When the time was right to upgrade to their dream home, lifelong Absecon Island residents Annie and Hank Rovillard left nothing to chance.
Foremost on the list of considerations was a property large enough to handle the demands of two young twin sons who, while still barely school-aged at the time, were already showing signs of athletic inclination and the need for plenty of room to play.
Another major consideration was a home reminiscent of the traditional seashore designs they lived in previously as a younger couple.
The eye-catching, classic-style home at 430 N. Quincy Ave., located in Margate’s esteemed Parkway North section, fit the criteria they were looking for in every regard. The Rovillards hired Weiss Architects (see PWeissArchitect.com) to design and oversee construction of the five-bedroom, 4½-bathroom home — situated on an immense 7,600-square-foot (95 feet wide by 80 feet deep) lot — where they have lived for the last 13 years.
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“We both grew up admiring old Atlantic City architecture,” says Annie. “We bought and renovated our old home (located in A.C.’s venerable Chelsea section) because of the architecture — the French doors, the glass doorknobs, the old-style crown molding that was about 10 inches around — features that reminded me of my childhood home as well as the classic New England-style shore homes.”
“The home was designed to withstand the test of time,” says Hank. “My wife was terrific in hashing out the details of the design with the architect; things like the corner moldings, beautiful transoms, coffered ceilings, the pergolas, the skirted cedar siding that’s a New England trait. We’ve received a lot of comments from people who first walk in about how warm our home feels.”
The home features an open-style floor plan that includes an eat-in kitchen, dining room, family room, wet bar and a wine storage room with a lockable door — an amenity added to accommodate Hank’s passion for wine collecting — on its main first level.
“At our home on Plaza Place (in A.C.), when you opened the front door you walked right into the living room,” Annie says. “There was a big open floor space, which we thought was beautiful, but once we had kids that open space started filling up fast with toys all over the place. When we built this home, we made sure we had a center receiving foyer, like my home growing up, and we put all the living space in the back.
“When you walk into this home, the foyer will charm you with a two-story coffered ceiling floating above a beautiful winding staircase with custom moldings and two large coat closets,” says Annie. “But it is the back of the home that is open for family living.
“The eat-in kitchen, the (coffered-ceiling) dining room and the family room are all kind of open, but they’re defined spaces for decorating purposes.”
Another room to the right of the foyer, built with transomed French doors, currently serves as their sons’ movie room. There’s a double-sided fireplace between that and the living room; one side clad in marble and the other side in stone.
“There’s also a room with panel-pocket doors that we’re currently using as an office,” adds Annie. “There’s just a lot of flexibility with this home.”
The home’s second level is highlighted by a master ensuite with a tray-style ceiling adjoining an enormous luxury bathroom with a cathedral ceiling. At the top of the stairs, French doors lead to a central balcony with unobstructed views of the Margate bay.
There are an additional four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the second level (a powder room is on the first floor. Altogether, the home has five porches, including two streetside and three in the rear. A third level currently houses only the HVAC air handler, but has the potential for an additional 700 square feet to be converted into living space, if so desired.
Quincy Avenue is easily the widest street in that bay section of Margate. It is also the center street on a peninsula formed by the main bay on the north side, and two man-made waterways — Sunset and Orient canals — on the east and west sides. The Rovillards’ home, which also features an oversized attached garage, has the distinction of being among the largest lots on one of the widest streets in the city.
“Our lot is technically only 5 feet shorter than two buildable lots,” says Hank. “Our backyard is very spacious. It’s like an open canvas to design an incredible outdoor space.
“We had our sprinkler system designed to allow for a pool in the backyard, but the kids were always into sports and preferred using it to play football, soccer and baseball. And as dog owners it was ideal for letting them run around. So if you have dogs, kids, a large family, if you like to garden, want a pool or fire pit, you can do almost anything that your imagination comes up with back there.”
The rear of the property also backs up to an undeveloped wooded area that provides plenty of privacy and tranquility.
“Margate’s a great little town,” says Annie. “It has a great school system. Winter is a totally different experience from how it is in the summer. We can ride our bikes to the JCC (the town’s community center), where the kids have been swimming and playing basketball since they were really little. There’s pickleball courts about four or five blocks away. There’s a ton of dining and shopping opportunities within walking or biking distance. We love our beautiful and quiet neighborhood.”
The couple will soon enter the realm of empty-nesters, as their sons are heading off to college this fall in Maine and upstate New York, respectively.
“We want to do some different things,” Ann says. “Our boys are both college basketball players, so we anticipate going up to visit them and watching their college games. We’ll miss it here, but I don’t believe we’ll ever not have a home at the shore.”
To schedule an appointment to tour this classic Margate home, qualified buyers can call the direct line of listing agent Kevin Corcoran of Kevin Corcoran Real Estate at 609-348-0077, or email him at [email protected]