Berkshires Greek Revival 199K


THIS MORNING, A FRIEND AND I were shooting the breeze about real estate and investment opportunities. I was saying I needed a new project. She, who has a wonderful Greek Revival town house in Chatham, N.Y. (Columbia County), mentioned a similar c.1800 house in Great Barrington, Mass., that she was aware of because one of her brothers became obsessed with it, briefly.

Online we went. I love the Neo-classical temple-like silhouette of the building — a harmonious square footprint with a pediment — and was stunned by the price, which has just been lowered to 199K (not its first reduction) after two years on the market. (I’m used to the Hamptons, remember.) The house, which is on almost 5 acres and was in a single family for a century, according to the listing, requires enough work to have so far discouraged all prospective buyers.


Some of that is evident from the pictures on the listing agent’s site. It’s anyone’s guess what’s behind the tacky paneling and above the dropped ceilings.

There is an original fireplace, and the wing off the main house has a separate staircase leading to a room upstairs. There’s 500 feet of frontage along a two-lane road, the property is sub-dividable, and taxes are under $5,000/year.

Worth a look for an old-house fan in search of a place in the desirable Berkshire Mountains near Tanglewood, Lenox, and all the rest (and where, incidentally, the summer rental market is strong) — or maybe, like me, in search of a project.


Summer Rental: Hudson Valley Greek Revival


IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN: time for city dwellers to think about renting a country place for all or part of the summer. If a totally charming 2BR, 1 bath village house in Columbia County works for you, take a look at this one. It’s owned by good friends of mine, but that’s not why I’ve given it the casaCARA seal of approval.

It’s a renovated 1830s Greek Revival in Chatham, N.Y., half an hour from Tanglewood and the Berkshires. Comfortably and attractively furnished with mostly modern furniture, there’s a big eat-in kitchen and a glassed-in sun room at the back.

At just $1,000 for the month of June, $1,200 for July, and $1,200 for August, it’s an inexpensive getaway for sure. In fact, I’d consider renting it myself if I was the sort of person able to make plans more than 2 weeks in advance.

For more info, e-mail