Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Barn Again—and Again

Renewing the Historic Hobby Barn



It was love at first sight,” says Paula, who came to Pound Ridge to look at the Hobby Barn in 1996 with her then boyfriend, Ira Resnick, and real-estate agent Anthony Cutugno. “We’d been together for a couple of years and were looking for a weekend house,” adds Ira, now a film historian and gallery owner who serves on the board of the Bedford Playhouse. The 19th-century former cow barn they were touring had been converted to a community center by businessman and humanitarian Hiram Halle in the early 1900s. 

In 1952, decorators L.T. Luke Kelly and John W. Scoville kept many of Halle’s eclectic touches—the double red front doors rescued from a New England church, the bullseye glass windows, and a massive Palladian window—when they transformed it into their home. Subsequent owners made updates and added a north wing, so by the time Paula and Ira arrived with Cutugno, it oozed quirky charm but was architecturally puzzling.

The nine-acre property featuring a swimming pool, stone amphitheatre, and pond complete with a romantic wrought-iron bridge, held the trump card—two intertwined Japanese maple trees. “It was a sign. It was so joyous to fall in love with the house at the same time as I was falling in love with Ira,” recalls Paula.  

Soon after they moved in, Ira proposed, and with plans for a backyard wedding in 11 months’ time, they felt pressure to get the house into shape. “We brought in Lee Mindel, an architect who had designed an apartment for us in the city,” says Ira. “We wanted to embrace the barn aesthetic in a more modern way.”

Out went the chintz and stucco and what Architectural Digest called the “Pizza Hut meets Pepperidge Farm” décor. “Our mandate,” Mindel’s partner Peter Shelton told AD back in 2000, “was to retain the romance of classical American barn style but to purge it of sentimentality.” 

The wedding (and marriage, for that matter) was a huge success, and the Resnicks happily settled in. After starting a family, they realized they needed to make more adjustments, so they hired architect Joeb Moore to address some pressing engineering issues, redesign the kitchen, and integrate fresh architectural elements, including large windows, glass doors, and transparent canopies, setting a great precedent for mixing modern and historic. And with that, you might think the Resnicks’ renovations were done.

Alas, there was another celebration coming up. Paula needed pillows for additional seating in the living room, and she happened to pop into OOCK, architect Carol Kurth’s studio-based architecture and interior design boutique in Bedford Village. “We had instant chemistry,” says Kurth. “After a few meetings, Paula and Ira developed a wish list of interior renovations and enhancements. This eventually led to my firm redesigning their apartment in the city, and then ultimately to a significant renovation of the Hobby Barn”

Kurth explains that the puzzle of the house was complex; it’s close to the road, it’s an historic structure, and it has wetlands issues. On top of that, the L-shape and multiple levels made the interior flow convoluted. 

A visit to the Hobby Barn involves a journey both back in time and forward into a 21st century lifestyle. And, it all begins with the gates. “The integration of steel and wood brings the architecture to the road,” says Kurth, of the exterior sliding wall that features “Halle-red” accents, inspired by the historic hue of those double front doors. With a swish to the left, our passage is clear. Kurth and I follow a gravel path to the main entrancewhere the Resnicks open a glass door, and inside the two-story entry hall, the house unfolds. 

To the left is the terrace level of the original barn where milking stanchions once stood, and to the right is a modern north wing. The transition from old to new here is seamless. “One of the first changes that Carol suggested was raising the height of the old one-story entry hall and guest wing,” says Paula, who is founder and executive director of The Meeting House, a Manhattan-based non-profit. Kurth then explains that this alteration enabled her team to design a bridge that creates a layered effect while connecting the upstairs levels of the barn and the north wing. 

The motivation for the expansion was that the two Resnick children had outgrown their first-floor playroom, and their parents wanted to take back the garage space that had been incorporated into the playroom by Moore.

Sliding barn doors now open to reveal a cozy family room featuring two of Ira’s treasured vintage movie posters, a wall of stacked stone, and a cantilevered glass staircase to the second floor. Beyond the fireplace wall, is the restored garage.

“Designing sleek stairs emerging from a stone wall was a logistical challenge,” notes Kurth. The result is striking and compels a visitor to climb to the next level where a large, light-filled, grown-up playroom is bisected by a stacked-stone media wall. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in, and a guest area is easily accessed through sliding doors.

When the Resnicks arrive from the city, they usually head left from the entry hall into the contemporary kitchen featuring an antique stone fireplace and a selection of Ira’s curated photo collection. Ancient bedrock emerges at the base of the walls. 

The adjacent dining room boasts expansive views of the property, and along opposite walls, there are console tables created from cast iron eagles left behind by previous owners. Several of Ira’s prized Annie Leibowitz photos hang atop the consoles.

A flight of stairs leads to the heart of the historic barn. Artwork by Norman Rockwell and Red Grooms line the hallway that leads to the children’s bedroomsand the living room recently updated by Kurth. Full-height windows overlook the terrace and reflecting pool. 

Doubling back, the master suite is tucked atop a handful of steps. It is here that Ira proposed to Paula more than two decades ago. This room is still Ira’s favorite place in the house. The view is unbeatable on any day, but today, just as on the day of the proposal, the sunset is glorious. “It’s the happiest house,” Paula says. “It’s a magical place.” 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Bedford Shoutouts Nov-Dec 2017

This, that and the other things

Take 5: Stylist Tips

Creating a wardrobe you’ll love

Ten Minutes with Terry Elsberry

A man of the Lord

Belle of Pound Ridge

The legendary Tallulah Bankhead was the talk of the town

Bedford Out & About - Nov & Dec

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2017

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

Giant Helium Balloon Parade Spectacular presented by Stamford Advocate/Hearst Connecticut Media Group The parade is one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, featuring...

Where:
Summer to Broad to Atlantic Streets
Stamford, CT


Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Join Music from Copland House as they explore the music of exile. Works by ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD, INGOLF DAHL, and 1956 Pulitzer Prize winner ERNST TOCH.

Cost: $25, $20 (friends), $10 (students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
Website »

More information

​Join Music from Copland House as they explore the sounds of exile – music in World War II-era Los Angeles, with works by 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winner Ernst Toch, film...

Cost: $25, $20 (Friends), $10 (Students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Let the Katonah Museum be your child’s art studio on school vacation days this season! With assemblage as our theme, children will collect, transform, re-imagine, and construct with an...

Cost: Children: $5 Members, $8 Non-Members. Adults: Regular admission.

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Clay Art Center One-Time Cladies Night for Adults Interested in Learning to Use the Potter’s Wheel Looking to get your hands dirty and learn how to use the potter’s wheel? Try Clay...

Cost: $50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Isabelle SCHELTJENS portraits in glass are simply put – beautiful.  Their effect is a candied aesthetic, shimmering with light and buoyant energy.   They exist as a compelling...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags