February 26, 2020
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After pipe burst, this Bangor kitchen was given new life

Community Author: Rosemary Lausier
Post Date:
Joel Holcomb | Contributed
Joel Holcomb | Contributed
The Nadelhaft's kitchen in their 1932 home features cherry cabinet boxes, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Everything in the kitchen was replaced after a burst pipe caused extensive water damage in 2018.

Ruth and Jerry Nadelhaft of Bangor were not planning on renovating their kitchen last year. But the pipes in their house had other ideas. 

In January 2018, every pipe burst causing water to cascade to the first floor, resulting in extensive water damage and a complete renovation. The couple had to wait until June 2018 for the ice to completely thaw so they could start any renovations with the kitchen getting fully replaced. 

“We knew the kitchen would be the hardest and take the longest,” Ruth Nadelhaft said. The kitchen wasn’t fully completed until about a year ago. 

Bangor residents can get a look at the new and improved kitchen Oct. 5 when the Nadelhafts will open up their home for Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center’s 15th Annual Kitchen Tour. The Nadelhafts’ home will be featured with five others from Bangor, Veazie and Orono. 

The new kitchen — designed by Michelle Chase at Anchor Design Co. in Bangor — includes stainless steel appliances, distressed cherry cabinets to give it a more rustic look, a farmhouse sink, granite countertops in “Granite Meadow” and glass-fronted cabinet doors. Jerry Nadelhaft’s favorite feature is a pull-out drawer allowing for more efficient storage space. 

“I think it’s an interesting mix of things that look as if they’ve been here forever,” Ruth said. “And things that are actually quite sleek.”

Although the Nadelhafts knew that that they couldn’t completely recreate their former kitchen, they still wanted the same feel their original designer had created.

“We knew that we never would replace it with anything like it. But it had to be something that felt as distinctive and as personal as the kitchen that he had designed for us,” she said.

While some of the material came from more local sources, such as Freshwater Stone & Brickwork in Orland, and Lowe’s, the inspiration for the design came from Kettle’s Yard Museum, across the pond in Cambridge, England.

Kettle’s Yard serves as a heavy influence for the Nadelhafts’ entire home. A series of cottages that were eventually moved together, it served as the home of art collector Jim Ede and his wife, Helen. Ede used the space to display his collection of 20th-century art and allowed many visitors to tour the space. Defining design features include artwork in the bathroom and kitchen, on the floor against the wall, and items that were “broken, yet beautiful,” Ruth Nadelhaft said. 

The kitchen was not the only room that was renovated after the pipe incident. About half the house experienced some water damage and everything had to be stripped down to just the studs and rafters, including the dining room space. The Nadelhafts also added a master suite to the rear of the first floor, overlooking the Kenduskeag River.

Aubrae Filipiak, chair of the Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary Kitchen Tour Committee, was eager to feature the home in the tour as it shows something not previously featured in the tour.

“I love that they are different. The kitchen feels modern and on-trend, but still very unique,” she said. “It really showcases their personalities and personal history.”

Filipiak said that vendors Oats Any Time, Basil Creek Catering, Right Bag At Ya, Mimi’s Little Loveys and Specialty Sweets will be in some of the homes, and downtown Bangor business Tea & Tarts will be featured in the Nadelhafts’ home. Volunteers from the auxiliary will also be on hand to answer questions about the home, help with parking and act as security. 

For the fourth year, proceeds from the tour will benefit the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, part of its Remarkable Begins With You campaign. The auxiliary is working to fulfill its five-year pledge of $400,000. Other auxiliary events, such as its annual Winter Beach Ball, also benefit the pledge. 

After the tour, Frank Webb Home Showroom, 1156 Hammond St., will hold a reception 3:30-5:30 p.m. with all ticket holders invited. 

The Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary’s 15th Annual Kitchen Tour will be held 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Tickets are available at northernlighthealth.org for $30 and at these other locations: Chapel Hill Floral, The Not-So-Empty Nest. Rebecca’s Gift Shop, Patrick’s Fine Gifts, Northern Light Health Westgate Pharmacy, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary Gift Shop, Anthony John’s Day Spa and Frank Webb Home Showroom. Sponsors of the Kitchen Tour are Key Bank, Bangor Daily News, Rollies, Acadia Federal Credit Union, Bangor Savings Bank, Dirigo Pines, Hammond Lumber Company and Katahdin Trust Company.