The iconic red barn on Butterville Road in New Paltz, once owned by Julian Studley, will soon be coming down, according to Peter Karis, an engineer at the Open Space Institute, owner of the property. In a letter to neighbors, Karis advised, “We anticipate removal of the existing barn will begin shortly and will take up to two weeks to complete. . . . In the coming weeks, work associated with the new residential building will proceed including the rough grading of the location, construction of the new concrete foundation, and installation of underground site utilities, all of which should be completed this spring. Work on the new structure itself is expected to continue through the rest of the calendar year with our goal being to occupy the new residence by early 2017.”
Engineers who looked at the structure determined that trying to restore it to a usable condition would be too costly, and simply allowing it to collapse would create safety issues. Neighbors have voiced skepticism, with some suggesting that money spent on controversial fencing of OSI property last fall might have instead been used to restore the well-known barn. In his letter, Karis wrote, “Recognizing the rich agricultural heritage of this landscape, we have been deliberate to take architectural cues from the existing barn including such details as red stained wood siding, a standing seam metal roof and a cupola. The residence will have a lower profile than the existing barn on the property, expanding views to the Ridge from Butterville Road, and once the landscaping is complete will be in keeping with the scenic tradition of this landscape.”
Residents were also encouraged to stay clear of the property, which will soon be an active construction area.