Story By: Elizabeth Dinan | Photo By: Rich Beauchesne
A master carpenter, wallpaper historian, “paint detective” and wall-covering expert form a historic preservation dream team assembled to restore the 1730s Tobias Lear House before it opens as an inn next year.
Stephen Foster bought the Portsmouth home, which is on the National Historic Register, a year ago. It was suffering from deferred maintenance in the historic South End with its chipping exterior paint visible from every view.
The sale came with a preservation easement that requires maintaining the historic integrity of everything there now, into perpetuity. That easement was a deterrent to most buyers, but Foster has done this before.