Restoration, Pinchot style
BY STACI WILSON
Actor Bronson Pinchot discovered his haven away from theHollywoodworld years ago and set out to restore the stately 1840s Greek Revival home that is situated in the heart of Harford.
But his latest endeavor is a marriage of his two worlds.
“The Bronson Pinchot Project” premiered Saturday, Feb 11 on DIY Network.
In the episode, Pinchot and his team of local carpenters worked to restore a gathering room in the back of the house with a complete – but hidden – kitchen.
French doors leading from the room to the garden area were created using a method Pinchot refers to as “Frankensteining.” The upper center panels of two solid, wood doors were removed and those panels replaced by a paned window. The carpenters added an additional row of windows in an effort to create the look Pinchot was trying to create.
Local contractors Kevin Shibley and Chad Chauncey are featured in the series. Pinchot said the two “have worked for me for many years. They’ve done some really astonishing things.”
Also appearing on the series are: Mikey Papusha, C.J. Jaget, Kris Semon, Wes Schultz and Cooper Van Cott.
And, in front of the camera, Pinchot said, “They’re not acting.” After getting used to having the cameras around, Pinchot said, “They were very natural about it.”
The show is shot using high definition cameras which on the screen makes the whole area looks like “a beautiful living painting.”
“All ofSusquehannaCountyis portrayed as if it is the essence of the pastoral American dream. It was shot so beautifully and lovingly,” Pinchot said. “I think people who live here are going to be impressed and people who don’t live here will think it is paradise.”
The film crew captured scenes from around the Harford area. “It’s a real love letter toSusquehannaCountyin an unexpected way,” Pinchot said.
The familiar Harford streets and post office, rolling farmland and sunrises over lakes and ponds pepper scene breaks in the show.
But the show is not about the local scenery and area craftsmen, it’s a show about the restoration of old homes. And unlike many other “reality series,” this one is not built around friction.
He said, that like his workforce, he doesn’t act any more or less dramatic while filming.
Pinchot said, “It’s a portrait of what I do and what my restoration philosophy is. (The show) is not very much a melding of my worlds. I’m going to get on with what I do.”
He also offers a small bit of history about the style or look he is trying to achieve during the show.
But projects don’t always go as planned, or without injury. In one episode, Pinchot said he dropped a wall on his finger and split it open.
With the film crew in tow, Pinchot made his way to Endless Mountains Health Systems in Montrose for stitches.
“I really wanted to be a big baby but they were filming,” he said. “It really, really hurt. It was hilarious.”
Raised inPasadena,Calif, where items from the early 1900s are considered “old,” Pinchot said the series offers viewers a glimpse of what is good about living somewhere with so many older houses.
“It’s extraordinary to go from Harford to Montrose and all the places in between and see these homes,” he said.
Each episode in the series has a different project focus that shows a beginning, middle and end. Projects on several of Pinchot’s Harford properties are featured in the series.
“The Bronson Pinchot Project” airs Saturday night,10:30 p.m.on the DIY Network.