10th Annual Cornwall House Tour Spans Four Centuries
“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.”
Organized 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.”
One 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 & Reception: $55