How did it all begin? Over 3 years ago 3 long-time friends chatted over a beer in Greenwich Village. The conversation meandered from work to vacations to family and beyond, with the Catskills making a repeated appearance. Buck and Peter have had homes there for many years, and Greg was not a stranger either, courtesy of his birding escapades.
None of us remember the precise moment that evening when the idea of building high-performance, environmentally responsible homes upstate first materialized, but we all agreed in hindsight that it made perfect sense. Afterall, Buck has been a major face in the Upper Delaware valley for decades, both as a Passive House architect and anti-fracking activist. Greg was working for the state at NYSERDA as one of NY State’s top sustainable energy gurus. And Peter was looking to combine his enviro bone fides and obsessive love for the Catskills. Buck ran the idea by Remy and Laura in his architectural studio and just like that, our 5-star team was born.
Before too long Peter was motoring up route 17 not just to escape the city on weekends, but also to look for suitable land for the project. Buck, together with Remy and Laura, started sketching possible house designs, searching for what we agreed had to be both rustic and modern – not an easy task! And Greg started burning midnight oil after his day job, devising the lowest carbon development possible.
It took us several months and visits to at least a dozen potential locations, trudging through fallen leaves in the fall, and then deep snow in winter. We liked many of them but we needed to love it. And then we found it: land with deep woods, lots of beautiful creeks with waterfalls, gorgeous meadows, varied topography. While our broker James told us that this was by far the most challenging site to develop, we knew that this was it, that this was the land we could make truly special and unique.
And The Catskill Project was born.