When the owners of a Dutch Colonial fieldstone farmhouse in Catskill were ready to renovate, they first considered a conventional arrangement of additions. They wondered if the best option was to surround their 1761 house with extensions, but architect Alexander Gorlin had a better idea. He did not center his extension plans on the farmhouse, but instead added living space in a way that let the farmhouse take center stage. He designed a row of interconnected structures to frame the ridge of the hill on which the house stood, with the oldest structure as the starting point.
“Originally, they were thinking of having it in the center and doing wings on either side and I said that would diminish the existing house, because the additions would overshadow it,” says Gorlin. “I suggested that it be designed more like a train with additions on a caboose. It was meant to be like a little village of barns.”