The lights are on again in the Yellow House

 To the Editor:

After almost two decades of neglect and legal wrangling the lights are finally on again in the Yellow House at the corner of Summer & Main in downtown Edgartown. And despite the private thanks I’ve received from many folks, the truth is this transformative project was only possible because of an expansive effort that included dozens and dozens of public and private collaborators. 

To begin, I’d like to thank my direct partners, Gerret Conover and Dudley Cannada; who respectively led the construction and architectural work. And a special thank you to Jeff Lucier who tirelessly shepherded the day-to-day details at the building site, from big moves such as lifting the structure to the tiniest trim details — and all in the midst of a pandemic. 

Additional kudos to the often overlooked public servants at Town Hall — especially James Hagerty, Reade Milne, Allan DeBettencourt, Bricque Garber, and Akeyah Lucas who ensured we renovated the building and surrounding property in a manner worthy of its central spot in town. 

Thanks to Martha’s Vineyard Bank whose financial support allowed us to build with confidence in a time of uncertainty; as well as Lululemon whose decision to shift to a year-round, long-term commitment allowed us to invest in a head-turning retail space where previously there were only boarded windows. 

Special thanks to the literally dozens of tradesfolk who with pride, skill, and speed raised the building; dug a new basement; framed new additions and repaired old sections; completely rebuilt the mechanical infrastructure of the Yellow House with new electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and sprinkler systems; hung windows and shingles and sheetrock and shutters; and who painted and painted and painted some more. 

Together, all of us, took a downtown property that once left people asking “Why can’t anything be done about that eyesore” and transformed it into one that once again bustles with business and beauty. 

And finally, a big thank you to the Edgartown selectmen, historic commission, ZBA, town counsel, and all the citizens of Edgartown who made the risky, but right decision at town meeting and beyond to take control and responsibility for the Yellow House’s future. Especially in these chaotic and uncertain times, the story of the Yellow House’s rebirth isn’t just an example of a successful renovation; it’s a reflection of what thoughtful, committed community action can accomplish and a testament to Edgartown’s resilience and creativity. 

Thank you to everyone who helped us breathe new life into this wonderful old property at the corner of Summer & Main. 

Christopher Celeste
Edgartown