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From ‘frat house’ to family home: A major remodel in Bethesda

  • July 13, 2022

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When a rainbow-painted gladiator statue is the housewarming gift from a builder to the homeowners, you know there must be a great story behind it.

“My grandmother’s cousin sculpted this concrete gladiator statue that had a lamp on top and eventually it ended up in my parents’ garage,” says John Frye, 43, who is in commercial air-conditioning sales. “My friend Matt loved it and brought it to our frat house when we went to college together in Cleveland. He spray-painted it silver and then … it sat in his parents’ basement for 20 years.”

Frye’s friend Matt Covell, also 43, founded Structure, a custom home builder and renovation firm based in North Bethesda, Md., in 2016. He remodeled Frye’s house in 2019-2020 and brought the gladiator to Matt Corrado, an artist and mutual high school friend, to “paint it rainbow colors as a housewarming gift,” Covell says.

“We placed it in a niche near the main-level powder room for a photo shoot just for fun, and it looks like they’ll keep it there,” Covell said.

A Chevy Chase, Md., family rebuilds after a devastating fire

Family and friends are central to John and Bridget Frye’s North Bethesda home, which was renovated and expanded in 2020. The home, a 1950s-era red brick rambler with a basement, was owned by John’s sister, who lived in it with friends for several years. Once she moved out, John rented it for a few years and eventually bought it from his sister in 2004.

Matt Covell, John and Bridget were part of the crowd that hung out at the house after college, which served as the gathering place in the early 2000s for a wide-ranging group of friends from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, then located in

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