Erika Howsare

Photo: Stephen Barling

Back to school: A converted house keeps a foot in the past

Wend your way through quirky, loveable Batesville, and you’ll spy plenty of historical properties. The heart of this quintessential Albemarle village is loaded with timeworn buildings, but one of the most interesting residences isn’t quite visible from the road. Ecole—that’s French for “school,” bien sûr—is a onetime schoolhouse dating to the early 1920s. Those were […]

Though they were interested in renovated much of the home’s exterior, Schmalzbach and Forsberg wanted to preserve the wall of the windows that face the lake. Photo: Virginia Hamrick

Lake new: A second life for a home on the water

You’d never know that Ken Schmalzbach and Karol Forsberg’s house isn’t brand new. It looks as up-to-the-minute as anything Wolf Ackerman has recently designed to be built from the ground up. In fact, this home on Lake Monticello is 31 years old, and the architects are responsible for transforming it from a near-eyesore to a […]

Photo: Stephen Barling

Reading outside the box: Albemarle’s Northside Library caters to a modern crowd

The new Northside Library, on Rio Road, says anything but “Shhhh.” From the outside, it’s positively jaunty, with aqua-blue and goldenrod-yellow accents dressing up the brick exterior, and surprising diagonals playing against the verticals of corrugated metal. One’s eyes travel to the tall entranceway and the single word, spelled in midcentury-style metal letters, on the […]