Surprise! You just discovered… 6 more weeks of work

Picture it: an old, creaking house, built before the Civil War, possibly built before we were even technically a country. It’s probably seen some “renovations” since then—the tacking on of an unsightly addition, the dissection of each stately room to accommodate apartments. You know the deal. But here you are, ready to tear down those ungodly, aluminum-sheathed tumors posing as “extra rooms” and rip through those unnecessary walls. You are going to unburden that beautiful home from its prison of vinyl floor tiles and layer after layer of hideous paint. And while you’re tearing and ripping, you keep waiting to stumble upon a treasure. An old jug from the 18th century buried in the cold, damp earth of the basement floor, perhaps. Or documents signed by George Washington hiding behind attic walls. Surely there must be some amazing find just waiting for you to unearth it. Right?

I’m afraid I might be about to dash some dreams and burst some bubbles. I apologize in advance.

Not so much a hidden treasure as a lurking nightmare. We discovered asbestos in the basement of our most recent Hudson Valley project. Every speck of it has to be removed before we can even begin thinking about downstairs demo work.

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The Mystery of the Howard Hall cemetery

No, you’re not about to read my attempt at a suspense novel aimed at gawky pre-teen boys who have an insatiable lust for adventure and mystery solving. Although, there is a book involved, and also a bit of a mystery. A missing person’s case, if you will. Did I mention that these persons are dead and buried somewhere on our property?

What won’t those boys get themselves into?

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Birds, or history?

On my very first visit to Howard Hall, we spent the majority of the evening on the porch that spans the entire width of the back of the house. The view was incredible. The Hudson, framed by acres and acres of trees, lolled by in the distance. The feeling of it all being so close you could touch it was amplified by the fact that the railing had yet to be installed. The scene felt like a Hudson River School painting that I could walk right into, Mary Poppins style.

The view from the roof

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