Relish the concept of living the 18th century life but perhaps not so much the reality? This restored 18th century house with an unusual modern addition may let you live out your historic-house fantasies with the convenience of modern amenities.
The 1766 Pruyn House (pronounced Prine) is located at 26 Williams Street in Kinderhook, N.Y., the Hudson River Valley town known for its charming downtown and numerous historic sites.
The Dutch-built house on a corner lot makes for a charming scene with its gambrel roof, shutters and shed dormers. Look closely and you will also see some fancy brickwork.
There are soldier brick lintels above the windows and door — bricks laid standing with the narrow edge out, like a soldier standing at attention. Up near the peak of the gambrel roof is a brick heart, and just below it Pruyn handily marked his home with the construction date. You can make out “1766” written in bricks near the second story windows.
Inside, the house has a central hall arrangement with Dutch or split doors at either end — great for letting in the fresh air while keeping any wayward cows from wandering inside.
The house was purchased in 1966 by William T. and Jean C. Appell, who restored it and filled it with their collection of American furniture, art and decorative objects from the 17th to 19th centuries. The kast pictured here is one such piece, a cupboard often used for storing linen and a common piece of furniture in Dutch-American homes in New York.
Wide-planked floorboards and paneling are found throughout the first floor of the house as well as two wood-burning fireplaces.
The three bedrooms of the second floor retain the wide floorboards and, despite the presence of a tiny stove here, there is central heat. The registers are an intrusion but are painted to match the baseboards and blend in as best they can.
There is a (presumably) modern bathroom on the second floor, according to the video. There aren’t any photos but the listing does note one full and one half bath — and no mention of a privy.
The owners built the addition in 1983 to give them more room to collect, according to an auction catalogue from the sale of the Appell collection earlier this year. The single-story structure is set perpendicular to the historic house, with a discrete hallway connecting them.
The wing feels very much like the gallery space it was designed to be, with wide open spaces and high ceilings in contrast to the smaller spaces of the main house. Here, the wide floorboards and painted woodwork of the 18th century give way to stone and tile floors, vertical panelling, beamed ceilings and numerous windows.
If you aren’t displaying a collection of art or other objects, the gallery could work as a studio, office, or entertaining space. It provides plenty of room for modern furniture and electronics if you want to keep the historic house period authentic.
There are two kitchens — a small one in the addition and a somewhat larger kitchen in the main house.
The arrangement of the house and the glass-filled addition along with the shrubbery around the property creates a secluded oasis. There is a full acre of garden space with formal and woodland gardens and a gazebo, according to the listing.
The Columbia County property is listed for $645,000 by Kimberley Voltz of Anderson Agency.
The house is one of several historic Dutch houses in Kinderhook, which was established in the 17th century. The name derives from the Dutch word kinderhoek, meaning children’s corner.
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