|Kevin O?Connor Was Featured In Northshore Magazine|
David: Playing House with Kevin O?Connor
On Saturday afternoons for the last seven years, Kevin O?Connor, host of PBS?s ?This Old House? and ?Ask This Old House,? has been captured on film climbing and crawling his way through viewers? houses, remedying their most perplexing home improvement hang-ups. And while O?Connor, who resides in Beverly, has become somewhat of a fixture in homes across the country, what devotees of the shows might not know is that his path to do-it-yourself stardom?and to domestic bliss on the North Shore?was anything but planned.
A New Jersey native, O?Connor earned degrees from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and from Boston University, a course of study that would lead him to a career, however brief, in banking. After stints at Fleet Bank and Bank of America, O?Connor, a longtime home-improvement hobbyist and all-around handyman, and his wife, Kathleen, felt the urge to take on a new kind of project: finding a fixer-upper and turning it into their dream home.
?We really wanted to dive into a big, old, historical Victorian home and fix it up, live in it for a while, and either turn it around and sell it or hang on to it,? O?Connor says of beginning the search for their new home. While the couple initially set their sights on Boston, their search proved fruitless. Finally, a friend already living on the North Shore emailed the couple a listing of a Queen Anne-style home built in Beverly in 1894 that seemed to fit the bill. Little did anyone know that the simple gesture would ultimately change the O?Connors? lives.
The home in the listing, it would turn out, wasn?t even on the market yet?never mind the fact that neither of them had ever been to Beverly?but that didn?t stop the O?Connors in their pursuit. ?We really didn?t know much about Beverly because we didn?t have much occasion to come here. But we saw the listing and it was one of those sort of ?Eureka!? moments,? O?Connor says. ?My wife came up on a weekend. The house wasn?t even on the market yet, and she called the realtor and said, ?Will you please let me in? I?ll be there in 20 minutes.? It was that kind of thing. Within two or three days, we?d both seen it and had an offer in on the place, and we were working towards closing on it.?
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Kevin's house before renovation.
Kevin's house after renovation.