Coakley graduated from Yale Art & Architecture School in
1971, with an MFA degree. Although he majored in sculpture, his primary
focus expanded to furniture and building design. At Yale he was able
to explore in depth laminated wood sculpture and furniture. His love
of wood for its beauty, strength, and practicality was the catalyst
for his eventual career in architectural design.
His first design and construction projects on the salt marshes of Essex
and Ipswich Massachusetts encouraged further work and when Richard moved
with his young family to Pembroke in downeast Maine, he embarked on
a life journey of architectural building and design. His projects in
Washington county included waterfront homes and two state parks; Roques'
Bluff and Cobscook Bay.
In 1986 Richard and his family moved to Sedgwick, Maine where he established
his company, Summerbeam, Inc. Since then he has designed and built homes
along the shores of Blue Hill, Brooklin, Sedgwick, Penobscot, and Little
Deer Isle. Every house has its own unique evolution, but paramount
to each is the desire to provide the best in workmanship and creative
Richard's wife, artist and clothing designer Elizabeth Coakley, owns
and operates Mermaid
Woolens of Sedgwick, Maine. Encouraged and inspired
by Richard, Elizabeth has painted the stair treads of many of his houses
with scenes depicting the areas surrounding each house (samples on "Interiors"
Richard Coakley's homes reflect his knowledge and experience in design
and building. They also capture his passion and respect for the part
of Maine he feels fortunate to live in.