Mill Road – Historical Preservation of Hudson Valley Victorian Cottage

June 9 2017

Originally part of a Hudson Valley estate-turned-museum called Wilderstein, this building (“Wilderkill”) is a property of local historical and architectural significance. In the Victorian era, it was the residence of the estate’s dairyman. Built on top of a 18th Century Dutch stone house that served as the creamery and now serves as its foyer, the house as it exists today belongs to the mid-19th Century Hudson Valley tradition of cottage architecture. With its low mansard roof, heavy cornice and original Carpenter Gothic dormers with arched windows, the 3,000 square foot house has a storybook quality. Turn-of-the-century photos document that the house has been virtually untouched for 150 years.

While the foundation, second floor and many historical details were in good condition, the house itself had fallen into abject disrepair. A two-pronged approach was decided on: to meticulously preserve the exterior of the building while creating a thoroughly modern, comfortable living space on the inside. Saving key historical features, such as the stairway, floors and unique dormer details, the interior has been reconfigured to create open, airy spaces. Downstairs windows (most of which were not original) have been replaced by new, energy-efficient replicas, while period, arched windows with original glass have been preserved. A new, open-plan kitchen and butler’s pantry have been moved to the center of the house and become the core of the house’s energy. The bedrooms have been reconfigured to create generous closet space, modern bathrooms and a large master suite. The house has modern insulation, wiring, plumbing and state-of-the-art systems enabling it to live like a modern home.

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The Art of Building is a design-oriented construction and development firm. We are not licensed architects or engineers. We use third-party licensed architects and engineers whenever required or otherwise appropriate, and provide our clients with full transparency as to their involvement in the development process and their payment for these services.