NEW PALTZ, NY (July 19, 2016)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) and Historic Huguenot Street today announced that the New Paltz-based historic district and museum will be the recipient of reclaimed material salvaged from the deconstruction of the failing Studley Barn on Butterville Road. The agreement allows for material from the barn structure, which has been deemed to be structurally unsound by licensed engineers, to be thoughtfully repurposed within the community.
“While it has been determined by the Town that the existing Studley Barn is not ‘historically significant,’ we acknowledge the loss of the recognizable building and are pleased to partner with Historic Huguenot Street, which has committed to giving salvageable material from the barn a new life,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s President and CEO.
"Several potential and existing structures on our street will greatly benefit from the aged wood, windows and doors, and we are pleased to have a part in ensuring New Paltz’ beloved buildings remain in our Town and Village," said Mary Etta Schneider, Historic Huguenot Street President and Board Chair.
Starting in late July, workers will begin to dismantle Studley Barn, donating salvageable materials to Historic Huguenot Street. The barn will be replaced by a new caretaker residence associated with OSI-owned properties in the area, including the River-to-Ridge Trail, the highly anticipated scenic and recreational off-road trail leading from downtown New Paltz to the Shawangunk Ridge.
While OSI’s original plans called for adapting the Studley Barn for reuse, engineers found that the structure’s integrity was severely compromised, with inadequate wall and column foundations, leaning structural columns on both barn levels, and weak roof framing. The report found that the barn was in the process of failing and that it could not be secured without substantial investment. Repurposing the salvageable materials is a fitting alternative that underscores both OSI and Historic Huguenot Street’s preservation and sustainability goals.
Work on the new structure is expected to continue through the rest of the calendar year, with a goal of occupying the new residence by early 2017. Recognizing the rich agricultural heritage of this landscape, the building will take architectural cues from the existing barn, including such details as red-stained wood siding and a standing seam metal roof. The residence will also have a lower profile than the existing barn on the property allowing for expanded views to the ridge from Butterville Road. Once complete with landscaping, the property will be in keeping with the scenic and agricultural tradition of this landscape.
In anticipation of building the residence, all necessary permits have been secured from the Town of New Paltz Building Department for the removal of the barn and construction of the new caretaker residence. Additionally, OSI has been in contact with neighbors close to the project to round out its due diligence.
With a planned opening in 2017, the six-mile long River-to-Ridge Trail will be accessible free of charge, allowing hikers, cyclists and others to enjoy a ten-foot-wide path meandering through farm fields and over gently rolling hills. The trail will also enable cyclists to safely bypass Route 299, currently the primary road leading from New Paltz to the preserves, and will allow direct access to 90 miles of recreational carriage roads and trails at the Mohonk Preserve and the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.
In May, OSI also announced that a formal lease agreement between OSI and the Village of New Paltz had been struck, allowing a 15-acre parcel of village-owned property on Springtown Road to be transformed into a trail gateway with enhanced parking and trail amenities. Under the 20-year agreement, OSI will fully fund the planned improvements, which will include parking for up to 45 vehicles, and maintain and manage it as a community asset to New Paltz.