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I've recently learned that my old house and barn studio in Stonington, Connecticut, are up for sale. Two hours from NYC via Rte. 95 or Amtrak, the land is amazing, although the house is begging for someone with homeowner (or loft-renovator) know-how and carpentry skills. The secluded property, on a small dead end road, is surrounded by a 45-acre nature preserve that features a flock of wild turkeys, deer and a small granite quarry. The realtor calls it a one-of-a-kind property, "like no other," which is absolutely true, for better or worse. The architecture incorporates a quirky use of natural stone with unfinished wood--sort of like those old handmade hippie houses built in the 1960s.
In 1994 I bought a share in the property just after I'd finished grad school and started my first teaching job at Bergen Community College. It had an old horse barn (they said a horse was actually buried under the floor) and, with lots of help from friends, I turned it into a studio. We tore out the stalls, stapled up insulation, covered the framing with sheetrock, constructed a plywood floor, added a few windows, hung overhead lighting, spackled and painted the walls, and installed a propane heater. The studio was perfect (see picture below, c. 2003), well lit and warm, and I worked there for nearly ten years, originally dividing my time between Stonington and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But nothing lasts forever, and in 2004 I sold my share. The current owner recently put the property on the market for $299,000--a pretty reasonable price.