For over a hundred years…Long before the famous concert borrowed the town’s name, Woodstock has been home to artists, craftsman, musicians, activists and eccentrics looking to flee the city and live their lives simply and honestly surrounded by other bohemian’s that would celebrate and embrace community living, and passions that main stream society wasn’t ready to accept or fully respect. When the American Dream was still about finding your own way and doing it yourself, many of these people did not “buy” homes when they fled the city, but instead built them by hand with local materials found on the land, and down the creek in the area. With the help of the community and perseverance (plus a lack of clear town building codes and permits I am assuming) they created some of the most ingenious and interesting homes around. Four generations later, some of these homes still exist today and are even available on the market. You can view these homes in the 1974 published book aptly titled “Woodstock Handmade Houses” by Robert Haney and David Ballantine, available on Amazon.com. I was lucky enough to find this book thrown for the trash on a W. 70th Street curb in Manhattan on our way back from…yes, Woodstock.
The Maverick Concert Hall above
Hervey White was the Harvard educated “grandaddy” of the local handmade house phenomena, leader of the Maverick Festival and original management team of the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, also in Woodstock. An idealist to an extreme, Hervey helped build hundreds of handmade homes with and for people, as if scattering seeds across Woodstock’s landscape during the initial years of the Festival in the 1900’s and beyond.
Below are two “handmade homes” available to purchase currently in Woodstock. There are more though, if you look hard enough.
For 275K, this 1954 handmade home has a warm, rustic and open layout that seems ideal for a couple or single person’s weekend retreat. Full of quirky and efficient details, this is the quintessential handmade house. Featured in the 1974 book, this home is ready for a new loving owner. Click here for the listing. Also available to rent for $150.00 a night.
Beds:1 Bed Baths:2 Bath House Size:1,480 Sq Ft Lot Size:2.93 Acres
Potentially one of the first Maverick Homes, this stone cottage for 139K, is across the road from the Maverick Concert Hall, and was built in 1910. Along with its neighboring Maverick Festival homes, it is once again a quintessential antique handmade home. I can picture Hervey White placing the stones and mortar of this house alongside his fellow festival attendees. (The likes of Isamu Noguchi and Russell Wright)
Set into the hillside, this adorable 2 bedroom/1 bathroom home is in a convenient location and would be easy to maintain. Click here for the full listing.
Beds:2 Bed Baths:1 Bath House Size:875 Sq Ft Lot Size:0.68 Acres