Chip Webster Responds To Story On Kendrick Street House

Chip Webster •

To the editor,

I am writing in response to the November 11, 2022 article in the Nantucket Current.

My Nantucket roots go back to the 1600’s. I was conceived on Nantucket during the 1959 Summer Fete, the 300th anniversary of Nantucket. For the first thirty years of my life, I enjoyed my Summers visiting my grandparents in the house that my family built in 1823. In 1991, I made Nantucket my permanent home for the next 30 years, simultaneously establishing my architectural business on island.

During those 30 years, I have worked closely with the HDC on hundreds of projects. I value and respect the HDC and their work to protect the architectural heritage of the island.

It is very important to me to clarify several issues regarding the recent article published in the Nantucket Current. This house was initially reviewed and approved by the HDC. It is common in all construction projects to come back to the HDC during construction for design revisions. Once the house was completely framed, we applied for revisions, including adding additional glass at the of the rear of the house.

This application was approved on consent by the HDC, meaning that the application was reviewed before the meeting, and approved along with other applications at the meeting without further review. It is particularly important to know that I did not request that it be approved on consent and that this decision was made entirely by the HDC.

Our clients have been coming to Nantucket for 50 years and have a great appreciation for their neighbors and the work of the HDC. They have planted many large trees on top of a berm approved by the HDC to minimize the view of the rear windows from the only street along the side of the property.

The most disturbing part of the article to me was that photographs featured in the article (including the lead photo) were taken from the back yard of the property and not the road or a public way. The article implies that these were photos were from a public way and that this view of the house is visible, which is not the case.

Additionally, it was stated that I somehow manipulated the drawings in the application, which is absolutely not true. I have built my business on transparency and honesty with clients, colleagues, and the review boards.

The property is over four acres and is at the end of a dead-end road. There is a narrow walking path behind the rear of the property where there is limited visibility of the back of the house. Our client has generously offered to install additional plantings at the rear of the property to mitigate this view and we are in the process of working with the HDC in formulating a successful plan that works for all.

There is no project, no fee, or no client that I would ever accept that would be more important than my reputation and adherence to the design principles that make Nantucket what it is. It is my hope that this letter clarifies any misunderstandings around this project and while I applaud the Current for its excellent coverage of the island, I want to make sure that this story fairly portrays the situation.

I look forward to working with the HDC on future projects for the next 30 years.

Chip Webster

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