With the Timeless Excellence of the Old
Oscar and Jane Gamble have made the old as good as new with their historic restoration
The saying “good as new” could be changed slightly by Oscar and Jane Gamble, who set out to make the new “good as” the old in restoring and enlarging a magnificent home in Paducah’s west end. Their new home at 4200 Buckner Lane is 79 years old; built in 1929 by the late Dr. Alan and Lillian Shemwell, the home was purchased by the Gambles after being damaged by fire nearly two years ago.
“We always wanted to redo an older house,” Jane says. Although 2,900 square feet of space was added to the existing home, only about one-third of that is living space. Nineteen hundred square feet of new space is garage, including a traditional-use garage for parking cars, a car shop for Oscar’s restoration work, and a woodworking shop in back of the car shop. Oscar also gained a “man’s room” above the new garage, and the previous coal room in the basement is now his for working on golf clubs. Jane will use part of the basement for a sewing room, and a second floor room is now her art studio. “It’s a small room, but the windows across both sides are wonderful,” says Jane.
Original windows were kept throughout the house, and where new windows were added, care was taken to ensure they are true to the original style. Where door casings and moldings were non-standard sizes and designs, Oscar diligently worked to find companies to reproduce the original look and carefully created some pieces himself.
The Gambles are quick to praise Nick Warren, of Peck, Flannery, Gream, Warren, Inc., as a partner in ensuring the home addition looks as if it is part of the original. The architect reserves much of the praise for Jane and Oscar but acknowledges he did make some specific suggestions, such as using copper gutters, rather than today’s aluminum ones. “Jane and Oscar are fun to work with,” says Nick, “We make a good team.”
Jane and Oscar would say the same about the team at Paducah Bank. “Everyone at Paducah Bank, but particularly Larry Rudolph, was most helpful and eager to accommodate us throughout the restoration,” says Jane. “We have enjoyed a long friendship with both the Framptoms and the Batemans,” she adds.
Friends and family were important in planning for the home restoration. The original and new living spaces result in ample room for hosting guests and include a place where the Gambles’ two grandchildren can feel at home. The Gambles were also looking ahead “to a place where we can grow old,” explained Jane. With these thoughts in mind, the master bedroom and bath are on the first floor, with the laundry room conveniently nearby, and the second floor includes bedrooms for the children, with a play room in the attic space above.
The Gambles’ desire to remain true to the original structure has been successful; when walking through the home, it is not easy to discern where the “old” ends and the “new” begins.
“The only part of the original house we completely redid is the kitchen, which was heavily damaged in the fire,” said Jane.
It is apparent in the restoration of their home that Oscar and Jane Gamble value attention to detail, hard work, and putting the best of the new with the timeless excellence of the old.