Cornwall House Tour For the benefit of the Cornwall Housing Corporation

Saturday October 7 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

$25.00 for tour,
$50.00 tour and reception from 4:00-6:00
The Cream Hill Lake Association
at 238 Town Street

Tickets available on the day of the tour :
Cornwall Package Store, Cornwall Bridge
The Wish House, West Cornwall

For advance tickets and information call: (860) 672 6774

On Columbus day weekend an eclectic variety of houses ranging from down-home to high style will be open for the 8th annual Cornwall House Tour to benefit the Cornwall Housing Corporation.

Most of the houses are clustered around Cream Hill. This year for the first time, a house built under the Housing Corporation’s Parcel Program, will be on the tour. Also on view will be a classic early farm house, a brand new house pretending to be from the 18th century, and a modest log cabin which stands in contrast to an elegant former hay barn. In another house the owner/architect has surrounded himself with influences of many leading architects and designers of the 20th Century.

The organizing committee is asking for volunteers to house sit for a few hours on Saturday October 7th. Donations are most welcome to sponsor the 2006Tour.

Contributions should be made out to the Cornwall Housing Corporation, P.O. Box 174 Cornwall, CT 06753 * * * *

The Cornwall Housing Corporation’s programs include Kugeman Village, an 18-unit affordable rental complex located on Route 7. The facility has been full since opening and there has always been a waiting list.

The Parcel Program leases parcels of land to prospective homeowners for a small fee, saving them the expense of paying for land as well as a house. Twelve houses have been built under this program, and the town is actively raising money to purchase additional sites for which there is also a waiting list. The Clifton Read Fund, established in 1994, provides community members with emergency rental assistance in times of hardship.

The Committee is thrilled to have this year's House Tour for the benefit of the Housing Corporation. President Jim Levy stated. “It is so important that our community continue to do everything we can do support a diverse economic population in Cornwall.”

A For the first time one of Cornwall’s affordable houses is on the tour. An example of the Parcel program, this 1,400 square foot house was designed for a graphic artist and a cabinet maker. The interior of this simple barn-like structure is dominated by a large two-story loft space. Using the economical pole barn technique, the first floor is reinforced concrete “slab on grade” and provides radiant heat throughout. The compact plan includes a bedroom on each floor and two full baths. A generous porch opens to the East. Construction is expected to be completed by the date of the tour.

Located in a heavily wooded site next to the Housatonic State Forest, this unique house is situated on a sloping site with views of an adjoining stream. A round tower becomes the center piece that anchors the two halves of the house which are connected by an enclosed bridge. The smaller half facing the driveway was built in 1991, and houses an architectural office, woodworking shop and guest quarters. The interior of the main house includes a stone walled living room with a double sided fireplace, a library with a vaulted ceiling, and a master bedroom suite with wood trusses and terrace. Furniture has been designed and built by the owner-architect in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Mackintosh. The house itself recalls the work of the celebrated English architect Edward Lutyens. The selection of natural materials, such as stone, wood, copper and slate, combined with the terracing of the site, melds the house into the landscape.

When a young couple bought the land several years ago, there was a small “log” fishing cabin on the property that came out of a building kit in the 1920s. After some basic renovations, they stayed in the cabin while the main house, designed by a local architect, was under construction. The new house is located across a small bridge to get the maximum drama from the site which is rough, hilly and wooded. The design attempts to merge the vocabulary of early Connecticut farm houses and industrial buildings. The T-shaped plan provides the rooms with maximum exposure and interesting angles. The owners have done little to civilize the land, and are content to sit on the covered porch and watch the wandering families of turkey, deer and the occasional bobcat march down the hill toward the stream. As the beavers try to build a dam by the bridge, the views may continue to improve.

This 19th century hay barn from Amesville, Connecticut was dismantled and rebuilt as a 4 bedroom house in 2003. The main structure, a typical English style 4-bay 35 ft. by 50 ft. barn is constructed with chestnut beams and an unusual pattern of knee braces. The underside of the original tin and wood slat roof is exposed and much of the original siding was salvaged for interior finishes such as walls and sliding barn doors. The owners wanted to maintain the spacious barn feeling and also open the house to the dramatic north-western views and spectacular sunsets. Churchill Builders, barn specialists, designed and built the house. Cornwall’s John LaPorta did the stonework and the Cornwall Bridge Pottery created the tiles in the guest bath room.

This classic central chimney farm house was built early in the 1800’s by John Ward. Eighty years later it was enlarged by the Wickwire family. From this point the story is taken up by a literary family who in the early 1920’s traveled as far out of New York as they thought anyone would want to live and then went another 50 miles to be sure, and settled into the place which by this time had fallen into disrepair. The modest introduction of modern conveniences has not changed the atmosphere of an earlier time. Two generations ago the stables were transformed into a sheltering porch with long views to the east.

We call it “the cabin”. It was built in 1974 in about 4 weeks. All the logs were pre-cut and dumped by the side of the road and had to be hauled into the site. The design was by New England Log Homes. It was advertised as the house with a heart. We cleared the site ourselves from 1971 to 1974. In 1973 Ken Pond an artist with dynamite, water, rocks, and the earth made the driveway. We cut the pines and he blew out the stumps. We built the house on his site after choosing another because he said his would work better. The unfinished cellar is still so dry, mold is seldom found. It has perfect drainage because of the ledge on which it sits. Inside we floored it with red oak cut and seasoned at the White Foundation forest. The house came as a shell so the cabinetry, doors, and rooms all had to be carpentered and created. We have furnished it with the best Cornwall tag sale and Torrington Salvation Army furniture. The antlers of an extinct Eastern Elk stretch across the balcony. On the walls and in log niches are a unique collection of Cornwall books, memorabilia, relics, and the work of local artists. Guarding the spirit of the place is the head of a big horn sheep shot in the Rockies by Uncle Harry in 1890.

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