Visit this home and 8 other stunning historic structures in Algiers Point at the Shotgun House Tour on Saturday, May 12
244 Seguin St · Maria-Helena and Brad Hoksch
Twenty-one years ago, Maria-Helena moved from her homeland of Estonia to join her American husband, Brad Hoksch. Brad first visited Algiers Point for work and soon after the couple both fell in love with the neighborhood. Attracted by many factors including the affordability of the Point, seventeen years ago, they purchased 244 Vallette St. as their first home. The 100-plus-year-old architectural elements are beautifully preserved to the present day. The 13-foot high ceilings, original wood floors, fireplaces and masonry, coved ceilings, an original plaster medallion in the first parlor, the iron fence around the house and a still-functioning pair of huge pocket doors, all come together to transport visitors to another time.
Maria-Helena is a nationally renowned calligrapher, operating under the business name “Calligraphy by Maria-Helena.” She regularly attends inter- national conferences and travels to colleges across the country to teach. The front parlor of the house functions as both a place to meet clients for her business, as well as a gallery, featuring many of her own stunning pieces. Her studio, “with ink everywhere,” is tucked away in the back.
The home is a tastefully curated collection of antiques, art, and one-of–a-kind items from their travels to more than 40 countries. German bottle stoppers, miniature portraits in ivory frames and a selection of unique boxes, are just a sampling of their ever-growing collections, expertly displayed around the home. When asked for her advice on living in a historic shotgun, Maria-Helena said, “Our advice is to live in the house for a few years before making major renovations or furniture purchases. The house will tell you what you need and what it wants. The choices in a shotgun will be very different from a regular house.”
Listening to her own advice, the couple renovated little by little, with the major project being the kitchen, completed a year ago. The kitchen is composed of two full rooms and features a French farm table from the 1700s, and tableware collections from England, France, China, Japan, India, Mexico, and Russia. The large kitchen island sits beneath a shower of artfully hung pots and pans. Maria-Helena says, “Every piece in our house has to have meaning as well as function. Decorating your home is all about who you are, and not what others would like to see.”
Photos by Charles E. Leche