IHT unveils Perlman House 

Originally the Clark House, Perlman House offers housing opportunities in Tisbury.


The historic Clark House in Vineyard Haven has been renamed the Perlman House by Island Housing Trust (IHT), in dedication to the family who sold it to them.

Steve and Judy Perlman originally sold the Clark House to IHT just hours after watching the ribbon cutting for the adjacent Hanover House, which they also owned and sold to the Trust.

The Hanover House is being used to house employees of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, while the newly named Perlman House will be fully renovated and turned into separate apartments, which will be rented to low- and moderate-income working Island residents. 

IHT used its one-third funding system to secure more than $1.5 million in donations, financing, and state grants. 

According to IHT communications director Breeze Tonnesen, the building has “great bones,” and will need only some necessary renovations to provide many Islanders with a great space to live.

Initially used as an inn by the Perlmans, with eight bedrooms rented out by the night, Perlman House will now be separated into 7 individual living spaces. 

IHT executive director Philippe Jordi said the discount price the Perlmans offered the building for “really made this whole thing possible.”

“The building is in great condition. It’s very well-kept, and over 100 years old; it really speaks for itself,” Jordi said. 

IHT is working with a local contractor, Chris Priore of Bay State Leisure Homes, to do all the necessary renovations to the building. 

Starting next month, internal construction will begin, while the external aesthetics of the house will stay virtually the same, Jordi said. 

A large part of the reorientation inside the house will allow for versatility and will “bring the house into the 21st century,” Jordi said.

“This is going to be a huge benefit to Vineyard Haven; it will be a community asset forever,” project director for IHT Derrill Bazzy said. IHT is working with mostly existing space, and focusing on maintaining the old Island feel of the building.

“When all is said and done, we want people to drive by and not notice any change in the look of the house,” Bazzy said. 

Tisbury selectman Jeff Kristal said the addition of both the Hanover and Perlman houses to IHT solidifies the town’s commitment to affordable housing for year-round residents. He said the town is happy to work with IHT to benefit the entire Island. “We are very proud to work with an organization that we can trust,” Kristal said.

Steve Perlman said he worked in housing for many years, and is happy to see the two properties stay together in good hands.