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Showing posts from March, 2010

Ode to 8 point construction

It's not everyday that you feel you want to write a blog in praise of your contractors. Part of me worries that if I tell others about how great they are, word will get out and they will get busy and not have time for us. Ken and Henry from Eight Point Construction in Stone Ridge, NY came by yesterday to outline the costs for digging out and putting a concrete slab in the basement. They were really nice about it and although it was a little higher than we had anticipated they did what they could to minimize the cost, or rather maximize the value we got - i.e. use the excavator to remove trees, level ground and maybe (if we can get a permit) remove the beaver dam. That evening we went for Dinner at Hasbrouck House and Ken was there with his wife. When we went to pay the bill, the waiter told us that our dinner had been taken care of by Ken Gore of Eight Point Construction. He had already left (we tend to be on a later dinner schedule than most of Ulster County) so there wa

Waterfront property

This weekend we heard a Wallkill flood warning that named the Springtown Road as one of the possible flooding areas. Flooding likely to be 13-17 feet. At Dejoux House the sump pump in the basement was working overtime but doing a good job of keeping the basement from flooding. When we arrived the water was at 9 ft and the willow trees/ beaver dam were both under water. As the day progressed the water rose slowly but the house seemed pretty secure perched high above the flood waters. At the end of the day we only had about 13ft and the water only reached the spring at the back of the house, still some distance from the wall. The island in the lake was underwater and the field had turned into an island with water all around it but still unflooded. The woodland by the river was a lake.

Oscar speaks - "Where ever you like Perry"

The following is a true story that happened 6 hours after I wrote the previous post 'Oscar and George '. Daniel and I had been asked to measure some of the beams/rafters on the second floor for the HVVA historical society . They were missing a few measurements for their documentation of our historic house renovation. We are hoping they will publish their study soon. The measurements they were missing were - the number of rafters in both the original (1740) and the new (1765) extension. For those that are interested there are 13 large rafters that span in the original house and 5 in the extension. These rafters are between 7 and 9 inches thick and are spaced approximately every 3 ft. All are held together with carved wooden pegs as was the construction method in that period. (Exact measurements of each are being submitted to HVVA for them to publish). As we were measuring these beams we opened all the windows to let the wonderful spring sunshine and air into the h

Oscar and George

I am intrigued as to how and why two of the most prominent Maitre D' Hotels of New York City, Oscar Tschirky (Oscar of the Waldorf) and George Fiorentino (co-owner of the Colony Restaurant in NY and previous owner of DeJoux House) came to be living less than a mile away from each other in Springtown. If they wanted to (and as far as we know they may have done so on several occasions) they could both stand on their own property and talk to each other across the Wallkill river which acts as their the boundary line. What was the draw to these two men? Was it pure coincidence? Did they know each other from Delmonico's ? Were they friends or was it just the rich farm land and wonderful fresh produce of the area that attracted these later day foodies. I am unable to find any formal connection between these two men, other than their proximity and profession. If we look back to what Springtown was like in the 30's and 40's it is clear that the river was a center of r

Building basements and battling beavers and bugs

Spring has sprung in Springtown. Last weekend Daniel and I decided we would dig the probes under the walls to see how deep the foundations are. We need this for the drawings and rather than ask Ken and Henry (the builders of the story) to do it, we decided we could wield the spades ourselves. We dug three exploratory probes at the base of the stone walls and each time we hit a small ledge of concrete. This concrete was very roughly poured and broke up easily. The base of the stone walls was about 6 inches below this concrete and not far below the level of the existing basement. The foundation stones at the base of the wall look like very big stones - must have taken quite an effort to get them all there. To our horror, when we returned to these holes this weekend they had all filled up with water. Not from the basement but from the ground below. Spring seems to have bought springs with it that spring up everywhere (our basement included) - no wonder they called it Springto