Michael and Tommy Condon, the father-son duo behind Vintage Home Restorations, have been breathing new life into historical Savannah havens since moving down South from New England.
As you walk the moss-draped squares of historic Savannah, you may notice something of a renaissance in effect. The aging facades of our beautiful historic structures seemed to have halted in their aging, reverting to a time when they were new. With each property that is lovingly restored to its former glory, Savannah gets a little bit more breathtaking. The father-son duo behind some of these restorations, Tommy and Michael Condon, have made it their life’s work to breathe new life in the Hostess City. We popped in to see the latest Vintage Home Restoration project, the marvelously restored 1617 Vine Street.
More than just a house, 1617 Vine Street represents a moment in time. It represents a bygone era of American craftsmanship and design, before the cookie-cutter architecture of suburbia would usher in the great homogenization of the American home.
It’s an era of quality that Vintage Home Restoration is bringing back to Savannah, one house at a time. And while their talents are well-suited for the Hostess City’s historic charm, their story begins 30 years ago, with Michael Condon’s wild hair to renovate and restore a creaky Victorian home in Quincy, Massachusetts with his wife.
While these days Condon has such restorations down to a science, his first attempt turned out to be quite the learning experience.
“The fact that we stayed married is a reflection of how wonderful my wife is,” says Michael, with a laugh. “From there, we just fell in love with old houses—all of their character, all of their unique traits. And once you fall in love with them, it’s a virus. You can’t get rid of it.”
Like most passions to, it all started as a hobby—a way to earn a few dollars on the side to put towards their kids’ college tuition. Then their goals got loftier, aiming to complete a ‘X’ amount of homes every year. As more and more opportunities arose, Michael brought his children along to help with projects—with his son Tommy learning the craft on and off, sometimes begrudgingly so, from the time he was 9 years old.
Flash-forward a few years and the home renovation bug was still alive, well, and spreading. Tommy joined his father as a full-time, full-fledged business partner following his graduation from the University of Alabama, a decision that posed itself a no-brainer.
Soon after, the Condons uprooted from New England in a quest for warmer winters. Savannah was the destination, a perfect fit for the family.
Thus began Vintage Home Restoration, and the Condons have been taking the Historic District by storm ever since.
While working on a house across the street, Michael and Tommy set their sights on 1617 Vine. The home, built in 1920, follows an American Foursquare build with balloon framing, a very common type of home in Savannah. Before even stepping inside, they knew they had their work cut out for them.
The team set out on a mission: to show this house a glorious new light of day.
Michael and Tommy worked on 1617 Vine Street for 10 hours a day, for six days a week, sometimes even sacrificing a relaxing Sunday in an effort to ensure the house was not only beautiful but soundly built. They worked tirelessly, taking off door hinges, re-siding the entire exterior of the home and ripping up floors. They designed an entirely new floor plan, introducing a sense of flow to the home that was always missing.
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