Presiding over the Wallkill River in upstate New York, between Kingston and New Paltz, is an 1876 stone building that has served many purposes over its 150 years. It was alternately a church, a town hall, and even the bâtiment canards — a house for ducks — for a local farm. Today, it’s a sublimely renovated private home imbued with both modern flair and the warming spirit of its past lives.
Set on about half an acre with pretty gardens, the various living, entertaining and work spaces span more than 6,000 square feet over five stories. Throughout the house, careful thought has been given to every detail, which includes the aged and artfully imperfect. There are hand-hewn exposed beams and bedrock ledges, original stone walls, and restored pine floors. One of the home’s antique doors opens into a vestibule floored in imported terrazzo and for more mundane needs, there’s a handy mudroom.
Filled with natural light from seven-foot-tall original windows, the main living space boasts a fireplace in the lounge area and a simple, up-to-date eat-in kitchen. Off the living space are three spare bedrooms and two bespoke bathrooms. The primary bedroom suite offers a walk-in closet and a bathroom designed to highlight the natural bedrock walls and ledges, while the two tranquil guest bedrooms share a custom concrete bathroom.
Up the precariously steep staircase, with its rope handrail, an enormous entertaining space showcases a 30-foot ceiling and a stone and steel firepit that looks like it may have once been in a Viking mead hall. There are 32 original windows that fill the room with natural light along with a 16-foot expanse of sliding glass doors that lead to a deck perched three stories above the Wallkill River.
In the loft above the great room, a fourth bedroom is complemented by a full bathroom, and nearby is a vaulted space called the Tower. Accessible by spiral staircase, the stone and steel accented space would make a unique work space while, given its views of the river and countryside, the former steeple might well be used for meditation.
The leafy grounds include stone walkways with perennial gardens leading to serene lounging and dining patios.
Just ten minutes to Kingston and New Paltz or 1.5 hours to New York City, the one-of-a-kind home is listed at $2.25 million via Angelica Ferguson and Annabel Taylor at Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty.