Do they really “do things very strange” in Barrytown?
If 1974’s “Barrytown” by Steely Dan has made you curious about the area where the founders of the rock band met but your architecture tastes run a bit more 19th century than 20th, then this sprawling, picturesque house might fit the bill. Located at 10 Station Hill Road, the house on the market sits right at the center of the small hamlet of Barrytown.
Part of the town of Red Hook, the spot was once known as Lower Red Hook Landing before being christened Barrytown in the 1830s. According to local lore, the name was in honor of William Taylor Barry, Postmaster General to President Andrew Jackson. Like many towns along the river, the town benefited with the arrival of the Hudson River Railroad in the late 1840s. In the case of Barrytown, the railroad brought a small depot and commerce but the area kept its identity as a small hamlet.
Or rather, a small hamlet surrounded by rather grand estates. Just to the south of 10 Station Hill Road is Edgewater, an early 19th century gem once owned by Gore Vidal and restored to splendor by the late Richard Jenrette, historic house enthusiast. To the north is Montgomery Place, an 1805 Livingston family manse redesigned by Alexander Jackson Davis. The mansion is now owned by Bard College, itself a historic institution, founded in 1860 as St. Stephen’s College. (Bard is also where the Steely Dan founders met).
Many of the comparatively more modest homes in Barrytown date to the mid and late 19th century. While Dutchess County land records date 10 Station Hill Road to 1880, stylistically there are some hints that it could have earlier roots and had some additions and alterations over time. Without access to archives and in-person investigation, this house presented a bit of a puzzle to research. A deed from the 1990s refers to the house as being commonly known as “the rectory” and historic maps show a chapel near the current site. By 1891, a map of the town shows a chapel and a house labeled as an Episcopal parsonage at the intersection of Barrytown and Station Hill roads.
The house has dormers, fish-scale shingles and bargeboard lining its peaked gable. Look closely to spot alterations over time, including some 20th century bay windows.
There’s a hint of the Gothic about it, a popular style around Barrytown in the 1870s. Other examples include the nearby Church of Saint John the Evangelist, designed by William A. Potter and completed in 1874.
Much like the exterior, the interior is chock-full of details. There’s a split or Dutch door at the entrance with wood floors and an original stair that’s been given a coat of paint.
There’s a formal parlor with an Italianate style mantel, wood floors and french doors to the outdoors.
There’s another Italianate style mantel in the library along with a ceiling medallion and more wood floors.
There’s a change of fireplace style in the dining room and a door surround with ornamental corner blocks.
While one end of the kitchen has some basic 1980s laminate with wood trim cabinetry, the other end has some nice glass-fronted vintage ones. The kitchen is on the first floor with a bay window and a door leading out to the drive.
There are five bedrooms spread across the top two floors and many of them have fireplaces. The listing doesn’t mention whether or not they are in working order.
Among the smattering of mantel styles in the house, one in a bedroom is particularly intriguing. The rococo style mantel appears to be cast iron — similar mantels were popular in the 1850s and 1860s.
In addition to the bedrooms on the second floor that attic floor has been finished to include additional bedrooms. The listing is slightly contradictory on the number of bathrooms, mentioning five but listing the house as having four. No images are included in the listing so it’s tough to tell what vintage details might survive.
There’s a breezeway connecting the main house and a small cottage with bargeboard; there’s even some decorative trim on the dovecote affixed near the peak. According to the listing, the studio includes a kitchen, full bath and lofted space.
For even more space you can head out back to a period barn.
The house sits on just under three acres of land and photos show a wooded landscape with stone walls, pathways and a lawn surrounding the house.
If you want to escape the quiet of Barrytown, downtown Red Hook is just a short drive away. For trips into the city, there’s a train station with Amtrack service at Rhinecliff, less than a 20 minute drive away.
The house is listed by Sean Eidle of Berkshire Hathaway for $850,000.
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