Suburban Countryside Community
Hidden away in the outer suburbs is a vast property containing a variety of abandoned architecture. The oldest buildings on the site are the farmhouse and barn dating to 1776, when the American colonies fought for independence. Just about when the first World War ended, a Mediterranean-style mansion was built up on the hill above the farm. And just before the American Bicentennial, two major East Coast developers planned to build 1,200 homes on 865 acres in what was then the fringe of suburbia, fifty miles away from where similar developments are planned today. Seven model homes were built, as was the company office. Plans were drawn, roads were laid out. . . and then it stopped. In 1987, another developer tried again, this time for 280 units. Same result. Another plan called for 175 houses in 1997. In 2002, the next developer in line aimed for 100 homes. None were ever built.
Part of the
reason for the decreasing number of units for each successive plan was that the
local zoning board increased the amount of acreage per house lot in a misguided
effort to preserve open space. Zoning went from one-acre lots to, eventually,
three-acre lots. So the houses would have been spread out and whatever
"open space" remained would not have been contiguous. If houses were zoned on smaller lots; with the same number of houses allowed for the entire
property, then a larger amount of contiguous open space could have been
preserved as a community resource. Good fortune has prevailed however and the
property is now out of the hands of developers and under the protection of a
land preservation group. As it stands in 2006, no homes will be built and the land will be preserved for its natural properties.
However, all structures (perhaps excepting the farmhouse and barn) will likely be demolished. The company logo.
Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.
E-mail Rob Yasinsac
These photographs were taken over the course of three visits in June and July of 2006 (and a few shots redone in January of 2007).
UPDATE: On a return trip in November 2007, I discovered that the model homes were severely vandalized by copper thieves. Nearly every appliance, sink, stove, etc, was ripped out and walls and mirrors were smashed to get at pipes and wires. On a positive note, the farmhouse has been cleaned out and a caretaker is maintaining that building and the barn and farmyard. The farmhouse may eventually be rented out.
Welcome to carefree -- and worry-free -- living."
"Hey Woody Guthrie where are you,
we could sure use you once more.
Hey Woody Guthrie where are you.
the big dogs are back at the door."
~ Leftover Salmon
Plans and blueprints remain scattered about the office in 2006.
The Mansion & Farm
Model Homes - Exteriors
Model Homes - Interiors
November 2007 photos
The company logo.
Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.
E-mail Rob Yasinsac
This page copyright © 2006 by Robert J. Yasinsac.
Reproduction of these photos without the permission of Robert Yasinsac is prohibited.