Lucky Star Farm Chapter One: The Cabarn

In 2005, following Huricaine Katrina, our friends from 422 N. Washington moved to Arkansas from New Orleans to be near this land. Washington Avenue was going to be their in-town Fayetteville home. This was going to be the getaway, a place to enjoy nature and to cultivate a big organic garden. Over the following dozen years, a lot has changed. Lucky Star Farm is now their primary home. The Fayetteville home is in the loving hands of a new owner. This is the first chapter of Lucky Star Farm, The Cabarn.


  • Cabin + Barn = Cabarn.  Get it?
  • The first floor was for the tractor and tools.
  • The upper floor was for fine living.
  • The cabarn is built of SIPs.
  • Passive solar design - it really works!
  • Passive convective cooling - it really works too!
  • Views to the south of gardens and mountains.
  • Views to the north of woods and creek.
  • Zinc mines nearby with ghosts.
  • Stay tuned for Chapter 2: "The Sheddio."

At the boundary...

woods and meadow, mountain and sky, earth and water.

422 N. Washington - An Ignominious Prologue (and an exciting link!)


The neighbors absolutely hated us...


I opened your website today and my jaw dropped... I lived at 422 N. Washington in the early 2000's. I was a college student living there with 5 of my friends. We couldn't believe that we found a place to live in such a nice neighborhood for so cheap! The neighbors absolutely hated us because we parked so many cars in the driveway and would be way too loud at night. We used the claw-footed bathtub in the upstairs bathroom as a place to put all of our dirty dishes when people would come over. My bedroom was upstairs in the back corner and it was awkward because there was no hallway and I had to walk through someone else's room to get to mine.

A few more memories: The house was in really rough shape when we lived there. That old wood ramp going up to the back "porch" would totally ice over and I probably fell on it a dozen times. I'm pretty sure I'm the one that installed the 2x6s that are holding up the window a/c units in the "before" pictures because they kept falling out. There was wood paneling in every room and my room was a nasty seafoam color. There was a bathroom just off the kitchen that had the only "usable" shower in the house, so there was always a fight for it. The backyard had terrible drainage and would turn in to a giant mud pit in the rain. Also, either the house had no heat or we were too cheap to use it because it was always FREEZING in the Winter.

I am getting the biggest laugh out of this! Feel free to share. I started dating (my wife) while I lived at that house so I'm a little sentimental about it! Did you put that wood floor in downstairs or was it under the carpet?

Looking back, I can't believe they actually leased it to a bunch of college kids. What were they thinking?

Anyway, thought you might like to hear about that; what a coincidence! You did a stunning job renovating that house judging by the pictures on your website. Wow. You must have gutted nearly every wall.

We've been getting much more serious about our move to Arkansas so I'm sure we will be in contact (probably in the early Spring) to meet you in person during a trip to Fayetteville. I hope all is well!


Thank you, CH!

Yes, the hardwood floor was underneath the carpet. We actually didn't gut every wall. The house had valuable architectural assets beneath all of that paneling and seafoam. A big part of the story was revealed when we removed the dropped ceilings. We certainly made major modifications, but there was a beautiful house in there!

Also, you may be pleased to know that you and your roommates still enjoy a legendary reputation among the neighbors. They loved the boombox on the front porch. It was a memorable touch!



Now, for something else worth sharing: I've been in communication with the current owner of this wonderful home.  She shared this article! It's a terrific dive into the deep history of 422 N. Washington Avenue.  I'll see if I can find more history to share.  I'm also looking forward to sharing some updated photos of the project soon.

Also, I'd like to share a link to the current owner's work. Talya Tate Boerner is an author, gardener, observer, and blogger. She brings her perspective to life in Arkansas and the South. Thanks, Talya for sharing your article with us!

422 N. Washington Chapter One AND Introduction to Lucky Star Farm

422 N. Washington Chapter One AND Introduction to Lucky Star Farm

Hurricane Katrina was awful. Several weeks before her havoc reached the Louisiana Gulf Coast, I heard that a couple from New Orleans had bought the dilapidated historic home across the street from one of our projects. The house was in sad condition. It had been carved into shoddy apartments. We hoped that somehow the new owners would talk to us about how we might work together. One day, while making a site visit at our neighboring project, the new owners appeared.

Covenant Cove

A family with newly fledged young adult children decided to make a home in the woods. The home is a base, a touchstone, and a haven. Friends and family gather. Other times it's a tranquil home for two.


  • The arc of life in a home. Tell a story.
  • 'California Stars' on the deck at night, coyote chorus, cold air.
  • Look up Karl Larsson's work.
  • Sunlight through the stair volume brightens the living room.
  • Hay rides behind the tractor.
  • Family, friends, food, welcome, warm, love.
  • When a client trusts you, work hard!
  • Hold hands and think about how it began.
  • Heck of a way to start a career.
  • No way to adequately say thank you.

Mountain North

The house was originally built in 1902. During its life, it endured various additions and remodels.  Around 2000, we had the opportunity to do a comprehensive renovation and addition to get all of the parts working together as they should.


  • The third floor once accommodated a fraternity.
  • 120 year old footprints of a tiny child are in the concrete of the basement.
  • We designed a side entry door, only to discover that there had been a door in that location originally.
  • This home has a dumbwaiter.
  • Light oil finish on original pocket doors.
  • Triple-hung windows in sunroom - fancy!
  • Blue porch ceiling may discourage wasp nests.
  • This house is ready for the next 120 years!
  • Exterior paint palette recommended by historical color consultant.
  • Build it right, and it will last for generations.
2 W Mt Nord-5.jpg

You can't make a new old thing.

Out West

How do you capture a big view and protect the home from the evening sun? Our clients wanted to improve their home's image, create open social space, and find a way to enjoy a big winter vista through the trees across the road. Adding a big friendly porch out west was the answer. The new porch and remodeled interiors work together to transform the home.


  • The house was noble but nondescript.
  • The porch transforms the home's image.
  • Steel columns support the wood ceiling.
  • Concrete foundation blocks serve as seating and a place to rest refreshments.
  • New kitchen for preparing porch-time refreshments (along with occasional other meals too).
  • Low awning windows don't obstruct the view.
  • The Renovation improved energy efficiency.
  • Friendly porches improve neighborhood morale.
  • The remodeled open plan provides views from living, kitchen, and dining.
  • The orange door signals that fantastic people live here!

A front porch for living...


...transforms the image.


A growing family loves their small house and neighborhood. By adding a second floor, we created a place for four children's bedrooms.  This made room on the first floor to reimagine most of the space, add a garage and screened porch, and transform the experience of the home.



  • The house fits the neighborhood.
  • Screened porch is a living room.
  • Kitchen is the heart of the home.
  • The old house is still part of the new design.
  • Second floor provided unexpected views.
  • Bathrooms for everyone!
  • Super-functional drop-zone mudroom.
  • Enough space for small tipi in the living room.
  • Sunlight through new kitchen windows inspires joy.
  • Good design improves daily life for people.
20160902-lewis-11 2.jpg

A small tipi

looks great in the living room!


The Checklist:

√  Screened Porch

√  Maker Shop

√  Canoe and Kayak Storage

√  Studio

√  Outdoor kitchen

√  Office

√  Garden Produce Processing Station

√  Rainwater Collection

√  Tractor Shed

√ Root Cellar

For some, there's the house. Then there's the pool. A pool house completes the picture.  For some, there's the house. Then a big garden. A tractor follows.  Soon comes fresh produce. Don't forget the chickens, goats, and bees. These all need implements. Where does the produce go for storage? Where does the tractor sleep at night? What about the beekeeper's smoke can, where does that go? It all needs a place. And then there's the canoe, kayak, and camping gear. And what about a place to plan what happens next? There's a place for it all here. It'll be a lot of work, so the screened porch will be a nice spot to have a cool drink after a long day. A pool house is not for this family. This family gets a workhouse. 

I'll post more as this one moves along.  It's a fine workhouse.

Gallery, Slideshow, Project List

This a story! a story!

Most design sites I visit are focused on images of the work. There are galleries, slideshows, project lists, all categorized by project type. But there's more to our work than photos of finished projects. There's process and backstory.

Most of the images on this site are Parkco work.  Each journal entry will be tagged or categorized.  If you want to see entries about new houses, look for that category.  It'll sort the journal according to similar projects, and you'll see images of our work along with the story.

If you want to know about us, read the journal and look at the images. There are great stories in here. Over time, if we're lucky, there will be more.


Tattered drawings on an active jobsite. The paper loses its memory. It becomes like leather. Parts of the set, especially plan drawings, take on colors of dirt, sweat, oil, coffee. These are no longer crisp documents, but handled and used. The wear says a lot about the value. It's good that something we've made has been so well used.

Again to Begin

I think it's easier to start for the first time. Beginning again is tough. Our first Parkco website launched in 2007.  It doesn't seem so long ago. We had been in business for about twelve years. Simply having a site back then was a big deal. Most of the architects I knew didn't. There were plenty of stories of firms spending thousands of dollars to have consultants build their websites, only to have them never actually work. We just decided to build our own. It worked. It worked tirelessly. It thrived on neglect. It represented us just as we asked it to.

The old site and the old logo... 

The old site and the old logo... 

Time passed and we began to feel that our trusty site was wearing out. Expectations changed. Most people want a site to function on phones and tablets as well as on their desktop.  Our old site couldn't meet that standard.

A little over a year ago, we began work on a new identity for our firm.  We've had some fantastic help this time.  I'll dedicate a journal entry to this soon. The work has resulted in a new mark, new communication tools and an identity that represents us better.

We've launched this new site and we're really excited about it. It hasn't been easy imagining ourselves in a different frame, but we've had terrific support. It's been great to be on the receiving end of wonderful service.  Now we're ready to share images of our new work and the stories behind these projects.

This site is designed to grow incrementally.  We're never going to call it finished. We're going to just keep adding to the story. You'll have to come back to see what's new.