also has the original walnut doors, which are now over 127 years old.
Current owner Mary Wheeler retired this summer, and she and her husband are looking to downsize.
“Even though we love this house and it’s very comfortable, it’s more than we want to manage,” she said. “We just want to have something simpler.”
She remembers when they first walked through the door and how breathtaking it was.
“We walked in and looked at the woods, and my husband whispered in my ear and said, ‘We’re going to buy this house,’” Wheeler said.
She noted that there were so many intricate details in the house, such as wood bird carvings all over the house.
Another detail is that one of the wooden posts in the dining room is a tree trunk, she said. There are also stones behind each of the four fireplaces, which help heat the whole house.
Wheeler and her husband have worked to restore the house since they bought it in 2011 for $ 295,000. At that time there was a pink shag rug and was decorated in a Victorian style, “which was the age of the house but obviously not the style of the house,” she said.
They redone the floors, changed the wallpaper and more.
One of the things they haven’t restored is the tearoom.
“I have a photo of the old tea house which is fabulous,” Wheeler said. “And I always thought it would be wonderful to turn the tea house into a tea house.”
However, the door to the tea room is small. This is traditional for Japanese teahouses, which often have small low openings, so samurai must disarm themselves before entering.
Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu told the Japan Times that removing their guns would mean “everyone is equal in the tea room.”
She hopes the next homeowners will love and care for the house as much as she does.
“Someone who really has a vested interest in taking care of this. It lasted 127 years without white paint, and I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to buy it and turn it into condos, ”she said. “They have to come here and enjoy what it is.”
Another Cram house is on the market in Maine.
The Ledges at Whittemore House is on the market for $ 2.5 million in York, Maine.
“Everywhere there is an architectural interest: the syncope of the ribbon windows; the opposing curves of the triple gable window and the adjacent tower; the two first-story windows above the lower door, ”the listing says. “Even the smallest details catch the eye. “