Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cottage 23 - Sold (belated post)

Cottage 23 on Catskill Farms closed in late November, 2009, but the house is so magical it seemed to defy good picture snapping, so 3 tries later, I finally have some photos somewhat worthy of the Cottage itself.

Cottage 23 has a neat story behind, from many vantages. First, the land that I chose for it, was the land that Lisa and I planned on building our perfect little homestead - it's directly behind where I live now, part of the land that I put a few cottages on last year. It's great land - big pine trees, gently sloping, little babbling brook, stone walls, seasonal views of a lake, long twisting driveway- everything a man could want. It had some magic and I spent a lot of time studying those 8 acres, figuring out where the house should go, how the drive should come in, etc...

In the end, Lisa and I decided to stay where we were - in the original farmhouse up by the road. We had moved too often to contemplate another move, and we were settling in just fine. And mostly, the house was very affordable to us, which after some of the pickles I got myself in over the last half decade, was worth it's weight in gold.

So, we decide to stay where we are, and the deal to sell the land without a house to one neighbor, then the other neighbor both fell through - and here at Catskill Farms we had remarkably sold out of all the land we have and I needed a good building lot. So, notwithstanding the 'put off ' looks of Theresa my neighbor and Lisa my wife who preferred it forever wild (obviously, they don't pay the bills), I picked a design and started building - so unless someone was willing to lay down in front of the dozers, we were moving - and we only move at one speed - full steam ahead.


Now, the house design that I picked for the land was really a great marraige of house and land - the house was a Pennsylvania farmhouse that I used to stare at while eating breakfast at an old school diner in Damascus, PA. It was a nice piece of simple architecture and after a while it just caught my eye, and held my attention. Kevin the architect then brought it alive with some dynamic sketches and floor plans, and whalah, we got a house.

So we started construction which included a long driveway, clearing a lot of big trees, bringing electric and phone way in from the road. Before you knew it, the house was 'framed', meaning the wood skeleton was defining the structure's shape.

So I get an email from Pedro, that said -

"We are very interested in looking at the Barryville Cottage and Cottage 19. Is Cottage 19 still in construction or is it finished? Are both these properties still for sale? If so we would like to make an appointment to see these. Thank you, Pedro"

So Pedro and David make an appointment to come and look around, but it was too late for Cottage 19 and the Barryville Cottage, having been snapped up by Justen and Jason and Nancy and Richard, respectively.

We show them Dean's masterpiece, and a few others, and then take them back to Cottage 23.


I may not be remembering this exactly right, maybe Pedro came up once alone. But anyway, David and Pedro and I check out Cottage 23 and since it was early on without steps we are climbing the walls and boosting each other around in order to see the 2nd floor. Definitely performing feats of gymnastics meant for younger men.

Well, it didn't take long, and the guys and I made a deal and we were off to the races - designing the house and getting them into the house before the end of November, which was when the home-buyer tax credit expired (subsequently, it was extended). So Pedro is an architect, as well as fantastic soprano I hear, and with his design talents and our construction talents, we were able to meet and exceed any high hopes I had for this piece of land, which I really did like a lot. But like Gib McKean said - "That Petersheim - he has quick affairs with his land - he doesn't marry it."
Big open kitchen, mudroom stone floor area, fireplace and open stairs, duel sink upstairs with great greenish tile looking out over the lake.

And that's before the piano and furniture and other personal accents.


These shutters on a track leave light in to the bedroom/office, which overlooks a lake on a neighboring property.



There you have it. Cottage 23 developed, designed, and delivered. And now late at night, when I'm up by myself getting a glass of water, I can see the porch light far off in the distance, signalling another set of homeowners finding safety and relaxation in one of our well-designed houses that work.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, who could NOT like this home? Awesome job by all involved. Congrats Pedro and David!

    ReplyDelete