HERE I THOUGHT I WAS HOT STUFF, owning a few ordinary properties. Then along comes an e-mail from Tyler Hays, who thinks in tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of square feet, and acreage in the hundreds as well.
Tyler, who owns a furniture company called BDDW, recently moved his manufacturing operation from Brooklyn to Philadelphia, where his new workshop is a 100,000-square-foot tannery in the Port Richmond section, and his family’s new home, in Fishtown, a 30,000-square-foot former Catholic school (BDDW still has a Manhattan showroom on Crosby Street in NoHo.)
He also owns an 1844 inn in Shandaken, N.Y., in the Catskill region, as well as the subject of this post: a pair of old stone horse barns on 147 acres 15 minutes north of New Paltz on the west side of the Hudson River.
It’s hard to believe such an elegant turn-of-the-20th-century complex exists in this part of the world. It looks like something out of Brideshead Revisited. Built originally for Colonel Oliver Hazard Payne, a “wealthy industrialist and philanthropist,” it was later used as a Utopian school for boys.
Tyler bought the barns about 4 years ago to use as a workshop. Since moving to Philly, which he “absolutely loves” (he and I have a lot in common), he also became a father for the first time, and those long car rides “aren’t as much fun as they used to be,” he says. “I hate to sell it, but I can’t justify carrying it just to look at it once in a while.”
There’s also a 19th century farmhouse, which is itself a charmer. I’d take just that; wouldn’t know what to do with the barns. But perhaps someone out there does?