The House

The house was built in 1802 as the parsonage to the Dutch Reformed Church on the Village Green. It has been extensively restored with a full gut rehab. It has a partial post and beam frame with red heart pine floors up to 20 inches wide, known as “king boards.” A substantial balloon frame addition was completed in 1875, adding two jetties on the front facade and a two-story bay window on the side. The house had a full-width front porch removed in the 1960s. It was not original to the house and was possibly added in the 1920s.

The house was purchased from a descendant of an original Dutch family of the Hardenbergh Patent tenant farmers that pioneered Ulster County in the 1600s,” The house had good bones unmodified for decades, and stood empty for three years before it changed hands. The walls were all covered in several layers of wallpaper masking cracked plaster lath walls without any insulation. The interior was completely gutted to the frame. All the old plumbing and wiring was removed. All the hardware was stripped and re-plated. The only surface left intact was a second-floor ceiling painting with flowers and bluebirds, which is now being restored.

Renovation began one year after architectural drawings were completed and building permits secured. The renovation took about three years to complete and receive the final Certificate of Occupancy.

Many of the subcontractors who laid concrete, insulation, stone work, landscaping, HVAC techs, etc. were artists, musicians, writers, photographers and filmmakers who live in the Woodstock area: part of a creative community where people often take on second jobs to sustain their passions. Two Scandinavian craftsmen, (a film gaffer and studio photographer) repaired load bearing joists, made foundation repairs and installed a 17 foot steel I-beam supporting the second floor kitchen. Boat-building craftsmen were also part of the process. Mark Wetterau, a former boat builder (he helped build The Woody Guthrie, a Hudson River sloop), lifted the coach house three feet in the air to replace a rotted sill plate and pour a new foundation. Another boat builder/restorer, Sean McLean of McLean Woodworking, completed custom built-ins that look original to the house.

My personal focus on the renovation was to remove all the door and window hardware, strip these and re-plate where necessary. I also replaced all the contemporary lighting with vintage lighting mainly of the gas/electric light period. We furnished the rooms mainly with vintage furniture of the late 1800s and early 1900’s.

The attic floorboards were removed to add insulation and aid in wiring the house for electric, cable, audio and video. In this process, we discovered two metal boxes stuffed with secret love letters from the 1920s and 30s. One of the boxes also contained a lady’s handgun with bluing intact. We are attempting to unravel the tale of a love triangle mystery which involved a woman in the house and a traveler moving up and down the Hudson River.