Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Friday, November 17, 2017
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it
Get The New App!

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Style

View past House articles.

View all past Style articles.

RI on Facebook    RI on Instagram       



One Mercantile

[See more House articles]

10th Annual Cornwall House Tour Spans Four Centuries

Rural Intelligence Style“This is the anti-McMansion house tour,” says architect and sculptor Tim Prentice, who has worked on two of the six houses in this year’s tour, which is centered around bucolic Cream Hill Lake. “You won’t see any stone walls with hospital corners here!”  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some jaw-dropping spaces such as the “basilica” (left) that Prentice designed for one of his neighbors. “It’s a post-and-beam structure that is based on an entirely Christian form,” explains Prentice, who did the sketches of the houses pictured here. “It’s really a playroom for their kids—the Cadillac of barns.”

Rural Intelligence StyleOrganized to benefit the Cornwall Housing Corporation whose mission is to provide affordable housing options to maintain the vitality of the Cornwall community, the 10th annual tour reflects the town’s diversity. “One of the houses on the tour was built as part of our parcel program that provides a family with one acre, a well and a driveway so they can afford to build their own home,” says Prentice. “You don’t normally see affordable housing as part of a house tour. But Cornwall is a special place and we have made a lot of progress. We’ve allowed one-acre parcels in areas zoned for five acres. We are lucky to have some fat cats who are willing to give land to help other people build little houses.”

Rural Intelligence StyleOne of the most spectacular houses on the tour is the antique farm house (left) owned by New York architect Oscar Shamamian. “He builds real mansions—blue chip carriage trade houses—in all the grandest places, but his own house has been meticulously restored so it looks like nothing has been done to it,” says Prentice, who believes that the issues of aesthetics and affordable housing are interrelated and crucial to maintaing the rural character of our communities. “I am focused on drawing attention to good design. The big battle is to not become suburban.”

Cornwall House Tour to benefit Cornwall Housing Corporation
Saturday, October 16; 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tour: $35
Tour & Reception: $55

Tickets available at
Cornwall Package Store - Cornwall Bridge; 860.672.6645
The Wish House – West Cornwall; 860.672.2969
The Cornwall Free Library - Cornwall Village; 860.672.6398

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Dan Shaw on 10/13/10 at 06:20 AM • Permalink